Tag Archives: christmas markets

I Told You They Were Magical

Walking around the Christmas market right next to our hostel in Zurich today, my brother and I come upon a booth selling African-style curios: wooden animal figures, necklaces, bracelets and the like. “Reminds me of home,” I say, at which the shop owner gives me a bit of an incredulous look and asks where I come from, to which my response of late has been, “Kenya.” Next thing I hear is, “Karibu chai,” and I am immediately thrust back into my life in Kenya while a cup of hot chai is thrust into my hand. Here I am, standing in freezing temperatures in Zurich, Switzerland, and I am having a conversation with a Kenyan in Kiswahili.

Lydia’s been living here for 18 years now, but her family comes from Nakuru and she is a Kikuyu. She seemed to get a kick out of the white boy in Zurich speaking Kiswahili with her, but it was a nice time. Actually, she even gave Chris a discount on what he was buying, which was really nice of her. The chai was delicious, spiced with cinnamon. We wished each other a merry Christmas and went our separate ways, myself still move convinced of our shrinking world (hurry, contact the geologists!), as well as the generally magical nature of Christmas markets.

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Old Town Christmas Market

Walking down the cobblestone street, encountering a lightly-flowing stream of other winter revelers, bundled against the cold bite of a December night, we head towards a faint glow in the distance. Snow crunches under my feet like it has a million times before; it’s a comforting sound. Nature tells us something with her snow. She tells us that no matter what we build, no matter how we tear her up and cover her in asphalt, she can always beat us. This snow crunching, it’s a natural sound, and no matter where I walk in this wintry city, there is the telltale crunch. For me, it’s comforting to know that we are still humbled by nature and her snow.

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