Hello readers! It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? Not that I haven’t had time. I’ve just been lazy.
Some things don’t change. But anyway (I’ve been officially banned by life to say the word “anyhoo”), sorry about that. I’ll try to be more constant from now on. :D
So the last thing I posted was a month ago, and I really didn’t say much then. I’ll try to catch you up on what’s been happening.
First off, I went back to normal school already. I’m still in the same class. And even now, no one from the class minds me much. I still have my one friend, though. Only difference is that now, I actually have to do things. Or at least try. I did the English test with the class. My Math teacher said I could try writing the math test in January too. I’m a bit scared. I hope I’ll make it. -__- I’m actually thinking of changing classes, but I’m not sure. On the ‘staying’ side, my teachers already know me as “the exchange student” and therefore understand when I don’t understand, or fail to do the homework, or when I don’t know about the homework at all. Plus, my friend can translate for me and explain things to me and stuff like that. I won’t have that if I change classes. On the ‘leaving’ side , I don’t have much friends in my class, and I don’t think I’ll get some. Not in my class anyway. Then again, there’s no guarantee that I’ll get some if I change classes. I dunno. I still have the whole Christmas break to think about it. Someone help me. :(
Erm.. was noch…
Oh yeah! Weihnachtsmarkt.
So Christmas markets are a big thing in Germany. There’s usually one in every town, then there are the really big and famous ones, like the one in Nürnberg (Nuremberg auf Englisch). In Christmas markets you’d find stalls selling all different kinds of things, like christmas ornaments, and jewelry and soaps and things for gifts. They’re actually quite interesting, and I went to three. One common thing you will find in all Christmas markets in Germany is Glühwein. You will be able to buy Glühwein in EVERY Christmas market in Germany. I’m not kidding. It’s basically hot wine mixed with some spices and things. They come in ceramic mugs that you can keep if you want to, but if you give it back, you get like 2 euros back. I, personally, am not a fan of Glühwein, but I gotta say, it does keep you warm while walking around the markets. There’s also a kiddy version, called Punsch. No alcohol. It’s hot juice, is what it is.
Christmas markets are fun though. I went to the one in Ellrichshausen, Schrozberg and Nürnberg. They’re all kinda different from each other, Nürnberg being the biggest among the three. Also the one with the most people. It’s a tourist spot, really. I went with Stepan and two more exchange students, and the host mom of one of the exchange students, and we didn’t look too out of place, speaking english and all. I think what was weird was that we’d be speaking English (without a German accent and all) with each other, then we’d suddenly talk in German to the shopkeepers and stuff. O_O
More German Christmas traditions include Nikolaustag and Advents calendars.
Nikolaustag is St. Nicholas’ day. It happens on the 6th of December. Kids get süßigkeiten, so like chocolates and the like, in their shoes.
Stepan and I got things in our shoes too. I still have the orange I think. I didn’t eat it cause it had writing on it, but I don’t know how long that orange will last. :))
We also got each our own advent calendar. And it’s not like the thing where you flip open some cardboard thing and there’s chocolate inside. They were actually like individual pouches hung on a string. We got more chocolates, but like different kinds. :D Whole bunch of chocolates this Christmas. :D
Now, on to Christmas eve, or heiliger Abend.
In Germany, people open their gifts on the 24th. And I mean, not like after midnight, or church or something like that. We opened them around 6pm. We did nothing most of the day, then all got dressed before opening the gifts. I don’t know if this is just in my family, or if it’s like this all over Germany, but what we did was like this: My host sister was giving out the gifts one by one. Like she’d give a gift to someone, then that person would open it, and we’d all wait to see what it was, before my host sister gave out another gift. That was interesting for me, considering the chaotic gift-openings I usually experience. Okay. Anyway. So after gift opening, we ate dinner, which was Raclette. Sooo. Goood. Then around 10pm, we went to church. I didn’t understand anything of course. I did, however, sing O Come All Ye Faithful in German. :D After church, we went walking around the village for a bit before going home. By that time, it was around midnight or something. We then hung around for a bit before going to bed.
Christmas in Germany is more of a quiet celebration. No big parties, or any noche buena type of thing. It’s a bit more solemn than in the Philippines. Even the Christmas decorations are more toned down, lights and ornaments on the windows, and a few lights on the bushes outside. Nothing too loud. Maybe that’s partly why I felt Christmas this year was lacking something. Just a bit.
But, nonetheless, IT’S CHRISTMAS! My most favorite season of all time, no matter where I am. I can’t explain properly the feels (lol feels..) I get when listening to Christmas songs, or seeing the Christmas tree all decorated, or standing in the snow, feeling the chill (this only happened to me in Germany, of course), and just feeling.. christmas-y. I love it.
And here, I end this post. I wish you all a very, very merry Christmas. I hope you get the same warm, fuzzy feeling I get.
And also, I hope you all have a awesome new year! Start it right, ayt? I’ll be starting mine in the city of love and light. ;)
Most importantly, thanks for sticking with me, despite the long pauses in between. :)