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Potsdam Christmas Markets with Sabine

I’m officially calling the Winter Christmas Season ‘Open’! Last weekend was the first Advent weekend (for all the Heathens among us this is significant only in that it means we can start tucking into our advent calenders chockies)…which coincided nicely with the start of the snow.

I celebrated by using the cold as an excuse to stuff my face with delicious steaming Grünkohl (green cabbage) cooked with smokey sausages:

Unfortunately, I’ll admit that this is one of the times that the photo really fails to do any sort of justice to the meal…

Also- most of you are looking at this with an Aussie mind, and can only see limp green cabbage, mashy potatoes and a sad looking Coles-type sausage.

Firstly, this is no flavourless, Aussie BBQ sausage, but is instead is a smokey delight. The cabbage has been sitting, simmering, in the presence of this sausage, and is now a vegetable-based extension of the aforementioned flavour explosion.
(You’ll notice that, being German, they’ve also managed to sneak a bit of potato into the meal!)

Secondly, try to take yourself out of whatever nasty 40 degree C context you currently have going on down there, and place yourself, and your poorly-protected extremities, into the -2 degree ‘ever-so-lightly sprinkling snowflakes’ context of Potsdam markets. Like so:

(It’s not REALLY snowing, but it is at least snowing enough that I can guarantee that the fluff on my hat is not dandruff)

And in this context, what could be better what could be better than a steaming plate of Grunkohl mit Knacker?

Unless of course it is an equally steaming plate of Dampfnudel (a dough ball) with cherries and vanilla sauce (custard):

I could pretend that Sabine and I shared one (as we did the cabbage), but that would be a lie.

I also managed to partake in some Feuerzangenbowle.
Do you remember the word from last week??
Literally, it means fire tongs punch.
For those who don’t think their mulled wine (glühwein), is sweet enough or alcoholic enough, you simply get some sugar (in a cone shape), soak it in large amounts or rum, and set fire to it- so that the syrup then runs into the gluhwein:

http://www.meckpom-kiste.de/feuerzangenbowle-set-pi-123.html
I tried a bit- and although red-wine is not my thing, I can see the joys in having a nice hot sweet drink in a country where it actually gets cold during winter. (The fact that the alcohol is a tricky friend, likely to increase your chances of dying an exposure-related death makes the tradition less clear- but I suspect all these Germans are savvy enough to get into the central heating before this happens).
Anyway, as you can see, I blatantly stole my photo from wiki or somesuch, because I am certainly not coordinated enough to hold a cup in one hand and a camera in another without falling over.
The markets were lovely- but also the first time I’ve felt properly cold since I got here. Possibly because on the Saturday the zip on my lovely gooseydown jacket came off, and I was unable to properly cocoon.
The cold was a chance for me to try out my ridiculous, 90-style SpiceGirlesque shoes:
The cold was also a chance for me to realise that 
a) my pants are ridiculously short
b) I need to buy proper socks if I am to survive this winter.
After a couple of hours outside, several hours recovery were not enough to defrost my poor toes, and I ended up having to take a shower to restore normal circulation.
I remember learning in year 10 or 11 biology that dolphins have some adaptive mechanism to pass the heat from their arteries to their veins so that it doesn’t go to the extremities and they don’t die of exposure. All my life I’ve had ridiculously cold feet (for recent years, Andy will happily verify this I’m sure), but I usually stop feeling my feet when it gets cold, and can happily frolick around in a T-shirt. I take this to mean i am More Highly Evolved. However, if I extend this theory to Germany, I suspect I will start losing toes to frostbite.
In other news, I bought a very cute Christmas ornament, and will use it now in a gratuitous selfie.

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