Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Fliegen müsste man können

You had to be able able to fly

A Weihnachtsmann (Santa Claus) cartoon has just come on TV with this title. Once in every 100 years Santa throws a big party for the elves, other helpers in his workshop and other friends including Jack Frost and St Lucia (complete with candle-crown). And this is one of those years. It has only just started so I am not sure who had to be able to fly yet.

Well, apart from me. I have been checking the Lufthansa and Frankfurt Airport websites in a compulsive fashion since Saturday. Yesterday the flights to Manchester were badly affected, today all but the earliest were cancelled. I am taking the early flight tomorrow. Heavy rain is forecast. That's better than snow. So I am hoping for the best, crossing my fingers and pressing my thumbs.

My other flatmates however did not have smooth journeys home. After a scheduled departure to Heathrow on Saturday, one has finally arrived in Birmingham after three days of cancellations and waiting lists. My other flatmate is on a somewhat later than planned scheduled flight to Helsinki.

I am feeling slightly seasick. I think this is due to a combination of stress and the rocking of our office today. Two buildings away another office block is being torn down and every so often the office would suddenly rock or sway or judder. I was prepared at any  moment to thrown myself under a desk should I see a crack appear in any supporting walls. In a hospital or a news report about the collapse of a Westend office block would not have been my ideal start to the holidays.

An ideal start to the holidays would be a flight home tomorrow...I hope the Weihnachtsmann is right!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Ich hätte gerne einen Glühwein bitte

I would like a Glühwein please

As you may have gathered from my previous post, Christmas has really hit here in Frankfurt. The Christmas market began just before the first advent and seems to grow daily. I found an extra twenty stalls today that I am sure were not there last weekend. Among the hand crafted decorations, crepes, sausages and general tat (hopefully more to follow on these later), the main staple of any Weihnachtsmarkt is Glühwein.

Glühwein is an alcoholic beverage, served warm, consisting of red wine which has been heated with herbs and spices and fruits: usually containing cinammon, cloves and oranges. So, basically, it is mulled wine. But somehow it is much, much better than the horrible mulled wine you would always try a sip of at Christmas parties when you were little and then spit out, claiming you would never drink alcohol again in your life because it tasted manky.

The whole idea of Glühwein is ingrained into every German (and temporary German resident) as soon as Christmas is mentioned or the temperature starts to hover around zero (whichever is soonest). It offers a chance to warm up, due to the temperature and alcohol content is served at, an excuse to visit the Christmas market, and a good reason to meet up with some friends and ensure the Christmas period is merry.

Glühwein is available at bars, cafes and of course the Weihnachtsmarkt. The going price this year seems to be 2,50 €. Prost!

'tis the season

The Christmas season seems to be upon us. And walking around Frankfurt is bound to give one some inspiration as to what to do to celebrate this most wonderful time of the year.

You could...
Go shopping on the Zeil...

Strangle a reindeer with your handbag...

Wear your finest pine skirt...

Lasso the baby reindeer that got away earlier with another handbag...