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Having skied in many countries where he didn't speak the language, Steve empathized, which somehow instantly relaxed him. It was a Berlitz impasse, and yet somehow over the next 10 minutes, with mots from several languages, Hans found out that Steve had traveled the alpine intersection of Switzerland, Lichtenstein and Austria. Hans thought it loco that a Canadian would go there when everyone there wants to come to here, ja? He thought Steve's grossen skis were better-suited to Canadian poudre because Austrian pulver schnee was maybe not so bellissimo. Hans was 6 and 7 fingers old. He had two grown children who still lived in Austria. He'd been to Montreal. He had a nouveau titanium knee (the old one was finito), was pretty happy with his wenden (turns) these days, and his name actually was Hans. Steve's whole internal battlefield had changed in an instant
Getting out at the top, they both paused while others rushed past them in waves toward Red Chair. They tried wishing each other a nice day in the same Tower of Babel mash-up. It wasn't quite working. There was a pause while Hans summoned one last attempt.
"Merrychristmas," he said finally in a thick accent, characteristically merging all the syllables.
"Well... Fröhliche Weihnachten, to you," Steve said, thoroughly butchering each and every vowel.
They both laughed. Then Hans' face went blank again, and like a hawk he was off.
A letter to all the Christmas orphans in Whistler
By Alison Taylor
Dear Whistler orphans,
What I want for Christmas Santa just can't give me, not unless he can make a 24 hour day into a 30 hour day, so I've decided to write a letter to all of you instead of writing to Santa.
This is to you — all you Whistler orphans who will be spending Christmas without your families in Ontario, in Australia, in England.
If you're anything like me, I start to get a little agitated this time of year, knowing I won't be with the extended family.
My own little family of four is spending Christmas in Whistler this year with friends, and while I know it's going to be great, it won't be Christmas at "home" with mum and dad, cousins, aunts, and... let's face it... the general chaos that ensues.
If this is your first Christmas away from home you may be wondering what your Christmas Day is going to look like.