Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Manchester Christmas Market

It's the time of the year when students return home to their families. School's out. Roads are covered with thin layers of frost. The misty air sends shivers down your spine. The best place to be is home; surrounded by the warmth of your parents' smiles and the laughters of your mischievous little siblings. Here I am out in the cold wondering why I'm not on a flight back home like all my other friends. I fonder with my phone and scroll through the Snapchats and Instagram photos. "I'm coming home!" "Goodbye Manchester!" Picture after picture of friends en route to home. Tempted to sulk, I scoot over to my boyfriend to seek comfort. Indeed, it is heart-warming to have someone you love to brave the winter with.

In an attempt to lift my spirits, he suggested a visit to the Christmas market. It sounded like a fantastic idea! After all, the Manchester Christmas Market made it to the top 10 (9th specifically) in the European Best Destinations poll few days ago. I stood up in excitement, ready to head towards the joyous sounds and flamboyant lights.

The Christmas market was indeed as pleasant as I had imagined. Stalls after stalls of christmas toys and merchandise fascinated me, bringing me back to my childhood days. The air was filled with the aroma of fresh piping hot German sausages - perfect for a chilly night. Exclusive chocolates and pastries that couldn't normally be found in the supermarket certainly appeased my sweet tooth. The night was made perfect by the squeals of little children at the array of colours that were on display. The jubilant mood of the earnest stall keepers and satisfied customers inevitably infected me.

I left the Christmas market with an unexpectedly high morale. I was excited for Christmas even though it would be spent thousands of miles away from home. The peaceful lullaby of Silent Night encapsulated me into a reverie. It was only after walking for some time that I realised that my boyfriend had halted. I retraced my steps and saw him drawing out some spare change for... That was when I saw him. The person who was creating that delicate melody with the miniature flute that was in his hand. He was reaching the end of the song. In my head, I was still humming "Christ the saviour is born." My boyfriend stooped over to place the coins into the small basket in front of him. "Thank you very very much Sir! Have a blessed Christmas!" He was grinning from ear to ear. It was impossible to contain a smile at such a beautiful sight. He caught of glimpse of me and added, "Merry Christmas to you too Miss!" His genuineness and zeal moved me.

The Christmas market was impressive but it was the unpretentious basker at the entrance of the market that blessed me with an important reminder. It is better to give than to receive. That's the spirit of Christmas.

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