For me Christmas season means visiting a German Christmas market and combining this with some Christmas shopping (which means not only shopping for presents but also shopping for myself). After being to Manchester’s Christmas market for the last two years I thought it was time to revisit the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas market again. I really had a good time but what a day it was…
It already started a bit funny at the train station.
“A day return to Birmingham, please.” “New Street?” “Yes, please.” “Are you sure?” “Yes!?”
Maybe this should have warned me. I thought I knew what to expect but I wasn’t quite prepared for this.
First, some Christmas shopping and let me tell you, I wasn’t the only one…
After I had to queue to use an escalator like it was a fun ride in Disneyland (zig zag barriers and all), I decided it was time for some proper German bratwurst and gluehwein at the Frankfurt Christmas Market. What a delight and I even got served with a friendly “Guten Appetit!”. I really enjoyed the Christmas market even though it was very busy but everyone was in a good mood.
And then there are these moments when you swear under your breath because some people don’t quite realise they are not walking these streets alone.
So here is my personal code of conduct for Christmas markets or crowds in general:
- If you are not able to eat your bratwurst, hold on to your gluehwein mug, update your Facebook status on your mobile and walk simultaneously – DON’T! Mustard is not a colour every other person likes to wear… Actually this goes for any kind of food and drink.
- Don’t stop dead in your tracks to take a picture – or for any other reason. I like to take pictures myself because it does look pretty with all the lights and decorations. But have a look around you first, step to the side, maybe look for a shop window or entrance to stand in front of or even hide behind a lamppost and take your picture from there. It’s still going to look pretty and you can take your time to get it right.
- A visit to a Christmas market is most fun if you go with a group of friends. I agree with that. However, the fun stops if you are in a group of lets say 5-10 people, walking next to each other and holding hands as not to get split up or lost. You won’t get lost, I promise. And you won’t be able to talk to each other properly anyway. So give the rest of us a chance to pass by you and don’t block the whole aisle. You could even decide on a meeting point when it gets too busy in case you get split up. It would be so much more fun for everybody else.
- Don’t push. If the crowd can’t move any faster this won’t get you anywhere any faster at all. It just makes people in front of you uncomfortable and angry. Try to be patient.
- Smoking in a moving disorganised pack of people? Never! Ever!
You could probably add more to this list but these are my the top 5 from my recent experience. But above all, have fun and enjoy yourself!!