Posted by: Jena Davison | November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Makes Me Thankful

Since it´s Thanksgiving back in the States, I thought I would write a quick post about some things I am thankful for back home, and the United States in general, after being in South America for almost seven weeks now:

1) Air conditioning. The super hot weather here has kept me drenched in sweat for the last ten days or so. Sleeping mostly consists of tossing and turning and wishing I was immersed in a pool of ice water.

2) The wide variety of international cuisine available. Not sure why, but I have been craving falafel and hummus for a good week now and have had little luck finding a place that offers either, let alone Indian food or Thai food, my favorites.

3. My queen-sized bed. As much as I love bunk beds and sharing space with three to seven other smelly, snoring travelers, I´d prefer to spread out in the comfort of my own bed back in New Jersey.

4. Things happening quickly and efficiently. Here, lines move painfully slow, waiting for a check at a restaurant takes forever, everything seems to be way more complicated than it should be. In fact, time barely seems to exist here, and I have yet to be able to find a clock in a public place.

5. Crossing the street without fearing for my life. Stop signs are non-existent here so crossing the street is like playing Russian roulette on the road.

6. Access to free, clean tap water all the time. Buying bottled water is a nuisance and definitely adds up cost wise. Never thought about how convenient it was to have tap water constantly available at restaurants, but having to always buy a drink definitely adds an extra $2 to every bill. Plus, worrying about having enough water to last through the hot night, long bus ride, etc. is just another thing to have on the mind.

7. Having everything open from 2pm-5pm. Here, siesta reigns. At around 2pm, and sometimes even earlier, the majority of shops, restaurants, banks close down until around 5pm. That makes it really hard to get things done, especially when you like to sleep in like myself. It also makes everywhere extremely crowded right before siesta.

8. Breakfast. Gosh, I forgot how much I love eggs, pancakes, french toast and bacon. Writing about this now makes my mouth water. I have pretty much become accustomed to eating white bread and jam for breakfast everyday, which is boring and repetitive.

9. Being able to communicate with everyone clearly. I have come to the point where I know enough Spanish to get around well and hold a simple conversation with a local, but there are times when I just can´t get my point across or can´t understand the meaning of something. I forgot how nice it is to go about everyday actions in English.

10. Thanksgiving meal with my family. This is the first year in my whole life where I won´t be home with my family for Thanksgiving. Truthfully, it doesn´t feel like Thanksgiving at all, because there are no Americans in sight, nor turkeys cooking in the oven. Plus, it is around 80 degrees farenheight here, which isn´t very autumn-like weather. That said, I am definitely missing my family and the marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes, turkey, stuffing, corn bread and apple pie that crowds my family´s Thanksgiving table.


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