Thursday, November 24, 2011
A little late to the party.
I've spent a number of holidays away from home but none of them has revealed itself as poignant as Thanksgiving. In America, Thanksgiving is ubiquitous. In many respects, it's the most important holiday of the year as families make great effort to spend that day together. This is the second time I've been away from family and friends for Thanksgiving.
It wasn't until this year that I started to feel just how important Thanksgiving is to Americans. Forget the whole thing about how it's a celebration of the white man raping, pillaging, stealing and plundering what rightfully belonged to the Native Americans. Like Native Hawaiians, the government may have offered an apology and given them crappy land to call their own, but they're still screwed.
But Thanksgiving isn't important because of those pilgrims, today it's important because it's the time of gathering of family and friends and I find myself feeling the lack of family and friends. Even my girlfriend is nine time zones away, meaning I haven't had the chance to talk to her in nearly a week - all of which tends to be quite a bit isolating.
Being in Kampala, there's very little talk of American Thanksgiving. If anything, I've been hearing more about these mysterious Scottish Dances where Scots (or those who fancy themselves as Scots) come together to eat, drink and dance in skirts. I'm tempted to go but it's 75,000 Shillings and I'm just too darn tired to leave the hotel.
Not the typical Thanksgiving plate.
Instead I resign myself to another quiet Thanksgiving alone in some glorious hotel in Eastern Africa. After the gym, I stroll through The Lakes Restaurant to see just what they have on the buffet. I'm thinking of taking my dinner in the room but spy what was once a rather large turkey on the carving table. Seems that the kitchen here at the Serena are exploiting a little bit of America on its greatest holiday.
So, my Thanksgiving dinner consisted of turkey, turkey and cheese sausage, chicken tikka masala, vegetable curry, rice and a little Baked Alaska.
Not too bad for a guy in the middle of Eastern Africa.