Gluhwein and Snow

Leaving the chaotic conundrum of university I went home fully expecting to sober up, and live a few weeks in relative solitude. My mother had set up for me to be the hostess with the mostest for a University-aged child party for all of us who are on the army base for Christmas holidays in the middle of southern Germany with no friends. I already had a couple aquaintances on the street, but most of them were busy with family time while here, or with their own lives, or too scared to ask their parents if they could go out to a bar, when they’re under 21, but of legal age here in Germany. So I made some kickass Gluhwein, store bought meatballs, and queso with tortilla chips, I also bought a liberal amount of beer and wine. A brother and sister down the street came first, they have just moved in, and they’re awesome. When everyone got here, which ended up being about 10 people, we all got introduced, and I doled out the gluhwein. It went so fast! a whole pot full was gone in less than an hour. The beer remained predominantly untouched. The general consensus is that it was the best qluhwein ever. Here’s the recipe:

large amount of really cheap red wine
apple juice
1 orange
whole cloves
cinnamon
nutmeg
(Mulling spices. any mixture will do)
Vanilla extract
Cranberry Schnapps
Directions: over medium to low heat mix juice, wine and spices in a large pot. Cut orange half into slices, squeeze the other half into the mixture. Add a few liberal tablespoons of vanilla. Let it warm until its steaming but do not allow to boil (you don’t want to lose the alcohol!) Portion a shot of cranberry schnapps into each mug and serve with the wine.

I was lucky then to have made better aquaintance with people I already knew on the street and new aquaintances.  The brother and sister are awesome, i wish they were in my family. Since the party I’ve seen someone on the street and hung out with them every day except for Christmas. And we all keep on organizing and involving others on the street for our own activities, we had a snowball fight, and sledding, I even went skiing.

In trying to ski, I was a complete idiot. I had barely learned to put my boots in my skis when I decided that the best way to learn would be to go off on my own and just try to go down the slope. How hard could it be? I watched six year olds wizzing past and an old man that glided, easier than breathing. It was not my brightest idea ever. I went up the pulley and stood at the top of the hill thinking – maybe this wasn’t such a good idea- eventually I shoved off, elated for the first few feet and then terrified as I face plowed the snow. I scrabbled for my poles, and got myself up. This was repeated three times before I even got a quarter of the way down the hill. At some point I accidentally had one of my skis twisted the wrong way round and I started to go backwards down the hill. I decided falling would be better than tearing all of the ligaments in my knee, so I went down, and lost my poles again. A young german man grabbed one and handed it to me, and with consternation, amusement and concern started talking to me in German. All I could say was Danke, and sprechen sie english?Luckily he did,  he then proceeded to help me down the hill, and was a bit incredulous at the fact that I would even try to do such a thing, everyone I talked to was. I’ve always been impatient, some people mistake this for bravery.  Bit by bit he helped me down the hill, though my knee was still in pain from twisting my skis, I managed to ski for the last quarter of the slope without falling, and then fell again, trying not to hit people. I kept laughing at myself. I then decided I would walk that last ten or twenty feet, took off my skies, declined the offer for drinks, and thanked him profusely. I did not try to go down the slope again. My knee and my ankle were in a lot of pain (my knee is still sore) but not so bad that I thought I needed medical attention. With motrin and some ice it’s been doing fine. 

 I’ve always wanted to try skiing. The fact of the matter is,there are so many things I haven’t tried yet, I’m young still, and there’s so much time, and there’s so much I want to do. I have a list of things I want to do before I die. and skiing was one of them. Maybe next winter I’ll take a lesson or two and try to ski again. This season, I think I’ve gotten my fair share of eating snow- it didn’t help that I went down the wrong slope either (the one intended for experts).

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