The Gluhwein Cometh

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Abandoned as an infant high in the mountains of Colorado, James was taken in and raised by a family of marmots. They trained him in the art of satire, but warned him: ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’ He didn’t understand the truth of their words until his adopted rodent brother, Donald Trump’s hair, turned to the dark side.

James could only sit by and watch, helpless and appalled, as his evil brother meme’d his way to the White House. Forever changed by what he had seen, James fled to The Netherlands and vowed to always use his powers for good.

The arrival of sinterklaas in Groningen heralds the changing of the seasons and reminds us that the advent of gluhwein is just days away.

Gluhwein, a beverage beloved by students and professors alike for making day-drinking not only socially acceptable, but heartwarming and seasonally appropriate, graces Groningen shelves every year in late November.

Bottled gluhwein, though many consider it inferior to fresh, homemade gluhwein, is cheaper than water and is perfect for cash-strapped students who want to forget their problems but not feel bad about it. Drank as a tea substitute, it will take the edge off a hard night of studying or grading papers.

The perfect substitute for a warm embrace.

For many international students gluhwein offers some of the comfort of home.

‘I rely on it to get through the holidays’, said one international student. ‘The break is too short to go home, and I can’t afford a plane ticket anyway. Fortunately I can afford gluhwein. Its warmth and spice almost perfectly emulates the warmth and security I feel when spending time with my family.’

For others, though, the association is a bit different.

‘I came to europe to get away from my family’, said another international student. ‘The reliable arrival of gluhwein on the shelves of Albert Heijn gives me the stability that I never got from them.’

Journalistic integrity prevents the Ukrant from taking a stance on the issue… but gluhwein is lovely when you’re skiing, and awful when you’re not.

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