Posts Tagged ‘carnival’

firsts and lasts

Friday, February 5th, 2010

*Ate a heaping plate of “spaghetti” ice cream

*Ate lunch at the Bonn university cafeteria (now I know why I’ve avoided doing so for the past five years)

*Had my banker offer me a glass of beer (went there to try and take care of business during the middle of a Carnival celebration!)

*Ate a slice of German cheese cake

*Got cut off by an Audi driver on the autobahn

alaaf to the start of lent!

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Well, I did it. Dressed silly. Danced all night. Got schunkelned against my will. Listened to the same 20 silly songs played over and over. Sang along with them at the top of my lungs. Stole candy from children. Technically, the partying continued until Tuesday night when they burn the Nubbel to atone for all the sins committed during carnival. Yet at this house, carnival is officially over when my in-house Karnevalist finally staggers in, takes a shower, and delcares that he’s never going to drink alcohol again. Even though I’m not catholic, there’s nothing like carnival to make one appreciate lent.

party time

Thursday, March 8th, 2007

Carnival07001 EuroYankee revels in the yearly display of drunken goofiness that Germans call Karneval and Americans call Mardi Gras. It’s fun to dress silly and dance in the streets with strangers to cheesy music. We scored lots of candy at the local parade and partied until dawn. It’s taken several weeks to recover from the fun.


Thursday, November 2nd, 2006

EuroYankee has been unfairly accused of somehow approving of cheesy pop and carnival music played at the halloween party. EuroYankee denies any such approval and offers as proof this mp3 clip taken from a too-dark-to-see video made during the event just moments after Hit Me Baby One More Time had been played . To listen, click here .

karneval comments

Thursday, March 2nd, 2006

I still haven’t figured out exactly how to explain Karneval (German Mardi Gras.) It was a, um, unique four days. Kinda like Gunga Din Highway, I can’t really recommend it, but was glad for the experience.

First, a cultural observation: Germans don’t typically strike up conversations with strangers in cafes or even look from side-to-side while walking down the street. They are much less extroverted in public than Americans. Several people have remarked the way they can tell if tourists are American or British is by how loud we are on public transportation.

Okay, now imagine serious, not-overly-friendly Germans of all ages extremely dressed in funny costumes and extremely drunk during the middle of the day. Then, imagine them all jammed into an infernally hot bar with crazy loud music. There is plenty of beer spilling going on. And they have their arms around each other’s shoulders (is there a word for this in English or just German?) They are singing cheesy music as loud as possible for hours and hours and hours. That’s Karneval.

Add to that the unintelligible dialect (Koelsch) that gets spoken during the event and it’s pretty intense for a foreigner. For example, Saturday we left for Cologne at 7 p.m. and finally got to bed at 5:30 a.m.

Monday was my favorite part of Karneval. For breakfast, we went to the apartment of friends in Altstadt (the “old city” next to downtown). It was half traditional german breakfast (bread rolls, cheese, meat) half exotic (spicy mushroom soup and chocolate pudding cake) with a splash of Americana (mimosa drinking). After, we went a few blocks away to watch the parade. Robert has friends with a house on the parade route. So when we got cold, we could go inside and dance to Karneval music.

At the parade, I scored a lot of candy, Kleenex and seeds.

It’s taken me until today to completely recover. I moderated my drinking, but there were strange sleeping patterns and too much fast food and candy. Yesterday I did my German homework for the first time in weeks. Today I ate a salad and popcorn for dinner. Pretty much back to normal.  


barely legal

Friday, February 24th, 2006

I decided to buy raspberry vodka to fuel my personal karneval celebration thinking that it could be easily transported by flask and added to coke or drunk alone. When buying it, the woman asked me something I didn’t understand. Then, I realized she was asking me if I was at least 18 years old. I started laughing and told her my age. She then tried to backpeddle and say that she had to ask everyone because they were being “especially strict” during karneval. It’s difficult for Americans to imagine how lax Europeans are about teenage alcohol consumption. Just trust me, it’s not a problem for teenagers to openly buy or drink alcohol. So I was doubly amused.

The vodka is nasty. It tastes like cough medicine. Yet drinking it had the desired effect of keeping me buzzed without getting me drunk, so it’s all good.


Friday, February 24th, 2006

Yesterday Karnevalzeit (Mardi Gras celebrations) kicked off with Weiberfastnacht (Women’s Carnival.) Legend has it that Weiberfastnacht started in the Bonn neighborhood of Beuel. Each year women storm the city hall at 11:11 a.m. and take over power for the day. Of course, Bonn already has a female mayor, so it’s all really an excuse for both sexes to start drinking at 9 a.m. When I got out of class at lunchtime, people were already completely drunk. I saw two men having a peeing contest in the pedestrian zone. The other tradition is that women can cut off mens’ ties. Robert bought an ugly cheap one to wear to a meeting with some folks who came into town from Brussels because he knew he’d get snipped. One of the foreign visitors went to the grocery store for a morning bread roll and got his tie snipped by the grocery store clerks. He was a little shocked.

Tonight I am making chili for 21 people. I’m not sure how this happened. We’d planned to host a chili dinner for a few friends with karneval partying to happen afterwards. But then more and more people got invited and they invited friends and suddenly I find myself cooking for a crowd. The beans have been soaked, the carrot cupcakes made. But I’ve got a lot of chopping and sauteeing to do in the next four hours. Better get to it.

beer dilemma

Monday, February 20th, 2006

Help! Five days of Karneval partying begins Thursday. I’m in a panic because I’ve been told the festivities are impossible to avoid and unbearable sober (we have friends that leave town every year because they can’t stand the noise and the morning puke/beer smell on public transportation.) Yet the only Karneval libation sold in the bars is Koelsch beer. And I don’t drink beer. Period. Yuck. I’ve poured all kinds of microwbrew/Wisconsin beer/German beer down my gullet and I just don’t like it. Even if it’s “really tasty” and “doesn’t taste like other beer.” I’ve been told the only solution for Karneval is to pack a flask. But what kind of alcohol tastes good enough to sip straight? Jagermeister is out because it gets nasty after a few sips. Baileys is out because it’s not strong enough. Flavored vodka? Tequila?

german rednecks

Sunday, September 11th, 2005

My redneck radar has gone completely haywire. Robert and I spent Sunday afternoon at Pützchen Markt, a mammoth carnival held each year near Bonn. There were gaudy lights, rigged carnival games, fast-moving rides and cotton candy. Yet unlike county fairs in the U.S., Pützchen Markt seemed very wholesome, family-oriented and solidly middle class. The German word which approximates redneck is “der Prolet” and according to my German sources they were everywhere. Apparently the German Prolet manages to keep his teeth and suck in the beer belly. [btw I almost threw up after riding Break Dance. And Robert was shaking. Good times.]