For this Malaysian, the cold was a total bother in Germany


The Christmas Market in Frankfurt had a very festive atmosphere. — Photos: MS DIAMOND

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I have never liked the cold – I struggle with any temperature below 20°C. So when I found out that I was going to be on a business trip to Frankfurt, Germany in winter, I was quite worried.

With the support (and sympathy) of loved ones, I geared myself with the right tools to prepare for the “onslaught” of winter. Several excursions of retail therapy to get the warmest clothing possible made me feel more confident as I was getting closer to my maiden trip to Germany.

When I got to Frankfurt, everything seemed fine at first. However, to my surprise, Apple Pay – my go-to epayment method – was not well accepted in Germany. I tried multiple times to rent a trolley while waiting for my bags, and as I was doing this I could feel my face warming up. The gentleman standing behind me was getting annoyed witnessing my stubborn attempts ... so I gave up.

My taxi driver was a shy, Turkish gentleman in his 50s. He did not seem too talkative but obliged me when I started talking about my favourite Turkish cheese. I was still in good spirits up to this point and I felt like I was ready to explore Frankfurt.

When I checked in to the hotel, I discovered that I had to take my bags to the room myself. It surely did not seem like a glamorous thing to do, but hey, maybe the Germans take pride in self-sufficiency, I told myself.

Yummy candied apples at the Christmas Market.Yummy candied apples at the Christmas Market.

Later, I went out and it started to snow. That was the first time in my life that I had seen and experienced snow. I stared in awe at an empty parking lot that was partially covered in snow. As I walked back to my hotel, I felt the snow on my jacket and my hands. It was so surreal that I paused and took a few moments to appreciate how lucky I was to have experienced this.

I managed to go to the famous Christmas Market in Frankfurt. It was very festive – bright with beautiful Christmas decorations everywhere. There were trinkets, food and drinks and plenty more on sale. Hot mulled wine seemed to be the crowd favourite.

As the market is akin to a very cold “pasar malam”, my friend and I huddled to enjoy our dinner of fish and chips. I had my jacket zipped all the way up to my chin and my gloves were making me clumsy to deal with the cutleries. I remember rushing to finish my dinner as I was shivering and I wanted to enjoy the rest of the evening in a warmer place. So, we made our way to a fast food chain restaurant for a much-needed hot chocolate.

Chicken schnitzel with roast potatoes seemed to be a local favourite in Frankfurt.Chicken schnitzel with roast potatoes seemed to be a local favourite in Frankfurt.

On another night, we went to an eatery called Adolf Wagner that was popular with the locals. The foodie in me got excited when I saw at the menu. Luckily, the food did not disappoint at all. The meal was lovely and the atmosphere was great.

Despite the biting cold temperature of 5°C, we enjoyed our walks in the streets of Frankfurt. I loved that the city was a stark contrast to Kuala Lumpur; there were only a handful of high-rise buildings in the city centre, unlike our capital.

I also grew to appreciate Riesling, an aromatic, white wine grape that is native to Germany.

On our final day in Frankfurt, we planned an excursion to explore more of the city, but the cold weather got the better of me. I found myself truly unable to enjoy walking in the city, even during the day.

Throughout my stay in Frankfurt, the weather kept getting colder every day. By the end of my trip, I was no longer able to be muster a smile or have any enthusiasm at all to enjoy museums or any other attractions in the city.

It was at this point that a lightbulb flashed in my head. I realised that I finally learnt what the phrase “cold and miserable” means!

The views expressed are entirely the reader’s own.

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