I never realized how different cultures celebrate Thanksgiving.  Since there isn’t Turkey here, they actually serve that really fancy ham, Iberico.  (If you watch Brooklyn 99, that’s the ham the dude murdered for because it’s so fancy and expensive.)  And there’s so much potatoes.  I mean, I’ve notice that potatoes are a staple of the diet, but there was mashed potatoes (I was sad they weren’t smashed with garlic, but oh well), torta – it’s like a potato quiche and even french fries!

If you haven’t noticed everything that’s wrong with that first paragraph I will be happy to remind you that Thanksgiving is a US holiday which resulted in the deaths of Native Americans due to the pilgrims to simplify the origin of the holiday. So no, they don’t care about Thanksgiving overseas.  In fact I was too lazy to cook dinner and had a late lunch, so I just had some donuts from a bakery I passed by. YUM. Don’t worry mom told me everything she was cooking for dinner that night. I wasn’t jealous….at all.

Although there is no Thanksgiving, there is an important “Thanksgiving tradition” that is still celebrated overseas: Black Friday. Thank you capitalism. It was actually the first Black Friday that I have ever gone shopping and I’ve got to say it was a bit of a let down. The sales looked pretty good, I actually saw a Wii for 20€ which my brother yelled at me for not getting. But there was no crazies. I didn’t see any fights. People were just going about their day and shopping, like normal.

We actually went into the big city of the area to go shopping, Bilbao. Our destination, Zubiarte, designed by an American architect.  This was our first time in Bilbao, so it was a mini adventure.

While making our way to the mall, we saw a park. Immediately Ora and I, the typical tourists that we are, seeing the beautiful green pasture, the columns circling a patio with fountains, well we start running towards it yelling, “Picture!”

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Find a Tahlia on the other side of the rainbow

I am assuming that those lights come on when it gets dark and it must look pretty.  I mean it also looked pretty in the sunlight. And yes, it is still pretty warm here in case you couldn’t tell by me wandering around in just a flannel.  Loving this November weather. Unfortunately we did come to check out the mall and sales instead of wandering. (Truthfully I got to pick up the one thing I wanted in a store on the way to the mall, so was very disinterested in more shopping)

So while Ora went to check out clothes, Kelli and I booked it to get food.  There was McDonalds and Burger King – NOT HAPPENING. We chose a Chinese Buffet. Yes, there were some interesting differences. For one, there was a grill where you would put together a plate of raw meat, fish and and vegetables and they’d grill it up for you. Then there were the Chinese donuts but a very sad version. There was practically no sugar on these donuts. They were basically slightly sweet rolls to my dismay. Ora finally comes and joins us while I’m packing away my second plate. She was pretty astounded by the amount that I ate before contentedly admiring my new food baby. Guess just a difference between American and New Zealand culture because Kelli was on the same page as me.

As we took the train back to Getxo, I think that was the first time I had been awake to see the sunset (other than when we played our game but rugby was happening so didn’t care about the sky). I am very much enjoying the siesta life here.

P.S. In regards to my Thanksgiving joke in that first paragraph, those weren’t all lies.  Iberico ham is legit the fancy special ham here. As I don’t eat pork, I will probably not be trying it so don’t expect any further commentary. And potatoes are a staple. The potato torta, a quiche of potatoes and eggs and it seems like you can have other stuff in it, is EVERYWHERE. It’s delicious so it’s always a safe order when you go into the store.

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