THAILAND: An American Thanksgiving in Chiang Mai

Tracy tending to the spreadAfter almost a month of eating grubs and greens you were beginning to feel a monumental craving for the wheat starches, saturated fats and simple sugars of your home cuisine. You didn’t feel an ounce of homesickness, but thoughts of bread, tea and cake dominated every waking thought.

A sudden brainwave inspires you to check Couchsurfing and you stumble across the profile of Carol Frodey, a retired American academic who settled in Thailand after 25 years teaching in Fiji. She emailed to let you know that there were three others also staying at her home, and that you were welcome to have Thanksgiving dinner with them too.

You had to pinch yourself: all you had wanted was some toast and maybe a bit of cake, and yet here was a total stranger offering a full roast dinner.

Tracy tending to the spread
Tracy tending to the spread

“You’ve never celebrated Thanksgiving before?” Gordana asks, running a hand over her yellow turban. She and her boyfriend Luke come from Arizona and have been with Carol for almost two weeks already.

“Well, you know- I’m British.”

“You need to eat to the point where you can’t move or else you’re not celebrating properly.” Another (American) couchsurfer chips in.

Come 1pm the table was heaving under the weight of the food: beer bread, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole with battered onions, a heap of herb stuffing, a sweet potato mash that melted into a pool of rich creaminess in your mouth and (of course) two bacon-wrapped turkeys roasted to succulent perfection.Two platefuls later you were in some discomfort. After a short interval in which you gave your stomach time to adjust to its new larger size, you chowed down two generous slices of pumpkin cheesecake (with homemade caramel sauce) and promptly fell into a food coma.

The kindness and the generosity of strangers is something you will always be thankful for.

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4 comments

  1. For years, I shared Thanksgiving dinners with an american family that wasn’t my own and came to adapt the tradition as my own and they, me, as their own family member. Life is from time to time wonderful!

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