Happy New Year! Or as the Germans would say, I hope you had a good slide (into the New Year). I have been back in Berlin for a week now, although somehow it feels much longer. Berlin is looking very white at the moment – there has been lots of snow. My bike has been relegated to the cellar, yet I’ve been surprised at the number of people who are still cycling. It has also been very cold – which makes my pre-Christmas-indulgence in a pair of warm, red, lace-up winter boots feel more than justified. Today it was -8°C, and gosh my fingers knew it. As much as I can never wait to get to work, approaching the exit staircase of the tube station aka icy wind tunnel is really not at all pleasant. Still, it makes the hot cup of tea on arrival at work taste even better.
I met this chap on the way back from the supermarket today:
Lebkuchen and Spekulatius biscuits are nearly all but gone from the supermarket aisles. I imagine they will be quickly replaced by Fasching (carnival) costumes.
Silvester, or New Year’s Eve, is meant to be quite an experience in Berlin. As I spent New Year in England (Alnwick to be precise), the only evidence I have to go on is the detritus now left half-buried on the snowy streets, which certainly implies great celebration took place. I’ve heard tales likening it to a war zone, with rockets and bombs exploding erratically on all sides. Maybe next year I should stay here to witness it myself – the general advice seems to be avoid the streets between 8pm-3am and seek refuge on a roof-top balcony, from where you can admire the firework displays but are less likely to come face to face with a ferocious firecracker.