Sunday, September 24, 2006

Fests of Germany

The one thing that I totally miss about Germany.. is the Fests. Within a short period of 7 months that I was there, I have seen at least 5 - 6 fests on all levels.. City level, state level, country level..and why even within our own hostel! Well, in Germany you just dont know if they celebrate to drink Beer or they drink Beer to celebrate.. Anyhow, the festive air and mood is one; - never to be missed!!!

Schlossgraben Fest (25.05.06 - 27.05.06)

This was the first fest of its kind that I managed to catch.. It took place during Spring.. Perfect weather for hanging out..

From Wednesday of that week I had noticed people constructing tents and temporary stages outside my university, TUD and in the city centre. Though several of my friends had told me that there would be music all evening and many stalls selling food and drinks, I could not imagine how interesting that could get! This always happens in Singapore when they set up some temporary tent to perform the Chinese Wayang..Was it going to be like that? Usually for such events only the older generation attend.. :p ..Why a fest for something like this?

With a thousand questions in mind, I eagerly awaited that evening. My friends and I took Bus H which was diverted.. It stopped near the Schloss. As soon as we got down, the air hit me and the enthusiasm of the atmosphere got to me..!! There was so much music, so many people..The whole of Darmstadt was lit in coloured lights. As we walked towards my university.. I could hardly recognise it!! It was beautifully lit and the whole area was littered with shops and broken beer bottles .. Mann!

When I neared the rock stage I was overwhelmed (ofcourse there were many other stages for other kinds of music like classical, etc.. But your guess.. Rock was the all time favourite among youngsters) !! It was like being in a real concert.. The colourful lights and the professional bands! The music got to us and we started dancing.. The whole of Darmstadt looked like a huge Disco! There were so many shops selling alcohol (duh!) .. It was drizzling a bit.. But that was something anyone was the least worried about..

This three day event.. of good music and drink all night was one unforgettable experience for me indeed! And ofcourse the most amazing thing about all german fests is that .. the very next day life returns to more more broken beer more stages.. Like a dream.........

HeinerFest (30.06.06 - 02.07.06)

Heinerfest was equally awesome .. especially because the first day of the fest was the day Germany unexpectedly won against Argentina..! My friend and I had gone to watch the match at a Biergarten (for more info check out my blog on Weltmeister) ... after a toiling Mikrocontroller lab.. When Germany had won unexpectedly, we found reason enough to celebrate and joined in the Heinerfest Gala.. Everyone was not just in the festive soirit but also in the height of patriotism.. The mix of the two excitements caught me offguard and I loosened up to enjoy the fun.. An old man was going around painting the German flag on faces of people whom he passed by..and lucky us! We had the flag stamped on both sides of our faces and we proceeded to take part in the games..

That day was the day the kid in me broke loose.. It felt so good feeling that way after such a long time.. heehehe.. Awesome summer weather..and toy shops..(and of course the usual drink shops..goes without saying) ..Biergartens in the middle of the road!! And not to mention the equally playful policemen! :)

See the photo above..My first time sitting in something as exciting at that! I swear i will never forget that ride.. I was only screaming the whole 5 minutes away. And u know what is the best part of all this?? There was a silent 8 year old right next to me... :(.. Really cool but mind boggling rides at Heiner fest!!!

Karlshof Fest (22.07.06)

The last fest I experienced in Darmstadt :) .. Karlshof fest as the name suggests was a fest that our hostel held. During this fest, anyone who wished to put up a stall selling foodstuffs could do so.. All the indians in our hostel teamed up to sell indian food..

Ofcourse, as usual our planning stage was longer than the fest itself. Several ideas generated and several ideas cancelled... Our plans changed till the last minute. On Friday night, we finally decided on our menu and started shopping for it.

A group of us were in charge of buying things and marketing, etc and the other was for the main cooking.. Of course people like me (effectively the 'extras') were helping anywhere and everywhere unskilled help was required.. :p.. On Saturday morning, I found myself cutting a dozen onions to bits and some other common vegetables..

The cooking started full swing.. At 4 O'clock, the 'non cooking' group started setting up the tent and tables.. Unfortunately, the weather turned against us and heavy rain started pouring.. As in any usual scene.. excitement added to our lives as we wondered when the rain would stop.. The tents were destroyed and when the rain finally ceased.. tents had to be set up again..

Disappointments soon turned into enthusiasm as all stall owners decorated their stalls.. The Brazilians, Africans, Pakistanis.. Excitement ballooned as we rushed to keep up with the pace of the other stall owners.. All set and ready, customers started pouring in.. Awesome weather was finally of help to us.. Summer kept the sun going till 10:30 at night..

Lemon rice, chicken curry, Sambhar and Gulab Jamun for dessert.. Mango Lassi..Yummmm...That night there was striptese and belly dancing too at our hostel pub.. Took a photo of the dancer and her hmm.. husband i think..

Sales went really good..and most of all we had real good fun cooking together.. A nice time to bond! :) .. That night we were totally exhausted but excited..

Shaade ! Germany.. I miss you... :( and your fests of course.. :)