Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Holiday spirit

Ok so i know that i said i would post again the next day but let me tell you so many things come up randomly here I got so busy and finally have a "day off" today but still have so much to do, but this just happens to be on that list ;). Ok so I'll start with the first Holiday that we celebrated here and that was Thanksgiving. So just to set things up we normally do these big dinners where some people from different cultures get together and make like Indian food or American food so we already have like a group of us who do that. So within this group there are a decent amount of Americans so we decided that we needed to have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. So we kinda divided up the tasks and started our search for the many necessary items. The number one item being the turkey of course. We finally found a 12lb bird at some local butcher who like raised a lot of the meat that he sold so that was pretty sweet. In addition to the turkey we also made green bean casserole, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, steamed vegetables, and apple pies for desert. If you were to tell me before I came here that i was going to be cooking a Thanksgiving turkey and all the other things we had to bake in a German kid's oven (since we don't have one of our own in our guesthouse) I would have flipped out haha. Now the strange thing about my German friend's kitchen was that it was all gas powered. Now I understand the gas powered stove top and even oven, which i thought was pretty dangerous haha but we survived, but that was not all the sink in the kitchen was also gas powered..... If you're not sure what that means, this means that there was this big box which kinda looked like a paper towel dispenser above the faucet. Now when you turned on the hot water a small flame poofed inside of this box and was very intimidating since you could kind of see inside the box. But anyway We made it through and cooked everything to perfection and i was astonished at how good everything turned out as well. for a bunch of American kids who had never really cooked much in their live i was impressed and so were all the other kids from other cultures who Loved! our food and thanksgiving haha.
Now this next little story isn't based on a holiday but more of the giving spirit. The Saturday night in Rome that I left out from my last blog is what I'm talking about. So anyway I'm wondering around Saturday night in Rome seeing all the random sites when I stumble upon this Irish Pub with the game (Michigan vs. OSU) on and decided to watch it. It was already half time and I wanted to at least watch some of the second half because it wasn't too bad at this point. I walked in and it was pretty packed so I stood kind of by the door but still could see the half time highlights and such and then I got to talking to this guy who I could tell was a Michigan fan from the way he was cheering. We started talking and he invited me to sit and have a drink with him. So we got to talking and and watching the game, got to know each other pretty well, he got his MBA from Michigan and was living in California currently but lived three years in Italy prior so spoke fluent Italian and was now back on vacation with wife and couple colleagues. Well just as the game was wrapping up he asked me what I was up to tonight and since my friends weren't in yet i didn't really know. He then invited me to dinner with his wife and such and I accepted haha not sure what really to expect. But he picked up the tab (which i was happy about being a cheap college kid) and we starting walking towards the place where we were meeting people for dinner, all along the way he was pointing out random little things that i never would have known on my own, such as the first pub ever in Rome. But anyway we got the Pizzeria which was packed and got seats pretty quickly (it helps when you have someone who speaks fluent Italian haha), we sat down in this small hole in the wall place which was completely packed with Italians and Jay started to just order a bunch of stuff in Italian. We ate some traditional Italian appetizers one of which a deep fried pumpkin leaf with an anchovy flavoring which was delicious and other stuff. Then came the pizza. I got a cheese and honey baked ham pizza which was AMAZING! the crust was so buttery and the cheese and ham were sooo good. Then on top of that when i was stuffed already he ordered some dessert for us all to share, Tiramasu, Lemon sorbet, and some baked cream with fruit on top. This food and atmosphere was almost too much for me, i actually felt like an Italian it was crazy. Now once the bill came as you may have guessed, he looked at me and said, "Devon now here is the deal, when you get older and you are traveling for business or whatever I want you to pass this on. Remember it's not about the money but the experience you can give them". Then as we got out of there he just shook my hand and we headed in separate directions, such an amazing time that i was soo beyond blessed to experience.
Ok I know this is getting long and i debated actually blogging about this but it's worth it and really pretty funny. So after Thanksgiving as you all know is Christmas and the entire month of December getting in to the Christmas spirit. Now there are two guys here, from Indiana actually, I've gotten to know pretty well and i hang out with them a lot and we decided a long time ago that we needed to decorate for Christmas and originally we thought just paper snowflakes and such. But then one day before we left for this Christmas festival a couple towns over I saw this small pine tree out behind our dorm through the hallway window and I looked at them and said that we needed a Christmas tree. Long story short, we got back from the Christmas markets that night and found ourselves out back in the wooded area with large cerated kitchen knives sawing at this nearly six foot Christmas tree. We then proceeded to sneak it in the window of our friends room which was on that side and move it over to our room. It is now currently sitting in a large cup of water in a trash can to support it. We decorated it with the most random colorful items which we found around our rooms haha. So yea, um.... Christmas! and now as i am typing this it is snowing outside!

Much Love and Merry Christmas!

Devon Latimer

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