A few weeks ago I was browsing through a few of my favorite Expats’ (in Brasil) blogs and found as usual Gringo Gene was full of good information. He mentioned the American Society in Rio. I thought “my goodness here 7 years and I didn’t know there was an American group” I used his link to find their website, saw a Thanksgiving dinner was planned at the Marriott in Copacabana, sent Camillo to pay for a membership for us and for two Thanksgiving dinners and WE WENT. (Camillo hates turkey but was a good sport about it!)
On Thursday, we got gussied up, took a taxi to Copacabana (a 15 minute drive, a 45 minute walk, this night a 45 minute taxi ride) had cocktails with about 75 strangers overlooking the Copacabana coastline, sat at a table with six others strangers to the group and made 3 trips to the buffet in an effort to enjoy a little of everything.
My first trip around I didn’t know the system and stayed on the near side of the buffet tables, missing the fresh roasted turkey – that was really good – once I found it. I gave the chef a thumbs-up and received a big smile in return.
For most of the past 7 years, I made a trip back to Houston in November to cook Thanksgiving dinner for my daughter and her two, and invite a few friends to make cooking worth the effort. This year I didn’t make it and for a substitute this meal did the trick, but I really like giblet dressing cooked in the bird, fresh made jellied cranberries, real white potatoes whipped till creamy, baked squash and sweet potatoes, and both pumpkin and pecan pies – in other words MY traditional meal.
In the end we both enjoyed ourselves, Camillo was able to brush up on his charm school tactics with the two Brasilian women on his left – he kept them laughing all evening, if I am understanding the Portuguese in full by making fun of his very American wife - and I talked with the young newlyweds (two couples) on my right. We both agreed though that we need to participate all year round in order to fully enjoy all the people who were there. I put in for volunteer work and wait to see what is brought my way.