Jesus and Friends: Part II

ImageBloody commitments. Hello, and welcome to a third installment of Jamie’s year abroad blog. As you may or may not have noticed, there has been quite the meaty gap in between my last two entries and for this I apologise (soz, Uni). The reason for this is partly because I’m finding myself a wee bit lacking on the time front due to numerous University classes demanding that I stand on front of the class, fumbling and mumbling in German for 20 minutes while constantly asking myself if it is just me that notices that I am more than just a little bit sweaty. Presentations were never Jamie’s forte.  For now I sit here behind the comfort of my laptop, typing this nice English paragraph at my own pace while simultaneously trying to self-diagnose this strange rash on my arm (red dots, evenly spaced and about the size of a 50p coin?)

The reason for the title of this blog is that I thought it would be relevant (and quite honestly just balls-out fun) to make this entry Christmas themed. The people here in Germany celebrate Christmas in a completely different way to us guys back home in Scotland and I highly recommend that you Google this but for now it is all about me. Me me me. Me and my blog. My blog and I.

So for anyone who has ever been to Germany before during the festive period will know, Christmas here is done in a BIG way. Santa is everywhere bar in your chimney. He is scaling up the side of buildings, he is in every shop window and he is even on the VAG (running joke, guys. See Jesus and Friends Part I). Needless to say, the Germans certainly do not skimp out on the decoration front. Festive food is also abundant, usually coming in the sausage variety. I narrowly missed out on a curry wurst supper tonight due to financial constraints. (I thoughtlessly gave away the rest of my change to an out of work Shepherd who was most definitely not just another alcoholic hobo.) I have been lucky enough to have had two of my good friends along with one of my sisters visit me over the past few weeks and thus, I have been able to give the Christmas Market here in Freiburg a good seeing to. The market here is not as impressive as those offered by the likes of Bremen and other big German cities but it still has a lot to offer (again, usually coming in the sausage variety). Glühwein can be obtained for 3 euros which makes it quite the tasty bargain. Also available to purchase are animal themed hats, DIY candles and the family favourite wood carvings.

Another thing I love about Christmas over here is the fact that they have a WHOLE other day of present receiving. This is called Nikolaustag and is celebrated on the 6th of December. On this day St. Nikolaus brings people lots of chocolate and many a nut (leaving all the real goodies for Christmas Day itself). I myself was only vaguely aware of this tradition which lead to a whole heap of excitement when I found a little bag outside my door in the morning containing a home-made man shaped bread treat and an unknown but extremely delicious chocolate cake ball thing. My other flatmate also presented me with a Lindt chocolate Santa Claus which happily joined the goody pile. The whole bunch looked amazing. So amazing in fact that Santa Claus, bread man and unknown ball were consumed within the hour in what was the most delicious and nutritious breakfast I have ever known. Except for the African flavoured crisps and chocolate corner yogurt that I had this morning of course… Keeping it balanced guys.

Despite all of this Christmas related tomfoolery, words cannot describe how excited I am to return to Scotland next week for Christmas break. Turkey, Yorkshire puddings (damn right, Yorkshire puddings) and broccoli all drenched in gravy. Rumour has is though that my Dad is thinking about serving beef olives this year to combat the turkey surplus of years previous (don’t do it, Dad). Jamie wants turkey and lots of it.

And with that I think I will wrap it up for this month’s blog. I wish you all a very merry Christmas and as a gift to you all I bestow upon you this piece of wisdom:

When your friend gives you a packet of sachets that he swears combats the ills of the morning hangover keep it to yourself and yourself only. Your German friends will understand what diarrhoea rehydration means and you will be laughed at.

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