So, I was in the vegetable market yesterday and a woman was arguing with a fruit vendor (NO! It wasn't ME.)about whether or not the tangerines he was selling were ripe. I tuned them out again and looked through the line at the bakery to see if my friend had finally gotten her bread so that we could leave together. That's when it hit me: the smell of December in my childhood.
The vendor had finally handed the woman a small tangerine to taste and as soon as she popped open the peel, I could smell the juice from it and it dragged me back 35 years (OH DEAR GOD....am I REALLY old enough to SAY that???) to when I was a little girl in Germany on St. Nicklaus' Day.
We would position our rubber boots (because they were the tallest and held the most
loot) outside our front door before heading off to bed. And at the crack of dawn, Denise and I were trucking down the hall in our pajamas to dump out all the tangerines and chocolates hazelnuts and sometimes small toys onto the floor before diving in!
"HEY! Are you in there???" asked my friend, now back from the seemingly endless
bread line. "Yeah, I told her...be right back."
And I bought 2 kilos of tangerine-flavored memories from the fruit seller.