Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas (or "Frohe Weihnachten" as it's called in these parts)

I won't be home for Christmas. I'm spending the holidays in Bonn. This is my first Western-style Christmas in four years (Christmas in Japan is all about eating fried chicken and having sex).

Christmas in Germany is almost exactly like Christmas in Canada. There are lights and trees and tinsel and caroling. There are cheesy ads on TV and seasonal songs in all the stores. All that's missing is freezing temperatures and heavy snow. But what rainy Bonn lacks in wintery atmosphere, it makes up for in Glühwein.

Every December, Christmas markets spring up in city centres across Germany for three full weeks. The markets are composed of dozens of wooden huts selling various things. There are a few stalls selling things that could be wrapped and put under a Christmas tree but most of the stalls are geared toward the more hedonistic side of the season -- selling Glühwein (hot, mulled wine) and wurst (I'm not a fan but people here seem to like it. Back home, they'd also sell tofu-dogs alongside the meat variety but that's a trend that hasn't yet caught on in Germany.)

Judging by the amount of vomit on the sidewalks and on the tram, people seem to really enjoy the Glühwein. I had my first taste of Glühwein last weekend and I have to say there is something intensely satisfying about a hot cup of spiced wine on a cold winter night.

Anyway, wishing you a merry Christmas (and a very happy whatever it is you do or don't celebrate this time of year)!