Happy Chinese New Year

The year of the dragon has started. This was celebrated with a big parade and artists showing their abilities in Chinatown or Trafalgar Square. Apparently every Chinese Restaurant was fully booked, but market stalls provided enough food for everybody with a growling stomach.

Following the old custom, open door invited the luck coming into the houses whereas demons had to stay outside.

Unluckily it was that cold, that I had to leave this crowd – which was brimming with mirth –  pretty early.

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Finally back!

I celebrated Christmas in Switzerlandand and there was – luckily – much more snow than in London. I have to admit that I really missed these fluffy white flakes during pre-Christmas season (no reason to cherish illusions as there is sometimes no snow in my hometown either).

There is not much time left before I finish my course in England, but many things are still waiting to be seen. In other words, I will be quite busy carrying my camera around. My poor back (I’m still wondering whether somebody will invite a little robot which snatches my bag and follows me trough the hurry-scurry without running into a fireplug).

Winter Wonderland

Yesterday I visited Winter Wonderland. It is – as you might deduce from the name – a little adventure park and Christmas market in the middle of Hyde Park. I was actually quite astonished when it turned out to be pretty big, because I imagined some huts with drinks and handiworks, a rollercoaster and maybe one or two stands with typical European food. 
Just goes to show you never know. I think the word “some” is out of place and should be replaced with “tremendously many”. Furthermore rollercoaster in singular is rather economical with the truth. Yes, there was one rollercoaster, but situated between a few more. To summarise the adventurous attractions: there was a haunted castle, a tower which had the nasty trait to let its visitors fall down whilst they were enjoying the good view, merry-go-rounds, a kind of a human shaker (lucky you if the breakfast staid where it was), many houses and plays for children etc.
When it comes to the food, you might guess it, I underestimated the business acumen of some people. There were stands with the same food over and over again (even the placards were similar) and I feared that the neatly decorated wooden houses would start to quarrel about which of them sold the better Currywurst. Just for the record, many owners were Germans and I think this is why the whole market looked like a German Christmas market (or maybe where the British people got their inspiration from). 
After my Currywurst I grinned like a Cheshire cat and went off in the direction of the chocolate-coated fruits…

Considering the decoration I’d say: thumb up. Kitschy, colored and illuminated as it should be. The food corner looked like a little village (it was even called Bavarian Village) and had a rustic atmosphere. A German singer added a slight touch of a Munich Beer Festival feeling. But in the middle of “Schnaps das war sein letztes Wort, dann trugen ihn die Englein fort“ (= his last word was schnaps and then he got carried away by angels) he suddenly shouted “Dirty Bitch” and rocked the stage (the wooden tabouret) with his interpretation of the Black Eyed Peas.

Is there much more to tell? Yes: Go and have a look yourself.

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The first door is open

It is the 1st December an therefore the first door of the Advent calendar is to be opened.

Walking through the shops in September, I was confronded with uncountable Chrismas decorations, Santa Claus hats, rendeer headgears and every kitschy Chrismas tree ornaments you might think of. But up until now I haven’t seen many Advent calendars, which is quite astonisting. I just came across the sweet ones, i.e. the ones with chocolate inside (this is definitly not a bad idea, but why just one piece of chocolate per day?), however, even this sugary temptation is not that common. Do the British people buy a whole chocolate box for every day? Yes? Oh, I’ll join.

Let the pre-Chrismas season begin!