This morning when I walked into the office and wished my coworker and fellow California-expat a Happy Thanksgiving he just stared at me perplexed for a moment.
“Thanksgiving’s tomorrow isn’t it?”
His genuine confusion put me off balance and I mentally counted the days. “No, it’s Thanksgiving, I’m pretty sure.”
We discussed and checked the calendar and finally he conceded that it was in fact Thanksgiving. Considering that we both live in Munich – a city already awash in Christmas decorations – and his girlfriend is Canadian – who celebrated her Thanksgiving a month ago – his uncertainty is understandable.
Hell this isn’t the first time I’ve gotten it wrong either.
I realized this morning that is was three years ago last week that I flew into Munich for the last time, my final moving day. Ironically we were in our favorite restaurant celebrating on that anniversary, but we were celebrating someone else’s moving day, unaware of mine.
Last week Oliver’s brother-in-law Jan drove in to join Carolin in their new apartment, closing the chapter on their stupendously huge apartment and ridiculously cheap living costs in Berlin. Three years ago we celebrated my arrival in Makassar, six months ago we were engaged there and last week we forgot my moving anniversary and instead celebrated someone else’s big move in the same restaurant.
I only remember my moving day because it was supposed to be tomorrow, the day after Thanksgiving. It was totally my fault, I’ve never been good with dates. Instead of booking a flight for the Friday following the last Thursday of November I booked the one following the fourth Thursday which, sometimes, is not Thanksgiving. I only realized about a week and half before I was due to leave that something wasn’t right, and by then it was too late.
I felt bad missing the big family holiday but otherwise wasn’t so upset. I am a cheating vegetarian and only eat fish, so Thanksgiving really wasn’t my thing.
Tonight I celebrated the belated aquisition of my German driver’s license (accepted all over the world not just the 50 states thank you) and did a mini toast for Thanksgiving at the crowded little tapas bar around the corner. A young couple was making out hardcore in the corner giving me reason to believe that there may be at least one or two more people who will be very thankful tonight or early in the morning.
To all my friends and family I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving holiday, if it is in fact today.