An American friend has just reminded me that it's Thanksgiving today.
While I already know that the people of Darfur don't have much to be thankful for at the moment, I'm somewhat surprised when he tells me that a few of his fellow Americans in Sudan have also been experiencing some disappointments - albeit of a much more frivolous nature.
The US embassy staff in Khartoum, who apparently order a lot of their food and other goodies directly from their supermarkets and department stores back home (I'm told there's a plane that comes out to Sudan just to bring them their stuff!) had been planning a big Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. As anyone who watches Hollywood movies will know, the turkey seems to be the all-important centre-piece of this particular holiday feast.
Unfortunately, the Sudanese customs authorities don't seem to watch these movies- and promptly destroyed the big American bird when it arrived. I'm not sure whether they were simply confused about what it was (after all, their measure of things are scrawny Sudanese chickens), or whether they were just trying to mock the silly foreigners who had ordered it. In any case, they curtly passed on the word that the turkey had been incinerated at Khartoum airport, much to the horror of the poor Americans.
Naturally, some people have their suspicions about the real turn of events ("Incinerated? Barbecued and eaten's probably more like it," snorts one of my friends). But at least the tale of the holiday turkey manages to keep us all amused over here in a not-so-happy Darfur.