Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving in Ukraine

The magic Turkey Day has come and gone here, and I missed out on the turkey, mashed potatoes, and the gravy. And my mom's great dinner rolls. Instead, I got treated to a night of teaching business English and then some homemade sausage pizza with Hankey Bannister whiskey & cola. Not too bad, all things considered. At least I didn't have to cook my own meal :)

Thanksgiving is a bittersweet holiday for me--great to see all my family, but also the site of many of the worst fights I have had with other family members. Of course, I miss them all, and Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that can't be too screwed up by excessive commercialization. Sure, you've got your turduckens and football, but that's really a sideshow. I have plenty to be thankful for--great parents, great children, and a great girlfriend. And I'm very lucky to be experiencing a foreign culture at the ground level.

But I'm anxious to get home for a while, and that will happen in a few weeks. I'm sure it will be strange after nearly a year here. What will it feel like to go into a restaurant and know exactly what I'm doing and what I'm ordering? What will it feel like to get behind the wheel of my car again? Or just to walk down the street and be able to read the signs and understand the people around me?

So, I'm also thankful for the chance to come back to the states for a while. I miss my kids. I miss my parents. I even miss my brother a little bit...and I also miss good pizza, enchiladas, and a great steak. I miss Culver's cheeseburgers. I miss being able to go into Kohl's and pick up a few pairs of Levi's (on sale, of course), and to know what I'm doing most of the time. Here's to strange, good times....

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