Goodness me, January is already pretty much over at this point and I feel like my brain is still catching up with the fact it’s no longer 2017.
The Christmas tree is still up, while the resolutions are already down. It’s -8 degrees in Beijing and every time I step foot outside, I can feel my actual brain freezing in my head. But sitting in the flat makes me so depressed, I quickly lose the will to live. So, depression versus frost bite, it’s a never-ending choice between the two.
But it’s not all bleak on the horizon. I am still clinging happily to my memories of the Christmas holidays, while already looking forward to the next. Christmas was spent in Germany with family, and we put the Colmar Christmas Market to the test.
I have long boasted about the superiority of German Christmas markets (and Frankfurt’s in particular) to any other country I’ve lived in. But I have to hand it to the French, they really know how to knock it out of the park. The decorations were stunning – every house worth half its salt got involved and prepped and primed itself into a glittery, happy explosion of Christmassy glory. In terms of presentation, Colmar wins hands down. The only small disappointment for a munchkin like myself was the strange lack of food. In Germany pretty much every second stall at least is breaking full with coated almonds of all descriptions, gingerbread hearts and horses, sausages and Flammekuchen. In other words, you can expect you will end up in a food coma. Colmar, however, was suspiciously foodless. We did in the end find a great Choucroute stand and had a delicious meal, so who am I to complain? If you’re ever in the neighbourhood around Christmas (or rather up until 30th December), definitely go check this market out!
The thing with going back to Europe these days is that I feel if I am not at least visiting one new country each time I go back, it’s a wasted opportunity, and so we made our way to Budapest. With a quick stopover in Vienna for New Years’ where I was so psyched to see my uni friends, who are all being very grown-up and adulty these days. Feeling the pressure…but that then went on to a fabulous time in Budapest with my former flatmates as a couples’ trip, something we’ve never done before. It was fun, the Airbnb was stunning and so was Budapest, what a lovely city! I was a bit surprised at the general level of deterioration of some of the buildings, had not expected that. But nonetheless it’s an incredible city with a fascinating history. So very good start to 2018 with another country to tick off the list.
While the weather this month in Beijing is very Hohhot-reminiscent and makes me want to write a letter of complaint to whichever deity controls the frost, my social calendar has somehow been stuffed to the brim with exciting events and outings. Most importantly, the big project of 2018 – a tour of Beijing’s High Teas. As we were slurping our tea at the China World Hotel for Christmas, a few friends and myself felt this is something that needs to be repeated. Add to that there’s currently not much info about Beijing’s best High Tea out there, and our mission was born. Let’s see if we can keep the monthly exploration of Beijing’s High Tea options going, but so far we got off to a great start with Harrods’ Afternoon Tea. I’m hoping to tell you all about it!
While the year started out strong with travel, the resolutions have remained rather hypothetical conceptsl. We’ll see what February holds. How has the year started out for you? Cold or hot, resolved or dissolved? Wishing you a happy January 2018!