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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Thanksgiving in Thessaloniki

This year for Thanksgiving my friend Sonja and I travelled down to Thessaloniki, Greece to spend a few days with our friends Amy and Jenn from America who live in Thessaloniki. We took the train, which almost without fail provides some kind of interesting experience. This time we had interesting conversations with two different women who sat in the same compartment as us. Then at the border when it came time to check passports I was reminded of how conspicuous I am as an American. The police come and collect all the passports, but then you must go to the station to retrieve them. They call out names, and people step forward to get the passport back. They were calling out Greek names and Macedonian names, then they got to mine and just yelled, "The American passport!". I had to laugh at how much I stick out.

We had a wonderful time in Thessaloniki hanging out with Jenn and Amy, relaxing and preparing for Thanksgiving meal. Their balcony overlooks the Aegean Sea, and you can see Mount Olympus (that's the mountain in the picture) when the air is clear. I enjoyed the peaceful surroundings

and company very much. The shepherd and his flock of sheep in the neighboring field, the forest in front of the kitchen window, the horse that lives nearby and loves it when you give him an apple.

Thanksgiving day we gathered at

Tommie's place, which is just around the corner from Jenn and Amy. It was certainly the most unique Thanksgiving celebration I have ever been a part of. There we were Americans, Greeks, Swedes and Macedonians all gathered in Greece in a Swedish home celebrating an American holiday. After the meal Tommie's neighbor who is a musician provided us with live entertainment, which was a wonderful way to end the evening.

The trip home on the train provided further intrigue. A young policeman who was working at the border noted where we were sitting on the train, and when he got on to ride for about half an hour he chose to sit with us. Come to find out he is single and looking for a wife. He proceeded to question us about our occupations, ages and other pertinent information. I think Sonja may have scared him off for us when she mentioned Jesus and he completely shied away from the topic. So we said goodbye to him at Miravci, and made the rest of the journey by ourselves.

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