that's our james

Disclaimer: This is my blog. No one else's. This is what I think about stuff. If others think the same thing, it's up to them to express it. The sole purpose of my writings is to keep my friends and family informed. My opinions are just that, opinions so don't get to worked up if something offends you. Thanks.

29 November 2007

Third pie’s the charm…

A week ago today I, like you, was celebrating Thanksgiving. For some odd reason, Thanksgiving is not that significant in Albania. I suppose it has something to do with the lack of Pilgrims and Indians. So to celebrate in proper fashion, we headed to Tirana. The Embassy and other American organizations or Americans working in Tirana do this really cool thing for us Peace Corps Volunteers. They invite us into their homes for a lovely traditional (more or less) Thanksgiving meal. Last year I had an amazing dinner with a great couple so I was very eager to replicate that experience.

I went up to Tirana on Wednesday for a presentation about careers in Foreign Service. Now one of the things that becomes of utmost concern as volunteer visiting Tirana is where to sleep. It’s just not fun to have to pay for a hotel, granted it’s not too expensive but we’re uber cheap. I thought I was going to be able to stay with a friend but that fell through. My friend Juliet, who was going to stay with me at a different friend’s apartment Thursday night, told me that she didn’t a place because her Thanksgiving hosts offered to let her stay at their house Wednesday and Thursday. Prior to be in the Peace Corps I don’t think I would have done this (though I cannot say for certain) but I asked her to ask her hosts if I too could stay Wednesday night. To my delight, they said yes.

After the presentation they drove us to their house and offered to make some pizzas, cheese dip, brownies, and even margaritas. It was great. We really do miss the food a LOT. We had great food, used the Internet, watched Harry Potter, and then went out to meet some friends. All in all, a very good night.

It got even better. The next morning they made pancakes and bacon. So good. Then since they were having Thanksgiving early, around noon, and my host was having it in the evening, they invited me to have Thanksgiving lunch with them. Of course I said yes. We had the works. Two turkeys (one oven-baked, one deep-fried), stuffing, green bean casserole, corn, cranberry sauce, and pie. It was so good. I was smart and did not stuff myself, keeping in mind that I had a big dinner to go to at 5pm.

After helping with clean-up and finishing reading Harry Potter (the 5th book), they drove me to meet my host for my Thanksgiving dinner.

Thanksgiving #2 was a bit unorthodox. My host wasn’t able to procure turkey so he opted for four varieties of lasagna. After the power came back on, the lasagna finished cooking and I ate another large, tasty meal. The other guests were really interesting people and I enjoyed hearing about their different backgrounds. Around 10pm or so, we left.

However, my Thanksgiving festivities were not quite over. I headed over to my Thanksgiving #3, my final one for the day, to get the keys to my friend’s apartment. I was stuffed and didn’t even try to eat anymore turkey, but… PECAN PIE! My friend had made pecan pie. It was the only thing missing from my Thanksgiving day. I always eat a slice of pumpkin and a slice of pecan. I was so happy to see that. I managed to find some room in my belly and enjoyed every last crumb.

After that I went to my friend’s place and was able to call my family and talk for a while. Granted it was after midnight my time and I don’t know how coherent I was, it was the perfect end to a perfect day.


At 2:08 PM, Blogger traveller one said...

Hi James,
Anytime you need a place to crash in Tirana we have a nice guest room here in our house near the student city. Just ask!

At 5:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I've been reading your blog. It's great! I just got my PC invite to Albania, and will leave in March. I'd love to chat about your experience. My email is if you get a minute.



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