Monday, November 03, 2014

Where All The Parties At?

Apologies for backdating this post and the next one. I'm dealing with a sick cat who is 4,000 miles away from me and a small financial snafu caused by living in a different country from where my credit history does. I'm not abandoning NaBloPoMo, I'm just finessing the numbers a little bit. Also, don't worry, everything's fine.

I was doing pretty well for a while, homesickness-wise. I was even almost maybe a little bit starting to think of the place where I am actually living as my home. I'm part of things now: I commute to work like a person who lives here, I have relationships with my neighbours where we do things together, and I occasionally tell StereoNinja about places nearby he's not aware of, such as the Italian store in the next town over where I buy the Italian sausage I spent months trying to get my hands on and where you can also buy a jar of olives the size of your head for £2.50 ($4.00 USD).

But there's something about this time of year, the time between the lead up to Halloween and Thanksgiving, that really drives home the point that I am not, in fact, anywhere near my home. This is largely because England doesn't do these things. I mean Halloween exists, kind of, in that you can buy a pumpkin and carve it, if you're into that, but you'll buy that pumpkin at Sainbury's and they'll all be nearly the same size and roughly the same shape. There are no pumpkin sellers set up in abandoned parking lots (there are no abandoned parking lots at all actually) or pumpkin patches out the back of the local farm shop, and there are no pumpkins of unusual size, shape, nubbiness or color. I showed StereoNinja some photos on the internet of giant pumpkins from pumpkin growing contests and he was amazed: he had no idea a pumpkin could get that big or that growing them competitively was a thing you could do. Similarly, while kids do dress up and go trick or treating, it's not all of them, it's not traditional, and it's not in any way organized. StereoNinja had no idea what I was talking about when I asked him what time trick or treating was because the city does not specify what time trick or treating is allowed. And the decorating is almost non existent. If I dressed my house up the way people in American would for Halloween, with lights and spider webs and skeletons hanging from the tree and gravestones in the front yard and a scarecrow and the butt of a witch, I would at the very least get a stern letter from the island committee that my decorating has "spilled out" and advising me to clear the detritus from my garden post haste. And while Halloween is half-assed, Thanksgiving is entirely non-existent, though in all fairness, the other Americans I know living here and I all force pumpkin pie and a roast dinner on people in late November, so while it's not actually a thing, we do all seem to stubbornly refuse to give in and admit defeat.

Anyway, the point is, I wasn't homesick and now I am again, and I'm going to go eat the entire box of American food I ordered online that arrived today and drink all 24 cans of root beer it came with RIGHT NOW.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm in the US and I want to know where I can order a box of 24 cans of root beer to drink in one go...

S said...

I'm Lancashire born and bred, and I do Thanksgiving every year. I alao grow huge pumpkins and make pumpkin pie. I am an honorary American perhaps?

S said...

Also, Halloween lasted from Friday night til Sunday night and I managed six scary films in that time. I also ate most of the sweets I'd got for Trick or Treaters.

amberance said...

Anonymous: I ordered two boxes of twelve cans, which arrived in one box along with Lipton onion soup mix and two boxes of Snyder's of Hanover sourdough pretzels.

amberance said...

S - You win at everything: picking the right Americanisms, pumpkin growing, the internet, general awesomeness, etc. Also, you win at pie.

Jasmine said...

I find Hallowe'en is getting to be a bigger deal since I moved over here over 10 years ago. There's decorations in the shops, you can actually find a pumpkin to carve... And with Guy Fawkes night only days away, all the fireworks you could want.

though I do miss pumpkin pie, HARD.