What I Did On My Holidays


Chapter 26

A Fair Dinkum Thanksgiving

25/11/99
Day 19

John takes us back to his place in his electric car. This is my first ride in an electric car, not counting the dodgem cars when I was younger. John didn't drive like that either. One of the things about electric cars is that the motor makes virtually no noise, or so I've heard.

One of the things John likes about EVs is that there is no motor noise to interfere with a stereo. However, at his preferred volume for listening, he could have a full on burble burble V8 under the bonnet (or is that hood? Dang foreign languages, too confusing). You wouldn't notice. The lucky back seat passenger even gets a massage from the sub woofer under the seat. John even has to steer clear of small Japanese cars in case they get stuck to the speaker magnets.*

John and his wife Cheryl, being the wonderful people that they are, invited us to share Thanksgiving with them. We, being freeloading tourists, accepted. This was great because we got to experience Thanksgiving, a real Thanksgiving, not some tacky fake Thanksgiving tourist trap, but a real, in the wild, Thanksgiving just like the natives have it. Also, we were a bit hungry.

(The next instalment is an exciting account of the history of Thanksgiving and its modern methodology. Won't that be fun?)

In the midst of the Thanksgiving food fest, there was light conversation about all sorts of things that could be probably be categorized as:

1) Stories from John (or about John): John is one of these rare people that emit story particles (anecdotinos) so fast that they spontaneously coalesce into tales amazingly often. On the EV list, they are known as Wayland stories, and are always a great source of entertainment.

2) Accent wars: This was something of a theme for the weekend. John started it by claiming he doesn't have an accent, but that we talk funny. This is despite the fact that he failed the roof test. He called it a "ruf", while the rest of his family got it right. This does demonstrate the futility of trying to describe accent variations in text. A certain section of the population would read the above as "He called a ruf a ruf" and then think "So what's your point?" So I shall give up on giving examples and simply note that there were some variations of pronunciation noted.

3) Weather: Sooner or later everyone ends up talking about the weather, particularly when extremes are evident. It had been raining in Portland for three days by the time we arrived, and we had heard that back in sunny Australia, there had been several days of 35 degrees (Celsius not Fahrenheit). So we talked about how hot and how cold different places were, how there were hurricanes in Florida and tornadoes in Tornado Alley. We all failed to understand why anyone lives in places where the weather is so bad and so extreme. John said that Portland didn't have such ridiculous weather and then described the annual ice storms that froze one side of the house so you couldn't use the front door. Yeah, sure, nice safe sane weather in Portland if you don't mind pulling out the ice-skates one week of the year.

4) Other stuff: There was other stuff talked about, but I can't remember anything particularly amusing about them, and this list is long enough.
 

Next came the pumpkin pie, the traditional Thanksgiving dessert. I had to explain to our American hosts that in Australia, pumpkins are considered a vegetable. Putting pumpkin into a dessert would be considered an unnatural act. But I must admit it makes a pretty good dessert.


* I made that bit up. (back)


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