Monday, December 28, 2009

Whoosh!

That is the sound Christmas would have made here as it rushed by like a light-speed streak of wine and good food.  It was a very disorganized affair for me this year.  I worked a truckload before and during the Christmas period, and given it's the first time I've really had to figure out how to manage shipping or internet shopping for everyone, sadly some fell through the cracks until after Christmas, which hasn't really made me feel like the greatest of expat-relatives/friends.  For those who who haven't received or heard a peep, I'm so sorry.  I was absolutely caught with my pants down, which is a really bad feeling for someone who normally has all their Christmas givings figured out by the end of October.  Give me time, and it'll all get sorted through, but I'll still feel guilty for not getting 'er all done on time.

Enough of this though.  Updates:  It snowed again!  Just a few days after the snow on the 16th, and we were thrilled because it was like some crazy blizzard blew threw and left everything gorgeous in it's wake.





The snow didn't stick around though.  Most of it melted fairly soon after falling, though there was enough left for us to have a "whitish" Christmas.

Boyfriend's mom showed up on our doorstep one day just a few before Christmas with a tree (well, actually with two trees.)  I've always felt bad about killing a real tree just to put it in your house for decoration, but in this case the killing was already done, so we gave the tree a lovely wake.


The other tree is this guy below, who is alive and well, and pretty tiny.  Mostly I'm happy becuase he's alive.  He's the first plant in the house I've claimed as "mine".  Hopefully I won't kill him.  I'm an alright gardener but I have little luck with houseplants.


Christmas is definitely different here.  It seems most people do their "big dinner" on the evening of the 24th.  When I say big I mean it too.  Like, more than 6 courses.  We had two cold entrées, two hot entrées, a "trou Normand" (this is usually a sorbet or something to try and help your stomach make room for the upcoming courses,) the plat principal (which is often not turkey, in our case it was chevreuil - a type of deer,) followed by coffee and dessert.  Dinner starts late, and ends crazily late.  As in: it's past midnight and you're still eating dinner.(!)

Of course, everyone here is used to eating late, (except me that is, and it usually results in me feeling significantly less than fabulous.)  Though the dinner was amazing, because it was huge and ended so late, I woke up later in the night with a horrible pain in my stomach and then realized as the cold sweat started to take over and the pain intensified in my belly that I should head, quickly, for the washroom.  It all... all 6 courses that we'd eaten, came back up and out.  I felt VERY MERRY about that, particularly since I'd only slept about an hour at that point, during an evening where I'd only be able to squeeze in a maximum of 5 hours of sleep before heading to work on Christmas morning.   (I work in a hotel, so we don't close for Christmas.)

I managed to drag myself into work anyhow, despite my jerk-stomach and I manage the day with a weak smile.  The eating late thing is something I just haven't been able to adopt.  I've tried, I just can't.  I can do it the Spanish way, however, since they're really smart about it, and take a nap in the afternoon.  This means that even though they eat late, they also stay up later too giving them time to digest things a little more before going to bed.  Spain is awesome that way.  I digress.

Now the end of 2009 is upon us.  After much batting around of ideas for how to spend our mutual end-of-year time off, we've finally settled on heading to Strasbourg for a few days.  On paper it seems like it should be a good trip.  The drive isn't too long, we're staying in a bathrobe and slipper providing 4-star with what trip-advisor tells me is a delicious breakfast buffet. The Christmas market should still be around and open, which is always pretty and festive, and though neither of us has been there before we've both seen and heard great things about how lovely it is there.  So I'm looking forward to it!  And since today is Boyfriend's last day of work, tonight we'll be heading into the Christmas market in Liège to wine and dine, followed by a very rough schedule tomorrow which includes picking out bottles of champagne for new years, and getting a massage side-by-side.  After a year where both of us have worked very hard and faced a lot of challenge, I feel no guilt about winding it down this way.  We totally deserve this.

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Chitika