For an American raised on shopping-mall Santas and Christmas Eve drives through the suburbs to ogle people’s decorated houses, there’s nothing quite like walking around a German Weihnachtsmarkt, or Christmas market.
Unlike Oktoberfest, which is really a Bavarian thing, Christmas markets are found in cities and villages throughout Germany every December, with some stretching into the new year. Berlin, Dresden, Frankfurt, Nuremberg and others, they all have markets.
There is a small bar in Lüneburg called the Saltzkontor. It is owned by a German man and his Brazilian wife. He is totally chill behind the bar doing his thing, listening to Boston or Bob Segar. His thing is mixing up cocktails. These are the best cocktails in Lüneburg, possibly Germany. They are made with real fresh fruit and juice. They are also not too expensive.
The weird thing about the Saltzkontor is that they have lots of stupid rules printed in the menu and on signs on the walls. Don’t smoke outside in front of the door. Close the windows at 8pm. If she brings chips to the table, they are complimentary, but if you ask for them first, they cost money. Put your fruit rinds in the small bowl provided or on your napkin if it is not provided.
The picture here describes just 4 of the house rules. They make sense I guess, but the way in which they are presented to the patrons is a bit “fascho”.
1: Don’t annoy the boss (her) or the bartender with questions of a personal nature.
2: Smoking pipes, cannabis, cigarillos, cigars and self rolled cigarettes is VERBOTEN. Filter cigarettes are allowed.
3: Minors under the age of 18 are not allowed in the smoking section.
4: Don’t depose jackets, purses and backpacks in the way. “Risk of Accident”
The lady has a real attitude problem. It’s kind of hard to understand her German and she gets frustrated and pissed off having to repeat herself. Some guests have been known to get a smack upside the head for not being able to quickly choose a drink from the extensive menu or asking too many questions about the ingredients. And then if you try to be polite and follow the rules, she might take a shine to you and start telling you all kinds of things that you really don’t understand or even want to know.
There is often no free tables and she will kick you out if it is full.
The drinks are great. Check it out.
I’ve imagined doing lots of things to GWBush. Most involved fists, knives and ninjas. However, none of my fantasy death scenarios* involved throwing my shoes at him.
*Dear Secret Service agents reading my blog, please notice that my fantasies are just that, fantasies. I would never in a million bajillion years ever seriously consider doing any sort of harm to dear old 43. I just don’t have the kind of access that you do. But man, if I were in your position though, it would be hard not to consider the possibilities…..
I keed, I keed.
I hate December and the general pre-Christmas season. In my room I have no Christmas decorations. It is a refuge from the storm. I haven’t had time to do anything, much less post on this world famous blog. As a penance I offer a walrus playing saxophone.