It's going to be a white Christmas

Trip Start Dec 11, 2012
Trip End Oct 17, 2013

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Flag of Austria  , Salzburg,
Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas - a time when family and friends get together, open gifts, eat far beyond the capacity of their special occasions pants' waistline to the tinkling of the looped Christmas carol CD, when glasses seem bottomless and waiters and waitresses run around like headless chickens in the background to facilitate this festive gathering.

Within two days, our hotel went from 14 guests to 82. Abandoning our previous system of bargaining for tables amongst each other ("Gigi, if you take that table of 9, I'll take out the rubbish and polish all the wine glasses"), we now have sections (thankfully, mine's closest to the kitchen - Claudia's is the furthest). We also have a new (actually not so new) waiter on our team: Ernie*, who has worked here every winter season for the last fifteen years. Ernie is the go-to man - he knows EVERYTHING. Without Ernie, this place would do exactly what that glass dessert dish did while I was polishing it - it would explode. Ernie IS the hotel.

Like soldiers awaiting an ambush, we gathered in the restaurant for the mass slaughter that is Christmas Eve dinner. On Christmas Eve, everyone of the 82 guests gets each course (generally we serve four) at THE SAME TIME. "Impossible!" I hear you gasp. Well, dear reader, you would be...right. But, boy, did we die trying. Poor Frankel almost had an aneurism. I channeled my inner competent waitress alter ego (I found singing my own Competent Waitress theme song in my head helped tremendously.) Suddenly no task seemed to large. Take that loaded tray of coffee cups and dishes from the kitchen to the bar? Competent Waitress can! (Though, on second thought, maybe not all at once... No need to get over-confident now...) My one table of Russians decided that this communal waiting and dining was too much for them, though. They abandoned ship, loaded with a plate piled high with bread. Just white bread. And I know for a fact from sampling from various half-eaten plates in the dishwashing room (shame? We have none it seems, much to Suds mingled disgust and amusement) that bread was a poor second choice. Perhaps they were carbo-loading for the "Christkindl"... By 12 o'clock, I was so exhausted, I nodded off while I was polishing glasses. Competent Waitress, it seems, had taken a break. Claudia was on closing duty - she can only go once everyone has left and the restaurant is locked up. She almost burst into tears when two couples sat down at the bar at 1am for a drink. She attempted to lie and told them the bar was closed, but, as Claudia can never tell a lie, it backfired. The manager had told them that of course they could come down for another drink! A few silent tears were shed, as feet could no longer be felt.

Finally, at 2am we got to celebrate Christmas ourselves on our bedroom floor, drinking cheap champagne from our toothpaste glasses with a feast of strawberry yoghurt and Mozart Kugeln, sans any feeling below the knee.


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brigitte on

Ja mei, meine Suessen, ich lach mich kaputt ueber Euer Geschreibsel. Nur weiter so, ihr gewinnt noch den Nobelpreis fuer das beste Reisebuch!
Heut ist der 31.12.12. Meine Gedanken wandern zu Euch und dabei fuehle ich die 40 Grad auch nicht mehr so dolle. Dicken Druckie fuer jeden von Euch. BB aus Windhoek

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