As I had anticipated in my Halloween post, I was curious to see how the Thanksgiving Day would turn out to be here in its “homeland”. In particular, I hoped that I could take part in a gathering with the Italian community, but naturally any event would be fine.
First of all, it must be said that this is one of the most important American holidays, probably more “felt” than Christmas itself, being the real festivity when families gather together to celebrate. For this reason, Berkeley had become a desert already on Wednesday, i.e. the day before Thanksgiving: all students (at least the American ones) had gone back home to spend Holidays with their families until Sunday. I am saying “Holidays” quite literally: I had seen around posters reading “Happy Holidays” for several days, which is quite strange to my Italian eyes in late November. In fact in my Country the “Holidays” period (that is, the “Christmas holidays” period) normally starts on December 8, which is the Immaculate Conception feast.
Unfortunately no big event was organized by the main group of the Italians in Berkeley, so I found an agreement with Riccardo – one of my best friends here – to take part in a party in San Francisco together with some other Italian friends of his.
In the meantime, on Wednesday night I decided to go to my beloved International House, which had organized a gala dinner, obviously based on turkey and other specialty food of this period (such as squash, sweet potatoes, and so on). My rationale was: since you can never know, let us participate in this nice event, then we will see about tomorrow. Unfortunately I do not have any pictures to post, but in the end there was nothing special to photograph (no royal turkey or stuff like that). By the way, in that occasion I found one of the Italian guys that I had met during the Italian gatherings in the previous months: the chat that we had in front of the fireplace in the Great Hall reminded me about the period that I spent there last summer. Well, apart from the burning fireplace 🙂
The following day I did have confirmation that taking part in the dinner at the International House had been a very good idea. Riccardo in fact informed me that the number of official guests and unofficial gatecrashers (including me) at the event that I was supposed to attend was such that basically there was not enough physical room in the house to accommodate the whole group. Therefore, friends’ friends were kindly invited to look for other solutions. Too bad, also considering that in the meantime I had declined the invitation to another party with the colleagues of my department!
OK, never mind: at this point of my US experience I am quite used to facing hitches or unlucky situations. After all, the following day, while apparently the entire Italy was recovering from a compulsive Black Friday’s shopping, Riccardo and I prepared a 100%-Italian dinner based on pasta with tomato sauce… which is far better than any turkey 🙂