Thursday, December 13, 2012

Damn you, Bucharest Xmas Market!

Over the years, I have carefully cultivated an image of myself as a modern day Scroogette.  I eschew the sending of any type of holiday card. I plug my earphones firmly into my ears at the first sign of anything Noel-ish. I would rather skinny dip in molten lava then be caught dead in a mall.  Hell, I even used to throw anti-Xmas parties on the 26th of December to celebrate the end of all this ridiculousness. Guests were encouraged to bring desecrated Xmas icons and there was many an ice-picked Frosty and creatively mutilated Santa to show for it.

Yet, even with my distate for all things Xmas-y, I saw no reason to skip Bucharest's tree lighting ceremony.  It kicked off the start of their xmas market, which like most European xmas markets, has a certain old timey charm to it.  There are always arts and crafts to be purchased, dangerously unhealthy and delicious fair foods to be sampled and the steady flow of hot spiced wines to be imbibed.
Oh Vin Fiert, you always make me so warm and happy inside...

I love that it looks like a happy stream of lights are just flowing out of the bread cone that is being served.

But where Bucharest bested all others was in their wonderfully creative use of lights and projections.  Take a city that is already pretty stunning to look at and turn it into a massive multi-colored canvas... well, let's just say that it takes a pretty hardened soul to be able to resist that.  Try as I might, I am not yet that hardened.  I was damn giddy at the sight of it all.

It was to such a critical point that I did not even mind the occasional Xmas song that came over the speakers (although I also whole-heartedly appreciated the fact that they realized that not every single song has to be a holiday song and mixed in 'normal' songs, too)

As I walked around, I had this unnatural feeling where I wanted to buy gifts, smile uncontrollably and hug people.  I blame this on the vin fiert.  The lights were not that nice.

But in the end, I decided that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.  I can still bah humbug to my heart's content in N. America but when it comes to Romania and their infectious enthusiasm coupled with stunning decor, I give in.  I admit it, I crumbled quicker than a deflated Santa hanging execution-style from my back patio.

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