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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

"Thanksgiving" Dinner in Paris

Since we're in France, with no family nearby, we signed up for a “Thanksgiving” dinner organized on Meetup  As the date grew nearer, it became clear from the broken English in the reminder emails that instead of an American, it was a French person organizing it.  I suppose to make a little money.  About 40 people paid the prepay, and about 30 showed up.  The organizer found a restaurant where we could all eat – about 30 people in a space the size of a small bedroom.  They had two long tables so close together you could barely move in any direction.  

We got there at the scheduled hour, 8 PM.  After standing around chatting for over an hour, we sat down.  We were seated next to two married couples living in Paris, each with an American wife and French husband.  Finally, around 9:45 PM, the first course arrived.  It was a huge bowl of mushroom soup, accompanied by a little toasted wonder bread sandwich of caramelized onions.  We were all laughing and saying, "of course, we always have mushroom soup and onion sandwiches for Thanksgiving!"  

Since there were thirty of us and only one cook and one server, it took quite a while to serve each course. It was about 10:15 before the next course arrived. We each got a huge platter with a thigh of turkey that was pretty good, some too-sweet sweet potatoes, a little piece of corn on the cob, two Brussels sprouts, sliced carrots, cranberry sauce with real cranberries, and a strange watery stuffing that actually tasted pretty good.  Finally, around 11PM, we got a piece of pumpkin pie that was made with barely-baked pumpkin-guts in their natural stringy state, and very little sugar.  It was revolting!  We were like kids stuck at the dining room table until we finished the vegetables we didn't want to eat.  Everyone took one or two bites and then ate a little of the crust and left the rest.  We finally got done after 11:30 PM, and made it home by 12:15 or so. 
But we met two nice couples in the process, so it was worth it. One couple had gotten married only a month before.  The wife is from LA, and the husband is from Paris.  They met and married within about 6 months!  She just moved here a month ago.  She's gone from being a single lawyer in LA to being a married English tutor living in a bachelor pad in Paris in the space of a few months.


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