Monday, November 26, 2007

I'll be home for Christmas

Well, I won't, but if the Mark won't go to the Mont-Royal, the Mont-Royal will come to Mark.

Each year, Strasbourg hosts the oldest or biggest Christmas market in France/Europe (I'm a little fuzzy on the details, as you can see).

There are markets like this over most of the city. Roughly one-in-five booths sells "gluwein" (mulled wine) meaning that it is possible to get completely hammered while doing one's Christmas shopping. I will refrain from commenting on the utility of this innovation.

Each year, a country/region is asked to be a "guest" of the market, and set up stalls selling their traditional foods and handicrafts. In addition, performances and displays of art are mounted throughout the month from that culture. The invitee market is always set up on Place Gutenberg, next door to my building. Last year, in honour of their joining the EU, the guest was Romania.

Anyone care to guess which maple-syrup loving, strong-beer making, Celine-Dion-producing people were the guest of honour this year?

Right now they're playing a CD of Christmas carols by the Montreal Jubilation Choir. And while there's no shortage of weird little plastic Native American knick knacks for sale, not to mention a booth selling Fin du Monde and Maudite beer, I have yet to see any sign of either a merchant offering either poutine or Montreal bagels.*

Nonetheless, this is doing nothing for my seasonal homesickness.

* I know I'm really missing these; at a recent dinner with friends I described them as "round and golden, like the haloes of angels."


Knot Knitting said...

I was eating montreal-esque bagels this weekend and thinking of you and if you had found an acceptable substitute. My mom wondered if you too had finished your pb. I told her I thought it was likely.

I'll be calling soon to wish your lovely wife a lovely birthday, in the next day or so.


Mark Reynolds said...

Hey! You have your own blog and everything! Want me to add you to your links?

Man, I've gone through so much PB it's frightening. I actually need to send out an emergency call for more to my parents soon.