It was 25th Dec morning, and there I was at my friend’s place on Christmas. By the way I had a great sleep the previous night. So, I got up and went down and there was Mr. Klaus in the kitchen, wished him ‘Guten morgen’ (good morning) and went straight to the living room. The breakfast was ready on the table and we all took our seats. Let me tell you guys something about German food. For breakfast they eat all kinds of bread, very different to our country. I had many options like bread, chocolate croissant, and other types (since I cannot recall the names now) and variety of cheese. And for my surprise, people here love cheese and I mean it. They can simply eat a slice of plain cheese as it is and it goes with anything, some people love eating even with tomatoes (right Kate?). And top of all these, I need to maintain table manners also. Since I love chocolate, I took chocolate croissant and Klara’s mother was very courteous and gave me a cup of coffee. We all finished our breakfast, got ready and left the house at around 10.30 am. And guess where we were heading? I was accompanying them to their neighbor’s birthday party. Yes, you guys heard it right and I was as surprised as you guys who are reading this. I enter the house, feeling little uncomfortable, not know what to do and with whom to talk to in the party. But I must tell you guys that those feeling were only till I entered the house. And soon after a while I was talking with the people like I was one of them, who lives in their neighborhood. Parties in Germany are quite different than the ones in India. The first thing I talked was telling them which drink I would like to have. Though the options given to me were pretty new to me, I managed to choose one and the one I took was called ‘Sekt’, a very similar drink to Champaign. Oh! I just forgot to tell about the houses here. The houses I visited were so beautiful and clean; they were as good as brand new. One can find a good collection of books, a nice collection of glasses on wall units, a piano and few other musical instruments, a sophisticated collection of couches and tables in the living room. Coming back to party, I was there right in between people holding a glass of Sekt in my hand, talking German and enjoying my time. After an hour of talking and drinking, we left their place, came back to Klara’s house and by that time Klara’s parents had arranged for lunch as they had left the party a bit early. And as we took our seats for lunch there was couple of new faces for me who had joined us that afternoon, a granny, Klara’s uncle (I’m really sorry for not remembering their names) and Tobi, Klara’s friend. Before eating we all wished ‘Guten Apetit’ holding each other hands. Since I don’t eat non-veg, everyone took good care of my meals, especially Klara’s grandmother. She was very sweet and courteous and made sure I was enjoying my lunch as much as they were. And of course a glass of red wine was also served. There was also exchange of gifts after the lunch between Klara’s uncle and her family since he had arrived just before lunch. After the lunch we went back to our room to take a small nap because, later in the evening the plan was to visit Klara grandmother’s house.
Now, let me take you guys straight to her grandmother’s house. So, we enter the house and for my surprise there were quite a number of people. I don’t know how they all were related to each other, so I don’t want to try creating any new relationships. They all introduced themselves and got back to their seats. At the beginning I was really feeling uncomfortable. I think the main factor for that is the language. If you know the language one can somehow get into some conversation, on the other hand if you don’t know then it becomes like watching a tennis match (I think you people understood what I wanted to convey and I don’t want to embarrass myself by describing it more). The best part was that they had made separate seating arrangement for younger people (jünge leute) and for elderly people. Our group was big in number; let me try to remember how many were there though I can’t remember their names. And I think there were 6 of them excluding I, Klara, Lucas and Tobi. Anyways, the point was there were lot of them and I could not talk to any of them freely and the only reason being I knew very little german. Later we were served with tea and also there was cakes kept on the table in front of us. Immediately after the snacks there was music program and do you guys want to take any guesses on who lead the program? First guess would be Klalra’s mom and I would say na… Klara’s dad, na… by the way, he plays piano really well. And the last guess is Klara herself I think, but I would say you guys got it totally wrong. It was none other than Klara’s grandma. So, there was lot of singing and playing flute that was going on and Tobi was supporting them on guitar. I forgot to mention that, Tobi is a very good guitar player and he is in one of the rock band called ‘Audioenema’. The music went on for half an hour and it was wonderful to see the entire family getting together, singing and enjoying their evening.
After the singing was done, most of the elders started preparing for dinner. And in the mean time Klara’s mom invited me for a T.T match (Yes! they had a TT table in the cellar). We could play only for 10 minutes as the dinner got ready by then, but though it was short, I had lots of fun playing. Then we all came up and I grabbed a plate full of Kartoffel salat (Potato salad). And for the first time I enjoyed something made of potato after coming to Germany. Klara wanted to go to her house and take rest as she had headache. And all of her cousins also left after the dinner. Then it was just her parents and grandma, her aunt and uncle, Lucas, Tobi and I sat together to play a card game called ‘Rauf und Runter’. It was so much fun playing the game with all those people. To describe the game is simple words, it is a game of 19 rounds and who ever scores highest is the winner. In each round, card are distributed starting from 1 in the 1st round to 10 in the 10th and then coming back to 1 in the final 19th round. Let me not go into the details of it. The point I was trying to make was that whenever granny lost any round, one should see the expression on her face. She becomes so sad, like someone just snatched a toy from a child’s hand. And she used to do exactly what a child does later, complain about what happened. All in all it was absolutely fun. And after the 10th round we all took a small pause and had shots of Ei-liquor (Egg-liquor) in chocolate cups and then continued back with the game. I think I came 3rd in the game and they all were pretty surprised to see a beginner scoring well. We winded up the game at 10.30 pm and returned to the house. Wish I had photos to show you guys all these memories of mine.
As we all left the house I noticed only granny stayed back and frankly, it was very shocking for me know that Klara’s granny stays all alone in that house. After coming back Frau Mo served whisky to all. Then, Klara’s parents and Lucas gave presents to Tobi, while Klara was still taking rest on the couch. It was a long day for all of us and all that I remember is eating and drinking… along with getting to spend a wonderful time with Klara’s family and get to see Weihnachten celebration. And I requested Lucas for a group photo tomorrow as a remembrance. Since we all were tired, we went to bed soon after a small chitchat.
And next day we all met at 9 am on the breakfast table. As we finished our Früstück (breakfast), Lucas requested for a group photo and we all went cheese!
A nice group photo
I had a train to catch at 11.45 am. Tobi, along with Klara dropped me to the railway station. Gave a goodbye hug and there I was back again in the train to Siegen. Thanks to Klara and her family for making me a part of their family and allowing me to be a part of their Christmas celebration. These 3 days are one of the most memorable moments in my life.