Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Mardi Gras Where People Lose Their Minds and Not Their Tops

Germans seem like Karnival...quite a lot.
It's not like Brazil where people drink and run about nekked as a jay bird, because it's too cold for that.

Imagine this in 45 degree weather...yikes

It's also not like New Orleans, where people...drink a lot and run around nekked as a jay bird. Haha.

See, it's not just a lady thing! The Zulu Dancers of NoLa do it too

They stage it over the period of a week or so (with the season seemingly beginning with the 11.11 parties in Cologne that kick the season off in November!), with each day having a different theme. In Tuebingen there was a Thursday where girls could cut off any neck tie they saw (and I did...thanks for being such a good sport, Lars), a day where people dressed like sooty chimney sweeps (which teetered on the brink of being too offensive for words), a day to wear rags (which was REALLY impressive and cool to see) and then just some other general days of rather off-beat, kitschy Indian costumes and witch hats. It was actually a lot of fun when I was living in the south.

A little weird looking, not gonna lie, but I think I like it more than Halloween over here

There they call it FaschINg, and in the tiny Catholic dorfs around Tuebingen (and in Rotweil too) people went nuts. It was, granted, a little creepy in a "this is unexpected...why are Germans weird?" way, but I preferred this more organized Mardi Gras kaos, because, among other reasons, you weren't as likely to get tetanus as in NOLA.

Flash forward and I'm in Berlin now, a very protestant state in Germany if ever there was one, but I'm protestant and I do Lent, so they should do fasching too, right?


I was asking around amongst the younger, more party-prone of our staff, and the response was an almost unanimous:
I am Prussian.

Sometimes, if they were feeling especially loquacious, I got

"I'm I want to get drunk and sl--p with my best friend's wife and be completely hungover the next day! That's ridiculous."

Ok, so this whole North-South divide thing, where the former detests the latter and the latter parties harder and with more dedication and cooler accents than the former, is not strange to Germany at all. Anyway, I hope you all had a great mardi gras, and I'm now throwing myself head first into Lent! I don't know why I put an exclamation point on there.

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