Time passes so swiftly. Life falls so quickly and easily out of balance.
The virus hysteria of this year (but not the virus itself, ironically) has robbed me and millions of others of our health, our jobs, our savings, our freedoms, and a year of our lives. And it has also deprived us of the Christmas markets.
At this time last year, there were Christmas villages in the Tuileries and at La Défense. There were storm clouds on the horizon and transport strikes in progress (and probably a virus already circulating), but the markets were still open. I didn't much care for the trinkets sold at these markets, but I loved the food, and I had enough money to buy snacks one or two times while walking among the little white wooden chalets of these popular markets. Despite the cold and the strikes, they were still busy.
One stand I liked sold great fish and chips. Big boneless fish fillets, fried in a very tasty batter, accompanied by plenty of fries (chips). I would go there sometimes for lunch at Christmastime.
|Aligot and sausage|
Another big favorite of mine was aligot,
a specialty from Auvergne made from pureed potatoes, melted tomme
cheese, cream, butter, and garlic. I bought it topped with diced, grilled sausages.
Then there were sandwiches with various fillings, like cheese assortments, smoked salmon, foie gras, cold cuts, tuna salad, roast beef; etc.
Some places sold big slabs of chocolate, or gingerbread cakes, or canelés: little caramel cakes with the texture of foam rubber and custard centers.
Mulled wine was very popular, too, but I don't do drugs so I never bought any. It smelled nice, though.
There were churros and donuts and much more. Now it's all history.
|Tuileries Xmas village in 2019|
The Reich has forbidden the markets. It forbids going outside without special police papers. It imposes a curfew at 9 PM. Everyone must wear masks. And thanks to its wartime restrictions, I have no money, I look like a hobo, and I can no longer walk very well.