The trees have been available to buy for the past fortnight, but it feels wrong to even consider buying it before December rolls in. When is it OK to buy one, and for it not to drop all it’s needles before Christmas day? They are already cut I guess, but somehow non-logic tells me the sooner they come in the house, they sooner they will lose all their needles. (And this year, the sooner it will be pulled over due to a mischievous kitten.)
But back to here and now, in Montreal, Canada. There is a farmer’s market situated in the Little Italy area of Montreal called Jean-Talon (Marche Jean-Talon) and from what I know of the city so far – which isn’t all that much - this seems to be the best place to buy an organic turkey. The butcher spoke English (still loving this), and didn’t look confused by the word ‘turkey’ (you never know, different countries have different words for the same items, think thong and flip flop). We put down a $20 deposit on a wild black turkey (they did say we could go and see it roaming the fields, but we declined – looking the poor thing in the eye and then seeing it roasted and sliced on a plate in between a spoonful of stuffing and mound of sprouts is a step too far for us. It will be available to pick up on Christmas Eve; so fingers crossed we will have a turkey dinner this year too…
We had Christmas in Munich last year, just T and I, because we had always spent the day with one family or the other, and thought it would be nice to spend it just the two of us. It was lovely not having to travel, I must admit. Christmas 2010 had been a bit of a nightmare – we had booked flights to New York for the week before Christmas, planning to spend Christmas itself with family in England, but the snow canceling flights in the UK put a stop to that. Instead we flew back to England earlier (managing to get on one of the only flights that wasn’t cancelled – another long story) intending to fly out to New York on Boxing Day, only to arrive at Manchester airport to be told the flights were cancelled due to snow on the American side. Added to this, we needed to hire a car from the airport last minute, at this consistently busy period, when everyone else was doing the same (flights from London to the north had been cancelled, so everyone was having to hire cars and drive up there instead), as well as the usual mayhem such as traffic jams, and fraught people, that comes with traveling at this busy time. It took us a week to recover once we got back to Sevilla.
The fact that we – or I; T I guess has colleagues at Bombardier – don’t know anyone here is only enforced at this time of year; as it is traditionally a time for socializing and catching up with family and friends. We had good friends over to our apartment for drinks and canapés last Christmas Eve, which was very special and helped the fact we weren’t with family. I keep going through periods where I feel especially homesick when I think about the festive holiday, but at least I have T – and Albie – to gather with. It must be incredibly hard for people who are totally on their own at this time. Advertisements, TV programs, films all portray big family gatherings and social get-togethers, but some people have no one to gather or get together with.
But that is what you get moving countries. There are so many upsides, exciting experiences and amazing opportunities, but on the flip side there are aspects that are hard and compromises that must be reached.