I didn’t go to all of Munich’s Christmas markets. Because sometimes your Christmas market eyes are bigger than your Christmas market stomach and so you start your Christmas market feast with 53 servings heaped on your plate only to realize halfway through that riding your bike everywhere in December is fracking cold and buying subway passes is expensive. But I did go to a lot of them. And I went to one in Regensburg, which I think counts for four. So let’s just say I went to all of them and be done with the technicalities.
The best part of the Christmas markets was that my sister got to go with me to several of them! That’s right: she finally escaped from the Little Rock airport and flapped her wings on over to Deutschland.
Here let’s take a brief intermission from this story to talk about how to pronounce “Deutschland”: it’s Doitch-lond. Now you know.
Once my sister got settled into her German groove, we conquered three of the best Christmas markets in Doitch-lond: the aforementioned one in Regensburg, one in Munich’s Marienplatz, and one in the courtyard of the Residenz, the former gigantor palace of Bavarian royalty.
The Regensburg Christmas market had a bratwurst booth with an Australian dude who spoke fluent Down Under. His bratwurst sandwiches were the jam. I had no idea how much three little sausages with sweet Bavarian mustard and relish wrapped in a bread roll could make me wanna dance, but please, hold me closer, Tony Danza.
At the Marienplatz market, we knocked out 97% of our Christmas shopping in about 20 minutes, which was convenient for the woodcrafters, candlemakers, and ornamentiers who gladly exchanged our Euro coins for sundry knick-knacks and paddy-wacks.
The best Christmas market, though, was at the Residenz. At this market, I discovered blueberry Glühwein. Just when you think Germans can’t get any more clever, they go and serve you what I’m convinced was the sole drink of the Bavarian kings and queens. I was savoring this elixir of the gods when we bumped into ST. NIKOLAUS HIMSELF. Not a fakey St. Nikolaus that danced around with the Krampusse in the Krampus Run, but THE REAL ONE. I know he was real because his beard told me so.
Of course we got our picture made with St. Nikolaus, because in the German language people don’t take pictures, they make them, and this therefore justifies the southern dialect’s preference for having pictures made.
Now earlier I had gotten so giddy about drinking the blueberry Glühwein that I had unknowingly splashed it all over the front of my coat. So when St. Nikolaus was like, “Here, put your hand on my real metal staff that, along with my beard, proves that I am the real deal,” I was even more elated and also even more distracted from my stained slovenliness. And after the picture was made, St. Nikolaus insisted that we each hold the staff because it was very heavy and very holy and he wanted us to experience the sehr schwer und sehr heilig for ourselves. So we did.
Here is my final 2013 Christmas market tally:
Christmas markets visited: 6
Mugs of Glühwein drank: 5
Bratwurst sandwiches eaten: 1.1 (my sister was the primary consumer of the Regensburg edition)
Knick-knacks bought: 23
Paddy-wacks purchased: 8
St. Nikolauses loved: 1
Coats permanently stained: 1
My goal for 2014 is to completely destroy two coats with a deluge of blueberry Glühwein consumption.