Though we may sometimes forget about it due to the immediate sprinkling of Christmas decorations after Halloween, Thanksgiving is a time honored tradition in America. For Drexel students, it means coming home, plopping on your bed and passing out from exhaustion until someone wakes you for Turkey. In Brussels, it’s really just any other Thursday.
This can be disheartening if you’re accustomed to the family atmosphere this holiday provides. As an out of state student, I only get to go home three times a year, with Thanksgiving being one of them. This will be my first time not being home for the holiday and it’s a bit of bummer. However, I was still able to get one of the most essential parts of the holiday: a traditional dinner!
The American Club here in Brussels hosts a Thanksgiving Dinner every year for those of us who are seeking a hot meal for the holidays. Hosted at the Marriott in Grand Place, this is a pretty popular event. Everyone shows up in their fancy outfits and feasts together with fellow Americans. As much as I love using French when I’m out and about, it was also really nice to be surrounded by other Americans on this holiday.
After a short speech, we were treated to some New England clam chowder. My friend from Boston was not too impressed but as someone who is grossed out by clams and never had the dish before, it was not bad! We chatted with a nice couple from Texas who were unfortunately seated amongst a bunch of college kids for the night. They were very friendly and the easy conversation really reminded me of why I love the holidays.
Then came the main course. We were served a whole turkey for our table, mashed potatoes, green beans and mushrooms, sweet potatoes, home fries, corn pudding and some cranberry sauce. It was all amazing! Then straight after, a buffet of desserts was laid out: pumpkin, apple and pecan pie, carrot cake, tarte aux pommes, and fruit salad. All in all, it was way more food than I could eat, which definitely made me feel like I was back home.
It was a great time and as my friend said afterwards, “Now I can say I once celebrated Thanksgiving in Brussels!”
Hope yours was just as memorable 🙂