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Ditching the Turkey: Thanksgiving Reminiscences (and Misadventures) of Reporters Overseas

“Suppose amount,” I pleaded to friends. Alex and Rami introduced two turkeys, Helen and Felix cheese from Paris, Carly and Claire all their forks and knives. Chinese language sticky-rice stuffing — my aunt’s recipe — thunked onto the desk alongside Hwaida’s Lebanese meghli pudding, Signe’s Danish rye and Colin’s Irish whiskey, plus variations of all of the classics. Eleven nationalities squeezed round 4 tables. A few of us danced.

Quickly after that, I came upon I used to be being transferred to Cairo, the place I arrived, two weeks in the past, with 5 suitcases and no turkey plans.

Make it up.

Jeffrey Gettleman, South Asia bureau chief

On Thanksgiving Day, 2002, I obtained a name from my boss, The Instances’s nationwide editor.

“Hey, Jeff, how are ya?”

“Um, nice, I assume …” (I suspected he wasn’t calling on one of many greatest holidays of the yr simply to say hello.)

“How would you prefer to go on a cruise?”

“You critical?” I requested, realizing there needed to be a catch.

“Sure, I’m. We want you to take a cruise to write down concerning the Norwalk virus.”

The Norwalk virus! On the time, this abdomen virus, like a faint prequel to Covid-19, was waylaying the cruise ship business, sickening 1000’s of individuals and spreading a way of paranoia throughout the Western world. The highest symptom was diarrhea. And now my boss was asking me to intimately cowl it!

However I’d simply been employed by the paper and was recreation to do something. So I began packing and shortly left my household for a 10-day Caribbean cruise. I used to be one of many youngest folks onboard, and I used to be instructed to not shake fingers and to make use of numerous hand sanitizer.

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