November 2004



So Friday night Monica and I headed out to the Weimar Christmas Market (Weihnachtsmarkt)-which as far as we could make out by the signs posted around town, started at 5pm that evening.

We made plans to meet at 4:30 in Theatreplatz-and the Christmas Market was already in full swing. Monica was examining fur hand-muffs-children’s priced at around 50€ and adult ones starting at 100€.

Neither one of us could afford such a luxury.

We wandered down the street and Monica told me that there had been an explosion that morning in the Christmas market! It seems that one of the booths was a food booth and that something was inside the booth roasting all night. There was a build-up of gasses and at 5:30 it exploded-shattering windows on several buildings. (This is my recollection of her explanation-I don’t know what really happened.) We wandered by the damage: one bookstore had no front windows whatsoever-big pieces of plywood covered the windows, and windows upstairs were shattered-probably making the people’sliving quarters a wee bit cold.

We wandered into the Weimar Markt where the Christmas tree was already lit and much stuff was for sale. I picked up some roasted potatoes with dip, and we then made our way over to watch the arrival of Nicholas, which happened at 5. The Onion-Queen was there to welcome him as well. Several children were interviewed to find out what they wanted for Christmas. Some of the items made the crowd laugh-bt neither Monica nor I understood the funny items. I did understand that the second child wanted a bicycle (das Fahrrad), but that was it.

Once the ceremony was over, we followed Nicholas as he got on a carriage that carried him about town. We didn’t board since we were too old, but we did wander through the market investigating what was for sale. Both of us bought socks to wear at home that had been made in Turkey. I’m wearing my pair as I type this.

It was an enjoyable evening and I am glad to have seen Nicholas arrive.

I understand that he leaves candy for children the night of the 5th. Children must clean their shoes and leave them outside the front door. Nicholas stops by overnight and smells the shoes, and if they are clean enough, he will leave candy in them.

I will be leaving mine outside my office door, since I sincerely doubt that Nicholas will find me at the apartment in Weimar.

And they will pass the smell test.

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