Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Best of Gingers

Glasgow has imported the continental tradition of the Christmas Market. It started in St Enoch Square tonight. Small, but surprising in the quality and diversity of stalls on offer. Our particular discovery of hither unknown treasure is some amazingly incredible delicious non-alcoholic ginger wine, served piping hot and perfect. Two bottles of Papa's Mineral Company also make a variety of cordials, and I'll definitely be going back to pick up a bottle of the Winterberry Cordial, which sounds incredible. Glaswegians can pick up one bottle for £6 or two for £10. Very much recommended.
We also stumbled across "real fake snow!" which "feels cold! TOUCH ME!" which we did touch. And it felt wrong. So wrong. Rubbery and yet slimy without being viscous or sticky. Cold because it had sat on a shelf outside for hours. The sales rep offered to demonstrate the snow - how does one demonstrate snow? it just sits there being snowy, which it was already doing quite well - and pour a little from a vial into J's hand, slightly different consistency. He then added water, at which point the 'snow' IF IT REALLY IS SNOW got its hulk on and promptly tripled in volume, overflowing through J's fingers. The chemical reaction was enough to produce marked heat. "Non-toxic," they assured us. "Perfectly safe. It's some sort of polymer."
Look, to me it looked like exactly the sort of mysterious innocuous substance that turns up in an episode of Doctor Who and is ultimately some sinister mind-control body-morphing world-enslavement goop enabler. That's all I'm saying.

 To cap off a cold and wet stroll through the markets we returned to a small booth selling liquor-enhanced hot chocolates, and did I ever buy a massive thick goopy hot chocolate laced with Baileys, by golly.

 It threw me back to Prague where I spent the beginning of the year walking around without any particular goal other than to turn down as many curious little alleys as possible. There, the selling of hot alcoholic beverages in take-away cups was standard, and I loved it. It's no doubt a mark of my legal imprinting in Australia but walking around with a delicious hot drink that was deliciously spiked with delicious felt deliciously naughty. It also gave a lovely glow to the bitter cold, and kept my hands warm.