Kentucky Stories and Tips

Week 09 - As Good As Christmas? (USA)

I think throughout my time in the U.S. this week has been the most enjoyable, mainly down to Thanksgiving shenanigans. I'll come to those shortly!

The night before Thanksgiving was spent at a local gig in Lexington. I wasn't really fancying going out the night before Thanksgiving, but I'm very glad I did. The main act was a guy called Will Hoge and seeing that he is signed to a big label (Atlantic) I was surprised he was willing to play to no more than 100 people on the eve of Thanksgiving. Although he was good, it was the support that impressed me the most, a group called Actress. They were very much like The Killers and in my opinion just as good! So if they ever make it big, you know where you heard it first!!

The following day was Thanksgiving. I have been told that Thanksgiving is celebrated in honour of the native Americans who taught the English how to cook when we first came over to these shores! If this is the case I think the English deserve a round of applause for creating such an excellent celebration to start the festive season. Basically Thanksgiving is all about drinking and eating as much as you possibly can with as many family members as you can fit in to one house. My first Thanksgiving was just this, joining around 30 members of my girlfriend's family, eating and drinking copious amounts all day long.

My girlfriend's family were very welcoming and I thoroughly enjoyed my first Thanksgiving experience (I'm sure of many!!), and obviously all the attention that I was getting from the female members of the family I decided to lap this female attention up, rather than go and watch American football and smoke cigars with all the men (not very masculine of me I know!!). I wouldn't say Thanksgiving is quite as good as Christmas, as there are no presents, but it's definitely a close second. Thanksgiving wasn't without its amusing moments though, as you can probably imagine when drinks and food are flowing so freely.

Before we sat down to eat, I was talking to my girlfriend and her Nan about becoming an uncle for the first time (within the next 2 weeks!) and that my brother and his girlfriend had chosen not to know the sex of their baby, as nature intended. I thought this was the end of the conversation, but during Thanksgiving dinner, with everyone sitting at the table, my girlfriends Nan turned to her and in front of everyone said 'so you will have to tell me what the sex of the baby is when you know'. As no one else had heard our earlier conversation, everyone thought that her Nan was referring to my girlfriend, and her unborn child. I must say, I wasn't a big fan of the few seconds of silence that followed, or the look of horror on the faces of my girlfriend's parents. I soon put them straight though before the looks of horror turned to anger and violence!!!!

For some unknown reason later in the night after having a one too many beers, I got into a conversation with my girlfriend's parents of the drinking culture in England. I don't think they were a big fan of my tales of first getting drunk at the age of 14 on White Lightning, or at the age of 16 downing double shots of Jack Daniels as I thought it made me look big and sophisticated!!! The sharp nudges to the ribs that my girlfriend was giving me to try and shut me up went unnoticed and didn't stop the flow of story telling, as I was in my zone! I turned the stories to my days at university telling them the highly amusing stories (so I thought) of how we dismantled one of my housemates bed and reassemble it in the kitchen while he was out one night (I have never seen a guy so angry, as he was when he returned home to see what we had done), and also the story of how we all hid upstairs while the same housemate was read his rights for us all not having a TV license. I left no details out including the response of my housemate after being cautioned, which was 'it's my mums faults, it's my mums fault!!' By the end i was laughing so much at my own stories.

Unfortunately no one else was… all I was met with was nothing but polite smiles. It's always nice when you portray yourself to your future in-laws as a drunken bully!! I don't think there was any lasting damage done, as nothing was said the following day!

The day after Thanksgiving we went to the theatre to see 'A Christmas Tale' before returning back home. One thing that has surprised me, is that as soon as Thanksgiving is over, everyone turns there attention to the start of celebrating Christmas, a full 6 weeks before the actual big day! It seems that from Thanksgiving to New Year it is one big celebration period. This is definitely the way forward!!

The week ended with a trip to my first American football game, seeing the University of Kentucky take on Tennessee University. College football (unlike in England, where no one cares at all!) is huge over here, hence I think the reason why the local university has a 60,000 all seater stadium. Although I enjoyed the game, it would never replace my love for the true game of football. For a start, the game lasted 4 hours (a little too long for my liking!), and the atmosphere wasn't up to much, especially considering there were 40,000 in the ground. I didn't hear the crowd break into chorus or shout once, with clapping being the main noise making median. When I decided to shout, I was met with some very awkward stares, although this might have been because I was calling the ref a 'f*****g w****r'. The only rivalry I saw between the opposite sets of fans was through the band that each university brought with them, who tried to out play each other throughout the 4 hour game. Saying all of this though, I would definitely go to another game!!

Next week should be a little quieter as I have to complete another chapter of my thesis, and it was also my girlfriends birthday, so all my enjoyment money will be spent on her enjoyment instead! How unfair.

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