Snacking and Shopping in Dusseldorf

When we were in Düsseldorf, Germany, in the last part of November, my poor husband had to actually work at a trade show.   But I got to wander through the pastry shops and the Christmas markets.


One booth was selling beautifully patterned wool socks.  Being in the cold misty weather for days caused me to feel like I really really needed some of those socks! (never mind that I’d be going back to nice toasty Texas for the rest of my life.)

There were so many various sizes that I was unsure of getting the right size, but the saleslady had a chart to convert American sizes into European ones.

Red and white patterned wool socks, made in Germany, and Christmas ornaments made from mini pine cones and seeds.

So we looked up my size (11, I am a very tall person), and she said, “Okay, you need the 42-43 cm socks.”

I said, “Well, I better get one size up, 44-46.”

She was a little shocked.  She said, “But they won’t fit.”

I said, “Sure they will, I like socks a little loose.”

She said, “But they won’t fit inside your shoes.”

I said, “Well, I am just going to wear them in the house, without shoes.”

Saleslady: “Just inside the house?  Without shoes?”

Me: “Yes.”

Saleslady: “But they won’t fit right.”

Me:  “But they will shrink, won’t they?”

Saleslady: (meaningful pause)  “Not if you wash them right.”

Well, I bowed to her expertise.  As a compromise (and also to thank her for the inordinate amount of time she had had to spend explaining socks to me),  I bought two pair, one in the suggested size, and one pair one size up.  One pair to wear (whichever turned out to be more comfortable), and one pair to hang up as Christmas decorations.

And when I got back to my chilly hotel room, I put on those woolen socks (the larger ones, and I don’t want anyone running to the Sock Lady of Düsseldorf to tattle), and they were amazing.  They stretched easily to go on, and then they fit so well that it was like I just had naturally warm feet.  I wore them every night in the hotel room, and when I got home, I washed them right!  (Gently by hand, in a basin of warm water with a little shampoo, air dried.)

Since I had purchased them outside on a cold dark night, I hadn’t really looked at the label.  When I got into the light, I was happily surprised to see that they were 100% organic wool.  So when I got home, I researched the manufacturer, Hirsch Natur, and saw that they also use natural dyes!  I am very happy to have supported this company, and I only wish I had bought lots more.

For more beautiful pictures of Christmas markets, but in Frankfurt instead of Düsseldorf, you can visit this post by Judy Coates Perez.