Mittwoch, 15. Dezember 2010

walking in a winter wonderland

Greetings from a snowy, Christmas land...

A thick blanket of snow has been covering the city for about 3 weeks now and a new round is quickly settling in as I type. Something about snow is so peaceful and gentle. Perhaps this is because it falls so slowly, or rather dances in the air. The snow also reflects light and absorbs a fair amount of sound, so it transforms the city into a quieter and brighter place on these dark, short days.

Snow is also the reason for school to be cancelled for the rest of the week! Even Germany becomes chaotic during each big snowfall. The tracks of the trams and trains freeze over, and strangely enough, I've done more long-distance walking around the city in the snow than at any other time. I'm probably wearing like 5 sheep's worth of knitted clothes, so don't worry, I'm warm. :-)

With all the snow, sleds, and old buildings, many of our winter and Christmas fantasies from childhood are actually real here. And holy gekackte shit, IT'S NOT EVEN WINTER YET. I'm not sure how well I'll hold out after the novelty wears off. Sometimes, as some form of escapism, I listen to music from South America when I walk around town and pretend that I'm really far away in some warm and sunny place...

...And then I snap back into reality and gladly take part in some combination of the many traditions of a German winter and Christmas:
-Christmas markets with countless booths that sell presents, delicious baked treats (like Stoll and Pfefferkuchen) and, best of all, Glühwein (spiced wine)
-Let me repeat, Glühwein......
-Sledding downhill (and trying not to knock down the little kids)
-Snowball fights
-Ice skating (soon we can ditch the ice skating rink since the lakes will freeze soon)
-Advent is also very important here. Every household has a homemade advent calender with a piece of candy for each day between Dec. 1st-24th. Every kitchen table has an advent wreath made of holly branches and 4 candles. The candles are lit during meals and each candle represents one of the four weeks of Christmas
-January 6th was St. Nikolaus day. This is a funny holiday that is so German! Little kids who clean their shoes well on the 5th will wake up the next morning to find candy in their shoes as a reward.
-And let's not forget the Plätzchen Backtage (baking cookies). Bake. Eat. Repeat ad infinitum. I'm going to explode with COOKIES!

There are two things that I need to complain about:
1) I realized not too long ago that people here don't swear enough, at least not for my tastes. It's like, as a whole, people here don't take much pleasure in being offensive. Sadness! However, I am seeking to spruce up the language with new combinations of old favorites. Micha and my students are an excellent source of arschkackkotzenden inspiration.

2) There is TOILET PAPER MUTINY at my house right now. Recent scientific calculations have shown that the our 3 person apartment consumes roughly one roll of TP a day. The culprit is obvious because it's not Konni and it's not me. Shiiit, it's an expensive thing to pay for and we are not sure how to approach this awkward topic. Until that moment, we're making bets on how long a roll of TP will last.

G'night folks. For all of you in Texas, enjoy your sunny, poo poo upper 70's weather!

1 Kommentar:

  1. Hy Clair
    I love your post. Is nice to read other people watching "the germans". I lougthed much. But by the way St. Niclas is on December. And bad kids will find coals in the shoes.
    go on writing!
    Greetings from Jesus