Thursday, November 28, 2019

Poetry Friday: Thankful From Afar


I am thankful to be hosting Poetry Friday this week. What is Poetry Friday you may ask? Click here for a great explanation. I've been a member of this community for a number of years, but have been a bit irregular in my participation the past 2+ years because I moved...

Herzlich Willkommen in der Schweiz! (Warm welcome to Switzerland!)
Thank you for coming to my home in Hünenberg See, Switzerland for Poetry Friday this week. I am happy you are here. 😀

Swiss chocolate and Swiss cheese at its source.













Happy (belated) Thanksgiving! Being an expat in Switzerland has brought a new appreciation for a lot of things I took for granted in the United States. (Not the least of which is the English language!) Thanksgiving has always been a holiday that I frankly was not that fond of in the past. Many years have been celebrated by eating Turkey Tacos (much to the chagrin of my eldest daughter). But now that I live abroad and the fourth Thursday in November is just like any other day, I long for a traditional Thanksgiving with family, turkey, and days off.

I miss my US based family all year long, but most especially on holidays. Since we couldn't do much about celebrating with them this year, we did invite our downstairs' neighbors to a traditional American Thanksgiving for tomorrow, Saturday.

This invitation is ending up to be a pretty big undertaking. First off, our neighbors are German, from Berlin, and we will be sitting around the Thanksgiving table speaking only German. We know more Deutsch than they know English! It will take our language learning to the next level!

Then there is the food. Finding a turkey is no easy task in Switzerland. Turkeys are native to the Americas, not Europe. As such they are quite expensive when you do find them. If you go organic, you really pay for it.













(The exchange rate right now is $1 = CHF1)

We were able to find an affordable-ish bird locally, but it is not organic nor fresh.

Saturday night's dinner!

Hopefully 2.8kg will feed all 5 of us!





Generally speaking, the turkeys here in Switzerland are smaller than the American birds. One reason for this is the ovens here are generally smaller. A common US oven is 30 inches while a Swiss oven is only 23.6 inches. Smaller ovens necessitate smaller birds.

Now if you are not interested in cooking your turkey yourself, there is a local service, Truthahn Taxi (Turkey Taxi), that will deliver a cooked turkey dinner to your home.











You can tell that they cater to expats as their menu is in English, but the prices are definitely Swiss.

















Needless to say, I couldn't get my husband on board with this Taxi service. Maybe next year there will be a cheaper Truthahn über service. (See what I did there?)

So far our hunt for cranberry sauce has been fruitless. (I did it again!) But the potatoes for mashing, gravy, green bean casserole, and pie ingredients have all been purchased. Now we just have a Saturday of cooking ahead of us!

And finally being in Switzerland at Thanksgiving makes you notice the severe absence of a 4-day weekend. Again, it's just another Thursday in November.

But today is no normal Friday, it's Black Friday! The Swiss do Black Friday in a big way. And interestingly enough, the Black Friday sales advertisements are in English. (Nicht schwarz Freitag.) Too bad we don't get the day off to shop though...

Today's poem is about an unlucky turkey whose relocation efforts defeated her on a certain Thursday in November.

There once was a turkey named Dot,
A new life in Europe she sought.
She got her way
Until Thanksgiving day
Then sadly ended up in a pot.
©2019, Bridget Magee. All Rights Reserved.

Switching gears from an unfortunate turkey to our good fortune of
being gathered together in our shared love of poetry on this 
Thanksgiving weekend. Have you ever celebrated a holiday abroad 
in a country/culture where it was not acknowledged? What did you 
miss the most? Let me know in the comments. 

And be sure to leave a link to your Poetry Friday post below.

Thankfully yours,
Bridget


36 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your fun poem! I have never traveled for turkey day BUT always wanted to go to Norway or Iceland during Christmas. Those places are so beautiful during the holidays (and the rest of the year too!). Have fun on your adventure!

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    1. Thank you, Tim, for stopping by! Yes, Norway and Iceland are on our list of places to visit, though I think we will try for the summer holidays. =)

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  2. Thanks Bridget for filling us in a bit on life in Switzerland. I hope you have a thankful and happy Thanksgiving celebration with your friends–and my hat goes off to you for the hoops you had to jump through to gather all the parts together. Lovely little ditty about poor dot. Thanks also for hosting the roundup!

