Saturday, December 22, 2007
Each year Daley Plaza is the site of Chirstkindlmarkt, and there are tented booths featuring German wares that are actually from Germany, sold by actual Germans. (Ok, there are the usual two booths with the earnest Peruvian/Costa Rican bastard stepchildren selling colorful woolen mittens and hats, but nobody was fooled.)
I went there with my friend B and after wandering around talking to polite, chisel-featured people speaking politely in perfect English with German accents, I was ready to practically throw myself at "Daniel" or "Martin" (they had nametags that said things like, "Hi! I'm Heidi - please ask me for assistance!")
I purchased some strudel and almost asked the vendor if he had any post-Christkindlmarkt plans. But here's the thing: there's a reason that Germans aren't know for passionate love songs or sloppy romance stories. They responded to a smile, direct eye contact, and gentle teasing with a sort of confused, surprised bashfulness, and looked down at the purchases they were wrapping with perfectly squared corners. I began to feel like a trollop for saying hello. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if "flirting" isn't even in their vocabulary. If it is, it's probably some typical German agglomeration of words, something like, "warmpolitemaidentalk."
Oh, but they were so pretty.....