Thursday, December 27, 2007

Randomness About the Christmas Season in Berlin

Wow! It's been a horribly busy few weeks!
Christmas snuck up on us, and it was a nice time.

Since it's been so crazy, how about we just do the bullet thing?
  • No's shoulder surgery went well. As I type she's in her "electric chair" as it moves her arm up and down for her... passive movement only for at least two weeks.
  • As the surgery was in the weeks leading up to the holidays, everyone around us was planning for meetings with families, travel, and gift-giving as we worried about painkillers, physical therapy and the suddenly not-so-simple act of just putting on a coat.
  • Between the two of us No is usually the driver, the wild streets of Berlin tend to give me little heart attacks as I get accustomed to the fact that the drivers almost without fail do EXACTLY what they are supposed to... while I nervously consider all of the crazy stunts which can be witnessed on the American streets. Without a right arm, she's been sitting on the passenger side... much to her chagrin.
  • I only got to one Weinachtsmarkt (Christmas Market) this year. It was good though, because it had all of the necessary ingredients: it must have festive lighting, a choir singing German Christmas songs (to me they all sound like funeral dirges - no Jingle Bells around here!), and it must smell like spiced wine, grilled sausage and gingerbread.
    For me the Weinachtsmarkt is the perfect place and time to imbibe in the wonderful nectar of winter... Gluhwein (warm, spiced wine). We went to the new market in front of Schloss Charlottenburg, and although we found it small, it was very nice. I was all ready... my special Santa hat to keep my ears warm and bring smiles to the dour Germans around me, and my special mug that I carry every year to keep my Gluhwein warm... I have thought of everything, right? ... No. As I was gazing starry-eyed at a stall with a fantastic array of sumptuous flavors of the wonderful liquid (white wine Gluhwein? Who has heard of that...? I MUST try it!) when it occurred to No. that I was actually driving... um, yeah... I guess I'm not going to be having any Gluhwein here, eh? Why didn't we take the bus? It just never occurred to me to be concerned about drinking and driving... No always drives!
  • The "Grey" has settled into Berlin. This is what I call the time of year when the sky turns gray, the air moist, the temperatures hover around freezing, the wind is mellow but constant, and the roads remain in a constant state of wetness. Thankfully the days are finally going to start getting longer and longer. I really can't wait for spring!

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