Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving and More!

It's been a big week, and most of my classes consisted of discussing Thanksgiving (pilgrims, Squanto, Louisiana fried turkey, green bean casserole, turducken, football, Black Friday). Thanksgiving was also my big shopping day. Thursdays I usually teach in Liezen, but my schedule is such that I arrive at 9:00 am and am kept busy until 4:00 pm. By that time I'm too tired to walk back into town and shop. This Thursday, however, I didn't have to teach. I rode with my favorite bus driver into Liezen, and proceeded to help the Austrian economy by shopping for clothes, books, speakers for my laptop, etc. I also had coffee in my favorite cafe and a pre-Thanksgiving salad in my favorite kebab house. At 4:00 pm, Rob and I met at Caitlin's place and prepared the traditional Upper Styrian Thanksgiving dinner: turkey schnitzel and mashed potatoes. We also found (wait for it!) real Pillsbury crescent rolls! Frau Auer, Caitlin's neighbor contributed broccoli, and I made an apple pie for dessert, which we served with vanilla ice cream. Heaven!!!

I have been keeping busy with 13 hours of teaching per week, plus at least 5-6 hours of tutoring. Last weekend, I went to a pottery workshop with Irene where we learned some free form pottery techniques, then made some items to be glazed and fired for Christmas. We drove home in nearly white-out conditions in some places.

Tomorrow is the Krampus parade in Irdning (unfortunately scheduled for the same night as the big Krampus parade in Schladming). Hopefully there will be some of the more traditional Krampusse in Irdning (wooden homemade masks instead of store-bought plastic). Next weekend there is a Krampus event in Öblarn that I've been waiting a year to see! These are the straw figures known as the Schab (note whips in hands). If they aren't cool, I don't know what is!

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