Living so far from the place where I grew up, I had long ago given up on the possibilty of a chance meeting with so-and-so from whenever-a-long-time-ago. I like chance meetings. I like finding out what has become of people I knew when we were kids. Character development. It’s fascinating. But I like living in Germany more, so down the drain with chance meetings, I figured. The closest I’ve come, will probably ever come, was a few weeks ago.
I’m coming to Frankfurt for work! the email said. Whoa! I said. We met, after years and years of not seeing each other, of not even talking, two people who once called each other best friends. Life is funny like that. And so we went to the Christmas market, freshly opened, home of deep fried everythings that had been silently begging me to come pay them homage from across the city (or was that my stomach talking?). As annoying as the winter holiday season can be, it sure is delicious.
We strolled through the crowd—a small one, we were lucky—until we found a good-looking mulled wine stand. We ordered and found a little table to lean against while we raced the cold air to the bottom of our mugs, comparing politics in the countries where we live. More tables crowded around us, more mulled wine drinkers around them, a little rock in a stream of shoppers pushing by on their way to fill their bags and empty their wallets.
When it came time to eat, I was overwhelmed. I had bought a bag of roasted chestnuts when we had first arrived (my favorite December snack), but how to decide on a main course? With fried goodness wafting at me from every corner? When I was a vegetarian, the Christmas Market held no power over me, but now that I eat meat once again, temptation lurks from every stand. We decided on langoes, a friend potato bread topped with cheese and garlic sauce. It was delicious. But with the markets closing for the year in another week, I’m going to have to get back asap if I want to get a bite of the rest of the goodies on offer. If you need me, I’ll be at the Bratwurst stand.