The past week has been crazy and exciting! Already last weekend we had helicopters and police crowds surrounding our beautiful city of Hamburg. The OSCE Ministerial Council was held here from Thursday to Friday of last week. Can you believe that they have ordered 13.000 Policemen from every corner of the nation just to secure the event in Hamburg?
I really feel reminded on the APEC Congress in Manila exactly one year ago, when the whole city was shut down for the Politicians. A nice thing of the Apec-Congress was that our beach-vacation got artificially stretched by three days because all the flights were cancelled 🙂 At least Hamburg tries to stay as close as possible to normal life, BUT…
on wednesday, long before the first meeting of the ministers, I had my first encounter with the temporary blockages:
KIDS BAKING SESSION: I was on my way to another kids activity! We went to a baking session sponsored by one of the famous local Bakeries: DAT BACKHUS. It was almost impossible to get to that place right at the Binnen-Alster of Hamburg, but I was also very naive in thinking that it would be easy and perfectly organised. It really is in comparison to what we experienced in Manila, but still the level of security was extremely high. During our baking-session on one of the summer-cruise-boats on the Alster, we saw one water-police after the other, they even had a police-platform on the city-lake Alster, to support the Ministers also from the waterfront while having lunch at the lake.
Well – the baking-party was actually hilarious. I thought I could drop my kids and go for a Glühwein with my girlfriend, BUT nope. Wrong thought. I had to support my kids while baking. And that was no fun – at least not for the adults, it was pure STRESS and time-pressure: 15 minutes for cutting the cookies, than the eggwhite, then decorating, everything max. 10 minutes, while baking we got a big X-Mas Tree that we could decorate again, but there was no time for failure or repeats, if you did not perform, you did not get your cookie 🙂 So the adults were almost competing against each other, who got the most chocolate-cover, who was the fastest, and who gets the most out of their kids dough! Funny, it was just so German! But still a great idea of that Bakery!
OSCE MINISTERIAL COUNCIL AND NO-PACIFIER-STRATEGY: The 23rd OSCE Ministerial Council was taking place on December 8 and 9 in Hamburg. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier invited all 57 OSCE participating States to the North of Germany.
The Ministerial Council is the central decision-making and governing body of the OSCE. The meeting, held annually, provides the foreign ministers of the 57 OSCE participating States an opportunity to review and assess the Organization’s activities and strengthen the dialogue on security issues in the OSCE area, at the moment it is mainly the Ukraine conflict that they are debating about.
On our way back home, we spent 40 minutes on NEUER WALL, the most luxurious shopping street in Hamburg, we did not move at all for that period of time. Luckily my son went with his friends car, but my girls got crazy at some point. Mommy had to drive on the sidewalk and back on the street over and over again, since there were multiple politicians and their delegacies coming by our way… Well, in Manila the streets were blocked for up to 3 hours when someone important was passing by. So we are very lucky to have such an efficient system. BUT I had to interrupt the no-pacifier-during-daytime-strategy with my lovely big daughter. It all started so well, she gave up her pacifier with the 1st of December in exchange with her first little present – and: no more questions were asked, when I told her, that Santas helpers, the elves, needed the pacifiers to calm down during work. And they work a lot to prepare all the presents that the children on earth had put on the wish-lists. Story-telling at its best. BUT the OECD Congress stopped my pacifier-education 🙂
Well, after the same beggar came down the road and knocked on our window for the 4th time, even he had finally realised, that we did not move and gave us a smile since he got something in the first place already!!! I got caught back to reality when a policemen knocked on my window while I was breastfeeding on the drivers seat, he tried to tell me, that we can go on now – how embarrassing, but even he gave us a little smile…its Christmas time!
SANTA-AFTERNOON on the 6th OF DECEMBER: My kids were knocked out when we arrived at home, luckily Santa was there on the 6th of December and gave them a CD-Player, that I could easily abuse as a tranquilliser right now! What a good choice of us parents! By the way I can tell you, that Santa-Afternoon on the 6th at our friends house was sooooo cute. Our daughter had a lot of respect in the beginning, she got finally warm after 30 Minutes listening to his voice. My son had rather little respect, he was the child out of 10 who opened him the garden door! His first question was: why do you have such a long and white beard? Why are you wearing gloves? What is in your bag? Do you also visit the other kids? Is there something for me in the bag? Well, when he got to speak to our kids, they were the last ones, they seemed already frustrated and thought there will be nothing for them indeed… and they both got their respect back in a second when he convinced them to not hit their siblings any more, brush the teeth even better and for my daughter to give up the pacifier and the diaper in the nearest future. So adorable their looks 🙂 And the smile was huge, when Santa finally revealed the last two presents for our darlings!
What an emotional and crazy week! Let me know of your past days. Christmas-Time is always a stressful time while it is the most intimate time with your loved ones. But of course someone has to organise it and who else is running the household than all of us moms?
So a big toast on all the mommys that are doing their best to make their families happy every single day.