Germany is famous for its annual Christmas Markets, beers and sausages. Little do others outside of Germany know of its many summer festivals. They are pretty similar to what other festivals are like but usually organised under better weather conditions. Last Saturday, we checked out the Schweizer Straßenfest which is a couple of streets away from us. It literally means the Swiss Street. I really like this particular street since it’s not as offensively crowded as town but is within walking distance to some of the really cool little cafes and restaurants which are reasonably priced and delicious.
I love the smell of festivals (minus the beer). The warm summer air filled with the scent of popcorn, ice cream and BBQ sausages. As we were blessed with really good weather, the locals were sitting outside enjoying their drinks, serenaded by the various bands and musicians.
Whilst I was drawn into the musical fanfare wonderfully performed by the Hessen Police Orchestra (reminded me of my school days – I played the bassoon), a clown on stilts approached me and performed some juggling tricks.
He pretended to drop one of the balls and got kids to pick it up for him. And just as the kid turned away, he would drop it again. Well, the kids (toddlers really) did enjoy that sort of thing and they found this “clumsy” man funny. They were more than willing to help him pick up the ball a million times. Even Daniel was happy to do so. We knew that he would only drop a particular sand-packed ball (which doesn’t bounce) but we played along. Whatever that entertained those innocent kids.
He then approached another lady with the same trick. But that woman was just… was just… an adult. Instead of playing along, she exposed his “tricks” (if you could even call it a trick). For goodness sake woman, all he wanted to do was entertain the kids around you.
Anyway…apart from traditional delicacies and apple wine, there was a street specially for children.
Aren’t they brave? I wouldn’t dare go on that thing. It looks evil to me. I used to be a lot more adventurous. When I knew that my mum was bringing me to Australia when I was nine, I was really looking forward to upside down roller coasters, pirate ships, vertical fall rides. Just before I went through customs at the airport, my dad said to me “Don’t go on those rides. Children have fallen off them and died.” That frightened the hell out of me. Logically speaking, I’m an adult now and should know that majority of those rides are safe to go on. Unfortunately, I can never bring myself to do it. I have developed an illogical, unexplainable, fear of heights. Dan and I have made an arrangement. When we have kids, I’m NEVER EVER going to instill such fears in them. Daddy’s going to go on those crazy rides with them and mummy’s excuse is to stay rooted on the ground and take photos of them screaming their heads off. Even if you pay me £100 million pounds, I’m not going to go on those rides with my kid so that they’ll hear me scream “Mummy help! Let me down!!!!”.
So, before I fainted at the sight of a kid falling off the trampoline (I know they won’t! Told you it’s an illogical fear so don’t rationalise with me), we moved on to listen to this pair sing.
Well, if we have similar music taste you would have fallen in love with this song. Here’s the original version of it by DJ Ötzi.
Don’t be put off by the cheesy dance moves. I quite like the atmosphere I see on the video. 🙂
There was also another band performing english songs at the festival. Unfortunately my silly camera was running out of power hence there are no videos to prove how good they were.
To any expats out there (wherever you’re living in), I urge you to step out of your comfort zone and participate in local activities. You’ll get to fully experience the local culture and be part of their society. I’ve had enough of expats telling me that Germans always look angry and unfriendly. There are plenty of evidence and first-hand experience that prove those stereotypical views are nothing more than just myths or excuses made up by expats who cannot be bothered to assimilate. Give your host country a chance, give yourself a chance.