Ok, so maybe there wasn't a hippopotamus, but I did find some pretty unusual things at the Weihnachtsmarkt in Bonn last weekend.
The award for most disturbing piece of decoration goes to the giant moving, talking moose head on this Glühwein stand. I wish I could tell you what he said, but I think when I realized this life-sized mounted moose head was actually speaking and moving I was sent into such a deep state of shock I repressed any memories more specific than the sheer befuddlement I felt.
The award for most original Christmas market stand theme goes to Löffel Julius.
Löffel means spoon in German, and that is exactly what Julius sold in his stand. But not just any old spoons. Löffel Julius sold only the finest wooden spoons of all shapes and sizes. It was the kind of marketing that made you realize you'd been searching for the perfect wooden spoon your whole life, you just never knew it till you gazed upon all Löffel Julius had to offer. Who knew there could be such variety in the wooden spoon business? Löffel Julius, that's who.
And the award for most culturally inappropriate stand goes to the Churros stand. Now granted, my only previous knowledge of Churros is from Taco Bell, but I think that sends a pretty clear message that they're - if nothing else - definitely not German. Ok, so there are plenty of stands at Christmas markets everywhere that sell food and goods that are from other countries and cultures. But those stands usually use the exotic nature of their product as a selling point. Except for a little fine print on the wrapper, there was absolutely nothing identifying this delightful snack as non-German in origin. They would totally have you believe Churros are the your common, everyday German treat. Don't be fooled - they're not! But they were still delicious!