Last week, I taught 5 Thanksgiving lessons. Meaning, I taught the same lesson five times. Three times on Tuesday, each class back-to-back. That was a little surreal. All of my classes thought Americans give gifts on Thanksgiving, which I find to be a really strange idea. Gift-giving is for birthdays and Christmas! Fabian, one of my roommates, thought the same, and so I asked him why. He thought we gave each other presents, and then thanked each other for giving gifts. Hence, “Thanksgiving”. I suppose I can understand the logic of that.
Making a Thanksgiving Tree is a family tradition, one which I shared with my classes. I cut leaves (probably close to two-hundred!) out of colored construction paper, and a tree trunk with bare branches. We taped the tree up the wall, and then each student wrote something he or she was thankful for on his or her leaf. Each student had one leaf, and taped it up somewhere on the tree. That way, we “grew” a tree of thanks. They were all very excited about it, and you can see some examples of trees:
Thursday, I worked until 3:15, and then skedaddled back to my apartment to grab my things and make my train to Hamburg. At 9:33, I finally arrived at my destination, where the lovely Kayleen welcomed me to her city. We stayed up late drinking tea and chatting, a pair of activities which were to become very common during my stay with her. On Friday, we went to a farmer’s market underneath the Strassenbahn, and collected food for dinner. We collected Elise at the Hbf, and Kim and Burgwedel. We took over Kayleen’s kitchen, cooking chicken, regular mashed potatoes, spiced yams (also mashed), garlic bread, a delicious green salad with avocado, brussel sprouts, and, for dessert, the most amazing pumpkin pie I’ve ever had. Mmmmm. And, with the exception of the chicken, it was all vegan and Kat-friendly. ^_^ We drank wine, talked late into the night, and enjoyed each other’s company at our little American Thanksgiving dinner.
Kayleen and I attempted to tour Hamburg and do touristy things, on Saturday, but we were both sleep and slow-moving in the fog-laden city. We walked through the Elbetunnel, saw the Davidswache police station, and explored the spice museum. And then we were tired and hungry, so we retreated to Schanzenstern, an organic cafe, where we met Elise and Kim for hot chocolate and lunch. Afterwards, we all just walked through the dimly-lit streets of Hamburg. The fog, which before had made everything gloomy, now gave everything a mysterious, gothic feel. We couldn’t see the top of the church next to the Rathaus. The Weihnachtsmarkts were not yet open, but we walked through them, anyways, watching people set-up the stalls. I had Christmas carols in my mind. Now that we have had and enjoyed Thanksgiving, I am ready to start thinking about Christmas. ^_^