In Germany, or let’s say in the Southern parts as I have no idea what happens in the Northern side, there are street fests which give people the opportunity to drink beer/wine and have schnitzel/wurst with their friends (which come to think of it, they do it even otherwise but this is more in a community way)..
For me the attraction is the live music – bands play all kinds of music – country, swing, rock and roll, jazz and sometimes even classical.
There are marching bands too!
Sometimes there are flea-markets where people can be seen buying and selling, interesting stuff – even bargaining – which you don’t see ever here in normal circumstances.
Yesterday was one of those days that there were two street fests taking place in two suburbs close to one another. I got the wind of it in the morning from a friend A. I wasn’t sure that I would be going but then after a chat with another friend C, I decided to go to one of the fests. But as it would turn out, I had also messaged another friend N in parallel but hadn’t received a response until the evening. So I went with my normal chores and just when I was dumping the grocery at home after a trip to the supermarket, I received the message from N that she was at the fest no. 1 and I could join her. So I started right away. On a side note, I have no idea why does it always happen – I forget about the nicer clothes and jewelry, that I buy like a shopaholic, lying in my cupboard and step out in the same clothes that I would wear at day time at home or for grocery-shopping or for any mundane stuff! Why do I even buy things if they never are destined to see the “tages-licht” as the Germans call their daylight! Was acutely aware of it when I saw people dressed up nicely at the fest.
Anyway, so here I was at the fest no. 1 but couldn’t find N and the band had started playing – so it was difficult to make a call. After some time, I managed to reach N on the phone and she said she was on her way back from the supermarket. Found a place to sit but then a man already sitting there said that he had reserved the spot for his family. I started to get up but understood from the gesture and my broken German that he was saying that I could sit until they came back. So I did. And then as his family came, I was getting up but while looking up in their direction, I didn’t pay attention to my back and upset the cocktail glass of his mom/aunt/mother-in-law in my hurry to make place for them. The lady was shocked for a minute but then when I apologized and offered her some tissue, she took it and laughed it off saying that (in German) that it was a warm day anyway!
Then when N arrived, we found a bench where we could sit and enjoy the band without being too close to the speakers. She had brought some drinks with her which she had while I had some water. We chatted for a while but then I wanted to eat something so I went in search of something I could eat. Came back with some stuff but as it took longer than expected, N was gone to get something – the fellow benchers told that she’ll be coming back. So I sat down and tried to open my bottle of Pepsi and as it was one of those days when I am being a “tollpatschig” (syn.: butter-fingers, clumsy), the Pepsi bubbled out of the bottle like crazy and I got some on my clothes before I held it away from myself. That was a very quick demonstration of the karma theory of what you give is what you receive (remember the cocktail spilling incident from a few minutes back?)! Then N came back and we finally relaxed, chatted, ate something and then she headed towards a bbq and I to the fest no. 2 to meet C.
On reaching the other suburb, I met C and we walked a bit. The fest here didn’t seem to be as big as the first one but this one had trampolines for kids which C was quite tempted to get on to. Sadly, it was only for kids! Find it in the pic below :).
We saw the band playing but went in ahead in search of A and found that she and another friend of hers N, were sitting on children’s swings in a school complex! C got happy seeing the swings and after swinging for a few minutes, her spirits were lifted :-). The best things in life are the simplest – isn’t it?
Ah and there are these sweets stalls that you would find at every fest in Germany, which have all the sinful candies that might have been used by the witch since old times to lure Hansel and Gratel!
Then we went back to the fest area and had something to drink. I had some fries and then while A and N were gone to fetch another friend of theirs E from the tram stop, I thought of trying out another fizzy drink – this time in a glass – and my clumsy day still far from being over, I again spilled some of the drink. Unbelievable – one would think – but what can you do about it?
Fast forward. The day was not over yet. I wanted to go see the fireworks and castle illumination (see heading of the post) which takes place three times every year in summer and I had missed the last two. A, N and E also planned to go there while C wanted to go back home. So the four of us, on finding that the tram was in 3 minutes, started running. Thankfully the first one that came was the one going to another destination. Then ours arrived and it was quite full – owing to the fact that everyone else too was going to see what we were going for! We reached the destination and after some confusion in the tram due to the road being closed for transport as people were already gathered on the bridge for the event, we finally found a place in the crowd to see some fireworks. The castle must have been already illuminated but we missed seeing it. There were some nice fireworks but they only for 15 minutes! But that was enough to give out the thick smoke that engulfed the hills like fog!
Then we started back like everyone else and I waited for my bus while the others decided to spend some more time there. And one last thing for the day was the crowd in the bus that reminded me of the buses in India (my experience is from Bangalore). After about 7 months, the scene from the volvo buses in Bangalore was recreated here in Heidelberg – it was so uncanny! But the difference was that the bus driver didn’t drive like crazy like in Bangalore! And then a funny thing happened. As the driver couldn’t see on one side due to so many people blocking his view, he asked before making a turn if some other vehicle was coming along and several people said in unison “nein, es ist frei” – “no, it is free” :-).
Finally reached home after the exciting day and to not tempt things further from spilling, breaking, falling – I decided to call it a day and went to sleep..
Until the next post..do some “tolpatschiging” of your own and let me know in the comments :-)!