Stories of this Canadian girl's adventures exploring Europe...join me!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

carneval

I have decided to dye my hair a soft shade of pink. It is a look which I can totally pull off, if I do say so myself…and great guy seemed to quite enjoy the ‘new’ me, for the day-carneval day, rosenmontag.

We spent the day, yesterday, with 500 hundred thousand of our, now, closest friends (you get pretty darn close to people when you’re jammed together on the streets, dancing together, having a drink or two, singing and laughing, for six hours). We watched the umzug (parade) for three of those hours. It was the longest, biggest parade, any of us 2 + 1 Canadians had ever seen.

One thing I love about Europeans…the singing together when they are very happy (aka drunk). I experienced it in ’99 at the rugby world cup in the U.K. and in ’09 at Oktoberfest in Munich, where, in every little pub we went into, people of all ages would sing, arm in arm, all the old songs which normally nobody would listen to. It is so much fun.

Every big, colourful, politically or socially-inspired float which passed by had music blasting from it. Angela Merkel (the German chancellor) was parodied as a frog princess, a teacher, and the Loreley river maiden. The funniest float was of the Google Street View exhibionist, which showed a giant, fat guy, standing at the window flashing, full-frontal, the Google Street View cameras. The baker float threw fresh buns, the pretzel float threw fresh pretzels, the handkäs mafia threw, of course, handkäs, and the rest of the floats threw bags of popcorn, candies, mousepads, and bags of Haribo gummi bears. And, all the spectators, who scrambled and jumped to catch the loot, were costumed, like I have never seen before. ..egyptian princesses, devils, witches, a fairy, a cowboy (big franky), and every other character under the sun.

After the parade, we warmed up with a glüwein and a bratwurst, and wandered through the throngs of very happy people, through the altstadt and to the straßen disco (street party). It was mayhem, but so much fun. Great guy hated it, of course, because he’s kind of used to it, but the three of us were enthralled and couldn’t believe the huge numbers of people, the incredible mess on the streets, and the overall electric energy in the air. Carneval.

P.S. Great guy and I stood on the river bank, at home, on Sunday afternoon, and watched 2 geese in the water doing sommersaults – I’m not kidding. They would flip right over backwards, then their little orange feet would kick and kick in the air, until then came up over the other side…seriously, one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.
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