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    1. Thank YOU, Michelle, for stopping by. The dinner was a success I am happy to report, despite the creative combination of ingredients we had to put together to make some of our recipes. =)

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  3. Happy Thanksgiving! So good to hear from you; have missed your regular participation in PF. I can relate to your experience of celebrating T abroad. In London, the butcher thought we were crazy to ask for a turkey more than 6 pounds! We enjoyed introducing our British friends to a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Love your poem, which made me sympathize with the turkey of course. Enjoy your dinner on Saturday!

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    1. Thank you, Jama, for stopping by! Yes, my British colleagues sympathized with my ambition, but were glad to not have turkey. Most Europeans I've met are not familiar or fans. =)

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  4. What an epic Thanksgiving feast! From the shopping to the cooking to the mealtime conversation...wow! We are grateful that you've made it back to Poetry Friday. I've been away for several weeks and I really miss the community. It's good to be back.

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    1. I agree, Mary Lee, it feels really good to be back! Thank you for stopping by and welcoming me back into the community. I'm going to do better in the New Year to be a bit more active. =)

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  5. I'm glad you were able to pull it all together to have your own unique feast. We once purchased a turducken for Christmas. It cost us over $100. It was interesting, but I wouldn't do it again.
    Here's my story about spending my first Christmas away from home in the USA. (I know they celebrate it - but it was the first time away)
    When I was young, my partner and I and a couple of friends went traveling south. We ended up spending Christmas Eve camping out in the Grand Canyon. It was bitterly cold. We had been drinking beer and I woke in the middle of the night in dire need of a toilet. When I moved, the ice on our sleeping bag crackled. On Christmas day there was none of the usual hullabaloo, but we enjoyed hiking and admiring the views.

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    1. Thank you, Cheriee, for stopping by! Your Grand Canyon Christmas sounds both magical and memorable - crackling ice on the sleeping bag you're lying in - burr! I've never tried a Turducken, and at that price, probably never will. =)

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  6. How did I not know you were in Switzerland, Bridget--and for 2 years?! Enjoy your Truthahn, and your German-speaking company. Now I am going to scroll backwards through your blog to see what I've been missing with my sporadic PF participation.

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    1. So good to hear from you, Buffy! Yes, please check out what's been happening in my corner of the world and I will do better to visit you and all of the PF peeps more often. =)

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  7. Thank you for hosting Bridget -and thank you for the excellent overview of turkey acquisition in Switzerland. You have added much that chips away at my ignorance. I enjoyed your jaunty rhyme as well. Living and working in the US for six years always presented problems when celebrating Australia Day. Acquiring ingredients to make a pavlova or Anzac biscuits became a major challenge and vegemite was such a rarity in shops. It calls for a great deal of persistence in order to celebrate a national holiday abroad- and in isolation.

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    1. Thank you, Alan, for stopping by! You definitely can relate to my experience. I have a few Australian colleagues who have shared similar food finding dilemmas here in Switzerland. Thank goodness for the internet for some things. =)

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  8. Bridget, I love seeing you hosting, and you know I always love hearing about the interesting changes you encounter in Switzerland. My daughter reminded me that once in Mexico while looking for cranberries, never found. Of course we "made do" with mangoes! I love your poem, never know what different geographies will give us! Thanks for hosting and hope your 'special' Thankgiving was wonderful.

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    1. You are always such a warm and welcoming guest, Linda! I think mangoes would be a yummy addition to any meal. Hope you had a great holiday with your loves. =)

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  9. So wonderful to see you active and hosting today, Bridget! I know what you mean about the expat Thanksgiving experience. For the years we lived in Australia, we didn't ignore the holiday, but it was a bit strange—mostly because of the reversed seasons. It was just too dang hot to prepare a traditional Thanksgiving dinner (or Christmas dinner for that matter). Fish and chips on the beach seemed far more sensible!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Michelle! Weather truly effects your mood about certain holiday doesn't it? A warm Thanksgiving/Christmas then a cold Fourth of July in the Southern Hemisphere would take some getting used to. Fish and chips is a perfect alternative any day of the year! =)

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  10. Thank you for hosting and a Happy Thanksgiving to you. I hope your celebration is special. I went to my first every Thanksgiving lunch yesterday. An American friend and colleague is, like you, far from home, so invited all her Australian friends to come help her celebrate.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Sally! What did you think of your first Thanksgiving meal? Our German neighbor had never had turkey and was duly impressed with it. (Luckily it turned out really good, if I do say so my self. =)

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  11. Thank you for hosting! I really enjoyed reading about your Swiss Thanksgiving. Just celebrated a Haitian one myself. Hope you have fun at your dinner tomorrow!

