Reasons to be Thankful

Americans seem to have a holiday for everything (recent weeks have seen Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day and Halloween), yet I must say I’ve always been a bit partial to the idea of a day of Thanksgiving. However I envisaged spending this years holiday updating my Facebook status announcing to anyone who cares how unthankful I was, as I sat alone in my apartment doing nothing particularly useful.

Luckily that wasn’t to be the case. Late on Wednesday afternoon, my friend and former colleague Kyle asked me if I would like to join him, his family and a few of his friends in Los Angeles for a few days. Care of Southwest Airlines and perhaps the most enjoyable, stress free flight I’ve ever had, I arrived at LAX early Thursday morning, ready to be indoctrinated into celebrating a true American holiday.

This involved watching American football, gorging myself on Turkey and Cheesecake (all wonderfully prepared by Kyle’s wife Sarah), before watching ‘Home Alone’ and being subjected to Macaulay Culkin’s painful over-acting!

On Friday, Kyle took me on a mini tour of Los Angeles. Having been warned by friends not to expect much, on driving through some of its districts, and seeing the few sights the city has to offer, I’m inclined to agree. The Kodak Theatre (home of the Oscars) seemed to be located on nothing more than a high street, whilst much of the area looked unkempt and a little seedy. Other areas such as Beverly Hills seemed a world away however, and the coastal areas very appealing, so something of a mixed bag perhaps.

The remainder of my time with the Ford family was spent playing ‘Wario Ware: Smooth Moves’ on the Wii (a game seemingly developed under the influence of many illegal substances), watching ‘Helvetica’ and Michael Moore’s ‘Sicko’ (set in a fictional world where the NHS actually pay you upon leaving hospital) and of course debating the relative merits of Ning, which is something of a pastime these days.

All in all, this is exactly how I would want to spend Thanksgiving, so a massive thank-you to Kyle and his family for looking after me so well. All of which serves as a healthy reminder, that there are many things for me to be thankful for in 2007.


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