Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Christmas, a summary

Eventually, I found a peaceful moment to bring my recollections of the festive period to paper, ehh, electrons.

I don't understand why many people turn into completely different persons during the advent time, with loads of (often futile) attempts to charm others into the same christmassy mood. Frankly, Christmas had lost most of its magic ever since I found out that present weren’t brought by the Christ-child and – more importantly – that family gatherings usually end up with dispute and drama [1]. Besides that, Christmas shopping is probably the most absurd invention of modern society. You receive stuff you don't need and buy stuff which you’re not appreciated for since a magic, invisible somewhat incarnation of Christ has brought them. Oh we poor fellows, that we have to indoctrinate our children with such BS [2].

But I’d better start at the beginning. This year was slightly different as my girlfriend joined the Mike-clan. However, as we are both working full-time [3] we could only go for the hardcore «everyone wants to fly to bloody Austria» period from the 21st to the 27th of December. Not surprisingly, all direct flights were exorbitantly expensive and my contingency plan was to evade via Munich, where my brother makes a living.

The outbound flight from London was quite enjoyable, as for the first time in years I actually used the high-class of the low-class airlines, AirBerlin. Where the seats are only marginally too short and tight and one is – surprisingly – served food. However, last minute shopping was awaiting me and during the day I was feeling gradually more sick, which culminated in my ultimatum that I’d puke into the next shop, shouldn’t we make our way home. My stomach eventually freed itself of all containing burden during the night - twice.

The only real reason why I still every year look forward to going home over Christmas is the food - loads of delicious food. This year’s «appetiser» was wild boar, which my Dad had shot a couple of days before and turned into an incredible ragout, so tender that I didn’t have to chew, but merely mashed it with my tongue. Apparently, the critter weighted – without its innards – more than 90kg. The «main course» on Christmas Eve consisted of bread, butter, smoked salmon as starters and a whole slowly stewed back of a cow as the big deal. As «dessert» we had the ceremonial fondue on the 25th.

While we comfortably went to Austria from Munich by my brother’s car, the train turned out to be the transport of choice on the way back. So seventy-something Euros poorer and five hours later the Munich airport came into sight [4] and with a total journey time of 12 hours home sweet home had us again. How have I missed my freezing flat with the single glassed windows.

[1] Of course not different this year.
[2] Many parents even go a step further and morph into pediatric sadists: «There! The Christ-child. Didn’t you see it?», «Where?», «Aww, I’m sorry sweetie you just missed it by a second. Maybe next time you’re lucky.»
[3] My request for holiday was answered with a hand-wave symbolising «Why are you asking anyway, just go as you please». It's good to be a scientist!
[4] «Sie steigen in den Hauptbahnhof ein ...»:

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1 Comments:

Anonymous albert said...

So disillusioned, so vivid. I wonder why you are posting so rarely these days: molecular biologists must prove to be better bloggers than chemists. :-)

"dispute and drama": fortunately you could head home (I mean, your REAL, homely habitat): I went to the lab to look after cells I should have frozen and stored at -80°C. And I'll live with my family until I'll graduate

Shopping made you feel sick? Mmm, I'd opt for the "free" food on the plane. I'm sorry but, next time, save money and get a car (anything with a decent engine: even a diesel) and you'll have the pleasure of driving all the way from London to Austria and back(!).

Seeya!

8:43 pm  

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