Monday 29 September 2003


This year, I decided, we would be having Thanksgiving dinner at our house. I haven't had a Thanksgiving dinner in years and now that we have a big enough house, we can host all those lavish dinner parties we've dreamed about. Or at least we can stuff relatives and friends with platefuls of turkey and mash, which is considered lavish in some countries, I'm sure.

Friends and relatives all happily accepted our invitation to Thanksgiving dinner, and we went on our merry way planning a menu and purchasing things like gravy boats. Figuring that everyone knew from watching American television what the day would entail (Canadians do pretty much the same thing, but with less football and a month earlier), I was surprised when the questions came. People narrowed their eyes, raised an eyebrow, and said to us "So what happens at these...Thanksgiving...dinners, anyway?", perhaps thinking that it involved some sort of native dance, Maritime sea shanties, and bizarre Canadian food (like poutine). I answered, "Um. Eating turkey, mostly. Turkey, potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and stuff like that." How anticlimactic, I know.

I like the idea of keeping up traditions like this; inflicting my wacky Canadian ways on my defenseless British friends and relatives. I went through a phase when I first moved here to try and be as British as possible with the words I used, my pronounciation, and even the things I'd buy in the grocery store (e.g. if I bought chocolate chip cookies, everyone would think I'm American and would pelt me with rocks). Now that I know people will think I'm American no matter how many times I say "jolly good" and wear my England footy shirt (only Americans buy my faux English accent), I've stopped worrying about being foreign. Every Thursday is "garbage day" where "garbage men" come and collect our "garbage", I bake chocolate chip cookies, I eat peanut butter and banana sandwiches at work sometimes, I fill up at the "gas station" (although refer to it as "petrol" most times), and I call it "or-EG-an-o" not "o-reg-AH-no".

Then again, in keeping with our family tradition, I'm making sushi with Thanksgiving dinner. Culturally diverse, me.

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