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    1. Thank you, Ruth, for your kind Thanksgiving wishes. How was the turkey acquisition in Haiti or did you serve something else?

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  12. Happy Thanksgiving! I enjoyed reading your about your experience in Switzerland. I've never been that far away on a holiday, but did experience a Thanksgiving with my daughter in England. Enjoy the cooking and feasting tomorrow.

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    1. Thank you, Kay, for your kind Thanksgiving wishes. I hope you had a lovely holiday in your neck of the woods. =)

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  13. Thanks so much for hosting this week and for sharing your expat Thanksgiving. I loved learning about your turkey purchasing challenges and different oven sizes. I also enjoyed your limerick about poor doomed Dot. Hope your celebration was wonderful!

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    1. Thanks, Molly, for stopping by! Besides the ovens, the refrigerators are smaller here as well. Again, makes food prep and leftover storage a bit of a challenge. Hope you had a great holiday with your family. =)

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  14. Thank you for hosting from so far away! I wish I could share my leftovers with you! I remember cooking a Thanksgiving turkey during my junior year abroad in Scotland. I forgot to take the plastic bag of "goodies" out before cooking! Who even knew it was in there?

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    1. Thank you, Christie, for your kind offer to share your leftovers! We have some leftovers, but not nearly as much if we'd had gotten a bigger turkey! The turkey we got here didn't come with the plastic bag of 'goodies' in it. Funny memory from Scotland! =)

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  15. Hello, Bridget! Your post made me laugh--I spent a looooong time yesterday, after searching for a certain recipe in my FCR Binder (Fre*uently Cooked Recipes) deciphering a menu plan with seating chart from the Thanksgiving that we celebrated--on a Saturday--with French guests the year we lived in Paris. We also had trouble getting a turkey, and there was no Truthahn Taxi to help! I'm glad you will celebrate and it's very nice to have you back in the Poetry Friday mix. Enjoy!

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    1. Thank you, Heidi, for your kind comment. I have a FCR binder as well! I love that you had a Parisian Thanksgiving memory. Trying to navigate the meal prep AND speak French would be much tougher for me than German, I think. =)

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  16. Thanks so much for hosting, Bridget, and for sharing your Thanksgiving process with us! My oven accidentally got turned off when I was messing with the timer, which threw off our meal a bit. Whoops! People were great about it, though.
    I spent the 4th of July in England once. Got a lot of ribbing.

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    1. Thanks, Tabatha, for stopping by! I could totally see me forgetting to turn ON the oven then wondering why the food is not cooking. Luckily my husband is more adept to cooking than me. I ended up on shopping/veggie duties.
      Yeah, the Brits are none too forgiving (in a good natured way) about the 4th of July. =)

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  17. I remember our Thanksgivings abroad. The first year we were surprised to discover that our turkey didn't fit in our small Hong Kong oven! I hope it all worked out, in German! Your limerick made me laugh.

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    1. Thanks, Liz, our turkey fit in the oven and actually came out tasting surprisingly good. Our dinner conversation was a challenge, but unsere Deutsch ist besser. =)

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  18. Hi Bridget! Switzerland is on my list of places to visit, someday. Thank you for the fun turkey poem and for sharing little things about Switzerland! I understand how you feel about missing Thanksgiving celebration with your family and friends in the US. I felt the same way when I moved to America from the Philippines, as far as Christmas celebration is concerned. I hope everything works out for you in Switzerland! =)

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    1. Thanks, Fats, for stopping by 'Switzerland' in a manner of speaking. Yes, spending Christmas (or any holiday for that matter) away from those you love makes things difficult. So far so good here as long as we get to travel home to the US periodically. =)

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