Sunday, November 27, 2005

Things I am thankful for

This is a very late post but what the hey. Below is my annual list of
things I am thankful for. This was originally a mass email to friends
and family so there are references that probably will make no sense. I
started to cut a few but decided to keep it complete.


It's that time of year again, time for me to list the things that I am
thankful for.

I'm sure that all of you are at your fancy Thanksgiving feasts with
your fancy turkeys and in your fancy self-regulated heated homes so
you'll probably get this belated list even more belatedly than it
already is. And so, we begin.

I'm thankful that they fixed the elevator in my building last week
after only a month out of service.

I'm thankful they are cleaning out the garbage chute has been clogged
for 2 months and is located outside my apartment door.

I'm thankful that god granted me the awesome power of holding my breath
while I wait for the elevator and avoid the stench of 2 months of
rotting garbage that has been pulled out of the chute and left in the
hallway while I wait for the newly fixed elevator.

I'm thankful for the babushkas that helpfully assist me in climbing
into the bus each day by firmly shoving me from behind.

I'm thankful for the hundreds of people I share my daily bus with who
remind me of the importance of daily hygiene and brushing my teeth.

I'm thankful for the haircut I recently received that taught me the
power of living a vanity free life.

I'm thankful that my newfound love for showtunes and Barbara Streisand
records simply reflects a natural evolution of my musical tastes and
nothing else. Really. I mean it.

I'm thankful that I learned early that "Blah, blah, blah" sounds very
similar to the Ukrainian phrase for suggesting somebody should have
carnal knowledge and in a way that they probably wouldn't enjoy.

I'm thankful for my green full face stocking cap, without which I would
probably be returning to the US missing my ears.

I'm thankful that the good lord gave me the intelligence to actually
test "chili powder" I buy at the local market and find that it isn't
the chili powder known to the rest of the world but cayenne pepper. My
dinner guests are thankful for that as well.

I'm thankful that my good friend Steve taught me long ago about the
secret of doubling your socks.

I'm thankful that nobody in Ukraine is familiar with my arch enemy
Cranberry sauce and I won't have that for thanksgiving.

I'm thankful that the additional 60 lbs I've gained since arriving will
provide me with a cozy extra layer of warmth for the winter.

I'm thankful that underwear really can be worn for much longer without
a washing than I ever thought possible.

I'm thankful that Ukrainian fashion stops at the border of Ukraine.

I'm thankful that Jehovah granted me the cat-like reflexes to dodge
inebriated Ukrainians on the sidewalk, in the market, at the park etc.,
etc, etc.

I'm thankful that Shawn made it possible for me to never buy socks for
the next 5 years.

I'm thankful that as a helpless American man I am not expected to
actually iron.

I'm thankful that when I return I will be able to reintroduce myself to
the greatest two inventions known to man, the washer and dryer.

I'm thankful that so many movies that have come out in the last two
years have been terrible and I'm not as sad for missing them.

I'm thankful that my two friends Eric and John have reached an
agreement on the casting decision for the new James Bond.

I'm thankful that with a limited selection of available books, I can
actually become interested in reading about the adventures of an
american girl who travels to spain to live with the Gypsies and learn
the age old secrets of Gypsy flamenco guitar with incredible detail
about the spiritual side of bulerias and soleares as well as insight
into her weirdly sensual relationship with her brother who's dead now
from mysterious circumstances.

But most importantly, I'm thankful that you guys put up with me.


I'm happy to report that I haven't actually gained 60 lbs but wanted to
put a mental image in everybody's head of an extra large me. I, like
most male PCVs, have actually lost weight since arriving in Ukraine.
For some reason male volunteers tend to lose weight while female volunteers tend to gain. We were told it is a
reaction to stress but I don't know if that means eating patterns are
changed differently according to sex or what.

Anyway, I know this is at the tail end of the holiday weekend so I hope
you had plenty to be thankful for as well.

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