The end of a semester is always an event to celebrate but when it ties in with Christmas, it is a great opportunity to get together and enjoy the company of friends and co-workers. We did just that last evening. The party room at our condo complex was the venue for forty seven of us to socialize with even a little bit of a “winter wonderland” created by Shelley.

We opted for a catered turkey dinner with all the trimmings and although the food was plentiful and very good, we did get trapped in one of the cultural gaps we often face, inspite of almost five years of experience. We forgot that a Malaysian caterer has no concept of “a turkey dinner with all the trimmings” even though they understand the components of such a dinner.

They did explain that the turkey would need to be precarved as the waiter would not know how to do this and that was fine. When they began to set up we realized that the turkey was cold, the mashed potatoes served as a small side dish, there was about one cup of gravy (or sauce as they call it here) to serve 47 people and even less cranberries. I had made one of my favourite dishes, a sweet potato casserole which kept getting moved to the dessert area since here sweet potatos are considered a dessert.

However they did serve the remainder of the dishes Asian style so there were ample servings of fish, chicken croquettes, curried chicken, fried rice, spagetti and coleslaw so no one went hungry. It was a lovely evening and we are very grateful for the group of Canadians we have the privilege of knowing here and for the home the we have that enables us to have a part in organizing and hosting these types of events.