November 28, 2008

six to eight black men and other festive delights

Hard as it is to believe, our great escape is almost up and around these parts it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Well, like Christmas if it involved an old Turkish bishop who now lives in Spain accompanied by 6 to 8 black slaves -- I mean helpers known as Zwarte Piets. Sinter Klaas and his, err, helpers, terrorize dutch children with the possibility of a severe beating culminating in a potential kidnapping. At least the treats are lekker! If you're not familiar with the wonder that is Sinter Klaas time in Holland, you really must read David Sedaris' treatise on the subject. This is one aspect of the motherland that is best left across the pond or even better, the middle ages ...

In other holiday news, we've been taking in the festivities as we go. First was the spectacle that is Tivoli, a Danish wonderland theme park (Michael Jackson and Disney have both tried unsuccessfully to get their grubby paws on it) transformed for Christmas. Glogg and aebleskivers were enjoyed by all.

Finding the Danish seasonal crafts and handiworks a little lacking (sorry Madsens), we made a special side trip to Osnabruck to take in what the German tourism site describes as the third best christmas market in the region. While it was nigh on (egads!) 19 years since I first took in the wonder of the Osnabruck christmas market, I'm happy to say it didn't disappoint. Gluhwein, sauteed mushrooms and rauchermanner oh my! I hope my family feels the same way when they open their gifts this year.

Time is a ticking and we are getting in the last of our euro-cultural art/design/wine/food indulgences before heading back across the pond to face the musical score of daily drudgery and piper paying. Back to it! Tot zeins.

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