According to some individuals, autumn is probably the most beautiful season of the year. It is the chance for romantic couples to enjoy the charming outdoors, the one on one walks in the park, or the unforgettable moments spent sitting by the river. Indeed, it is about this time of the year where trees change color and start to lose their leaves.  Everywhere, I could witness a warm palette of orange and red leaves slowly making their way down to the ground. On a college campus, students usually enjoy playing in the piles of leaves during their free time while others prefer to read a graphic novel under a tree.  I am the kind of person who likes to venture and try new experiences including discovering the American practices around this time of the year.

Eventually I was invited to my friend’s hometown to experience a local “Apple Festival”.  This event looked pretty similar to a fair where they had several booths set up to accommodate vendors and artists.  The local farmers and residents of the area were selling apple ciders, apple pies, apple jam, and many other varieties of apple flavored products.  It was the “Apple Festival” after all. We were also lucky to experience the farm animals because as we all know, kids are fascinated by donkeys, goats and sheep and sure enough, the gate was surrounded by little humans.  Not only have I discovered one of the most amazing traditions of the American culture but within that context, I discovered other mouthwatering practices such as sweet corn, elephant ears, corndogs and such.

After the “Apple Festival”, my hosting friend and I made our way back to her place to end the night with a pumpkin carving activity.  It was my first time carving such a gigantic fruit. However the pumpkin carving operation was relatively easy.  We started by cutting the top part of the pumpkin. The process of removing the seeds was, however, the interesting part.  The texture was quite gooey; creating this funky sensation every time I plunged by hand in the pumpkin. As a result, my friend carved a tree and I ended up carving a scary face. Although messy, it was probably one of the most fun moments I had in this month of October. Once finished and proud of our artwork, we savored the delicious pumpkin pie my friend’s mom made. At my friend’s home, it was a tradition to eat pumpkin pie after carving a pumpkin. It was finger licking good and sure enough I felt fulfilled after eating some homemade bakery.

Those kind of unforgettable moments are what transform international students and help them assimilate the American way of living. I am grateful to have lived that experience and would not complain if I was offered the chance to do it again.