Anglo Adventure

Travel with a sense of humor


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My Impossible-to-Escape Turkey Day Tradition

Turkey Day, Seattle

This is what November looks like here. Isn’t it pretty?

I did it. I finally made a turkey. Ok, my husband did most of, ok all of the gross stuff like stuffing it with apples and herbs to make it aromatic and piercing the thigh with a meat thermometer every hour. I participated by inspecting the meat to make sure we weren’t giving all of our friends food poisoning.

I know what you’re thinking…Thanksgiving is a couple days away.

Being nomads, we’ve never done a true Thanksgiving. We spent our first Thanksgiving married in a Shari’s Diner eating half-frozen turkey sandwiches with blobs of cranberry sauce on the side. I cried.

I vowed never to let that happen again, so for the next few years we found a fancy restaurant and dined there. Still didn’t feel right. No football, no drunk cousins, no Cool Whip? Something about the white-linen tablecloth made me feel awkward making a mashed-potato volcano. Too fancy, no family. And I cry again.

Thankfully, a friend took me in the next year, when The Husband was in Quebec and I was in Seattle. No crying and I am still grateful. Be supportive to your Thanksgiving strays, they’ll remember it.

Canadian Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Poutine

Poutine and plastic fork. Even Elwood realized it wasn’t Thanksgiving.

Then came the Quebec year. Thanksgiving isn’t a big to-do in Quebec like it is here.

First, their Thanksgiving (L’action de Grace) takes place before Halloween. That’s strange. It’s like eating dessert before dinner. And most people, at least in Quebec see Thanksgiving as a day off to cover their pools and construct their carports. Most people I knew didn’t even eat turkey.

That’s right: Thanksgiving in Belle Province is pretty much relegated to a labor-day type of holiday. Which is fine, they have plenty of awesome holidays and at the time, I thought I could use a break from American-style gorging. Continue reading

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Why are Americans so fat? 5 clues from skinny countries

The Stereotype:

betty draper fat,

Betty Draper - fat and rich. Classic American stereotype.

(Disclaimer: I don’t care that Betty Draper is fat. It makes her more human. Read about why we care so much.)

If you plan to live abroad, expect to be asked, “Why is everyone in your country so fat?” Pre-arm yourself with a response because it’s likely to make you mad.

Real-life Examples:

My dentist once told me to open my mouth like I was eating a Big Mac. I almost retorted with, “why don’t you open your mouth like you’re eating a baguette?” 

A Moroccan friend announced to our class that I gained weight. I attributed this more to a cultural misunderstanding more than my three-week binge over Christmas in the States.

My French teacher once said, “Les femmes qui viennent des Estas Unis sont groses” I responded with a “C’est pas vrais!”

I love Americans, I am American and I can finally admit the truth: Yes, yes we are. We are fatter than Canada and probably most other countries. But why? What the hell is going on here? All I had to do was cross to the Great White North and I felt like I shed five pounds within the first month. I didn’t drastically change my eating habits and actually picked up a few bad ones.

Fries with mayo? Pourquoi pas! Weekly poutine? Oui, oui.

And it’s not like Canada doesn’t have an obesity problem. But the American percentage is around 10% higher. Continue reading