Today the most widely anticipated Christmas event in my Sixth Form arrived: the German Christmas market trip in Birmingham and this year did not disappoint. It was a day full of many selfies so I could select the best to use as my profile picture, the spending of money and a marvellous trip to Waterstones.
As we stepped off the cramp coach arriving in Birmingham, rain drops began to pour down and none of my friends had thought to bring an umbrella but we did not let this phase us, we had only three hours which we had carefully plotted out. We began sauntering around the Christmas market itself and a few of us tried the German delicacy of a frankfurter in a hot dog roll. There were an array of sauces, some of which I would never choose to try but we played it safe with ketchup out of a tube that resembled an udder (unfortunately I did not take a photo). The stalls varied from selling a variety of chocolates to decorated ornaments, where I buy my ma one every year however, the prices had risen significantly (Brexit and all that) so I chose a mini version to compensate.
Amazing photo quality by Beth
By the time we had had a generous stroll through the market, the rain was becoming increasingly heavier so like a metaphorical lightbulb above my head, Waterstones was stood in front of me. The last time I had visited Waterstones in Birmingham, it had been located in a historic structure not far from the new one before me. But it is fair to say, that this store was a sight to behold.
First of all, there were 5 floors, anything above 2 storey high, I fall in love with, and then there was an independent café not just your bog standard Costa and to top it all off, I was able to spend a whole hour there. Initially, I sold it to my friends as a chance to dry off and have a coffee but it gradually became a case of exploration. When sitting down in their stylishly furnished café, I spotted a sign for a hot chocolate called “The Works” which was lavished with whipped cream, chocolate dust that always makes me cough and an abundance of marshmallows and for some reason I just thought that was the best thing ever: sitting in a bookshop with my friends sipping hot chocolate with 4 more floors of books to discover. It’s really the little things in life.
I then bought myself The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon which was recommended by Nikesh Shukula, the creator of The Good Immigrant at a book talk I went to last week hosted by the fabulous Five Leaves bookshop in Nottingham . I also bought my brother a fiction book about Christmas as we love Christmas (although who doesn’t, apart from a guy on First Dates last week…) and also because it was on buy one get half price. So far, my Waterstones experience sounds incredibly fantastic and whimsical until I get to the tills, see a superhero gift bag that I thought my brother would love, I naively thought, “Oh this will only be £2 maximum” only to discover the blooming bag cost £4.50 which ended up costing the same price as one of the books. Did I let this put a dampener on my day? Absolutely not. Did I moan about it for twenty minutes? Absolutely, £4.50 for a bag made out of cardboard! Moral of the story: always ask about the price if you’re unsure.
The main event of the day was lunch which we had all decided on before the letters for the trip were even handed out. Pizza Hut unlimited lunchtime buffet, lunchtime could really be spent in no other place while it’s cold outside and you have plenty of stomach room to fill.
Cue one of many obnoxious selfies taken in said restaurant because the lighting just wasn’t quite right:
Then it was time to head back to the bus after a day full of christmassy festivities and back to A-Levels tomorrow.
Emily Simms: 19:34