I was living in Bonn, Germany at the time, doing my junior year abroad. In 1986, Bonn was the federal capital city for Germany, so there was an American embassy. The American church there, set up for embassy etc employees, invited the American students studying at the Uni to come to the church the Sunday before Thanksgiving, for a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Each embassy family sponsored a student. So that was lovely, sitting down to a nice Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings, with a family.
The university in Bonn had several student cafeterias set up around the city, usually located near a University building or student housing. The main one had three levels, set up on three floors, three different lines. Soup only was on the top floor, lighter entree on the middle, and bigger/full meal entree on the lowest floor.
Thanksgiving Day found me at the cafeteria, judging my options. Soup was always the lowest cost option, so I headed up the stairs for my bowl of soup, feeling rather sorry for myself. Thanksgiving Day, and here I was going to have a measly bowl of soup. Can you hear the sound of tiny violins?
Can I tell you? That bowl of soup was the best soup I've ever had. As a matter of fact, that meal ranks right up there on my top 5 meals ever.(In no particular order, chicken curry in a little restaurant in Pacific Grove, CA, veg curry in a vegetarian restaurant in Mendocino, CA, the whole meal with tomato/pumpkin chutney at Taj restaurant in Ventura, CA, and tortellini carbonara at a dive restaurant somewhere in Italy. Whatever town where the Eurail pass ferry to Greece leaves from. ETA: Brindisi! I remembered just after I hit publish.) Yes, 23 years later, and I still remember that bowl of potato/sausage/green bean soup.