Thanksgiving and Overdue Gossip

So the thanksgiving party, which was held at my house, was a great success (if you don´t consider the absolute dearth of a certain traditional Thanksgiving bird in the southern reaches of the Iberian Penninsula to be indicative of an inadequate celebration). We were ten strong, and more likely than not, the only ten people celebrating Thanksgiving in all of Arcos. The dinner was hosted by the three Americans teaching in Arcos, but one might suggest that it was especially hosted by me on account of the dispraportionate amount of cleaning up that I performed, well, the next afternoon.

Happy for an excuse to drink red wine and hang out with the cool Americans, three whole Spanish people came to our dinner.

Cece, Becca and I had prepared two five-pound chickens; Cece´s chicken was a more elegantly presented bird, carefully uniformed with tactfully placed cloves of garlic, lemon wedges, and fresh paresely, while coated in a Spanish amount of olive oil, topped with pepper, curry powder and thyme.

Becca´s and my chicken, on the other hand, erred more to the utilitarian, shall we say meat and potatoes approach, without sacrificing a certain grace which the warm afternoon sunshine illuminated in one of my photographs seen below. Carrots, onions and potatoes were heaped around, on, and in the bird, serving as a satiating basis for a solid Thanksgiving chicken. Visually not quite Cece´s epicurean display of gratitude for the harvest, which is truly at the roots of the holiday, our chicken fared just as well with the hungry group.

Traditional sides of green beans, mashed potatoes,  and stuffing rounded out the meal. Roughly one bottle of wine per person – consumed in myriad vessels ranging from small Simpsons-adorned glasses to dessert bowls to shot glasses, but exclusively not from wine glasses – kept the conversation exuberant, and was a key factor in the whole table offering individual thanks in Spanish, regardless of ability.

Dessert was a motley arrangement of apple tart, made by Alberto, a fascinating and delicious variation on jello brought by Miles (compliments of his grandmother), and rounds of shots of frozen caramel vodka (amazing stuff, really).

While I did very much miss the family and tradition of thanksgiving at my grandparents´ house, the spirit of the holiday was duly present. Being able to spend the day with my friends here was special, and I am grateful to even have the opportunity to celebrate Thanksgiving so far from home.

I would like to add, as a postscript to this section of my entry, congratulations aunt Sharon on your victory in the annual ping-pong tournament. I, however, would like to add an * for the obvious reason that a serious contender was not present at this competition, and is sure he would have emerged victorious this year if he were present. That is all.

The gossip section of this blog is hurting. That much is obvious. There is little scandal in Arcos, and what scandal there is has not been made manifest to the eyes and/or ears of this newcomer. So, I will write about what I do know.

1.) Iván and Noelia

It is my firm belief that these two four year-olds are in a relationship. While many factors, most patantly the inherant lack of communication abilities characteristic of these small years, prevent me from confirming this suspision, I will present what evidence I have.

a.) They sit next to each other, always. Nevermind the fact that these are assigned seats, if I had to guess what kinds of relationships two four year-olds were carrying on, a relationship of convenience would be high on my list.

b.) They hold hands and hug a lot. It is mostly of Noelia´s initiation, but like they say, girls mature faster than boys. Perhaps Iván does not realize that he is in a relationship. They will have to address this issue, most likely with an intricate, incomprehensable series of hugs, pushes, chases and 14-word conversations before they are ripped apart by the cruel assigned seating plan of next year´s preschool teacher (or for that matter before the summer).

c.) They share their snacks. It is such a comfortable action for them that words are rarely exchanged in this act. And it is not as if nobody is talking; a conversation about the color of a crayon or the flavor of table-mate María´s juice might be thriving, with language acquisition blooming like a kindergarten, but the simple act of sharing food, which was described in a recent This American Life broadcast as one of the most intimate of human interactions, is so second-nature for Iván and Noelia that these children´s limited vocabulary would and could not do justice to the emotional symbolism of the exchange.

As I hope I have defended, Iván and Noelia are, to the best of my knowledge, in an exclusive relationship. You will be the first to know if they break-up.

In other news, the bench-watch is going to need a new strategy. I realized I am extremely intimidated by the prospect of approaching large groups of unkown, elderly Spanish men. I would not be surprised if they were talking about 18 year-old girls, the weather, or even absolute nonsense, but I also realized that the impossibly thick andaluz accent/quasi-dialect spoken especially by the town´s ancianos would likely just fly right over my head like one of Arcos´ majestic, cliff-dwelling red-tailed hawks.

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~ by lincolnbrody on November 29, 2007.

One Response to “Thanksgiving and Overdue Gossip”

  1. i had garlic bread and a pork tenderloin for thanksgiving.

    i didn´t realize before that your hallway picture was only one photograph…

    en cuanto a tiny relationships, i´ve definitely noticed a certain amount of six-year-old girls who have already figured out how to turn six-year-old boys into their boytoys. i can see certain surefire heartbreakers on the distant horizon.

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