December 2006


Warm and Fuzzy

This was a weekend of Weihnachtsmärkte for me.

Saturday I got out of town and headed to Apolda, which is a small city located ten minutes east of Weimar on a regional train. I’d looked at a map of the city awhile back (read: 3 months), so I had a vague notion where the city center was: I immediately headed that direction, only briefly considering what would have been an unnecessary hill climb.

Weihnachtsmarkt Stage!The city is small and, as far as I could tell, undistinguished. It does have a bell museum, but I was there to see the Weihnachtsmarkt—hoping to find the lovely woman who has sold me Turkish socks in years past. She’s from Apolda, lives in Berlin, but had a booth in Weimar that isn’t around this year. It was the only booth in Weimar, last year that sold something unique, unfound in Erfurt or Jena.

Unfortunately she wasn’t there, but I found my way to a small plaza where a band was performing country-western hits in English. I recognized some of them and immediately wanted to get a lobotomy: what is it about country music that makes me want to divorce my horse? It’s insane music.

Santa on his way to work...From there I wandered around a tiny bit, finding what had to be the only building in Apolda with an escalator—and not just one set, but two sets—a local shopping mall with Rewe and Aldi situated right next to each other, along with a variety of chain stores that don’t seem appear in larger cities.

The mall was, as to be expected, tiny, but it did have both a model train display (complete with a man dressed as a conductor) and Santa, who did not ride a sleigh to work, but went down the escalator before sitting in his chair next to the tree.

It was charming—and sweet.

I wandered back to the plaza with the music where after having fortified myself with an amaretto glühwein, the music seemed more tolerable.

Today, Sunday, was a cooking day: I made the no-knead bread for myself, pound cake for the office, and used my leftover rice to make a faux-cajun-mexican dish that is spicey and delicious, but probably far from authentic. All of this took hours, and it was 5 o’clock before I was ready to run from home: and run I did—right down to Weimar’s Weihnachtsmarkt where I wandered around and found myself at the Ice Skating rink, which this time not only had ice, but had skaters.

Weimar on IceHad I realized that it was open, I probably would have worn clothing (read: socks) that would have been better suited to ice skates. Ankle socks just don’t cut it for skates (or boots, for that matter).

The rink was beautiful and busy. I snapped a few photos and watched experienced skaters go backwards (oh how I wish I could do that) and inexperienced skaters get held up by friends.

It left me in a warm and fuzzy mood—prompting me to wander home for a cup of hot tea and a bit of blogging.

I hope your weekends were as nice as mine.

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