Tuesday, February 24, 2009

5 Smurfs vs. A Viking: A Summary of Karneval Weekend

If you have ever seen 5 smurfs take down a viking, you may have been to the most recent celebration of Karneval in Germany. Before I get into the nitty-gritty of Karneval weekend (Carnival in Brazil or Mardi Gras in N'Orleans), let me just say that this is definitely one of the most insane celebrations in all of Germany and I am surprised that it does not get as much coverage as Octoberfest. Then again, I am sure the Brazilian version (which gets way more hype than the German version) is far more ridiculous with its warm weather and notoriously beautiful Brazilian women. Now, let the stories begin (this post may be a long one).

So on Friday we were invited by Ivan, our coach, and one of the guys who takes care of all things TV Werne to go to this Karneval celebration. We knew NOTHING about what this weekend was for or what we were getting ourselves into besides the fact that it was only men, but we went nonetheless. I guess Friday is like "Man Day" of Karneval weekend and Thursday is "Woman Day" because on each day there are parties which can only be attended by one gender or the other. I thought it was strange sounding going in, but I now think it is great.

When we arrived at the party, our host told us to simply, laugh, be loud, and drink beer. We all happily obliged, helped along by an 11 liter mini keg of Krombacher for the 5 of us. Throughout the night, they had comedians on stage and good looking women in funny outfits doing dances and such for the crowd. Between every act, a girl would come out holding the number of the round we were on (similar to a boxing fight), with 11 rounds in all. This lasted from 7 to 11. This night was more similar to a boxing fight than you may imagine, as one of the fine German gentleman sitting near us was KO'ed by a deadly combination of Krombacher, beautiful women, and dancing on our table (which he smoothly fell right off in mid-cheer).

After arriving back at the house, we decided that the only logical course of action would be to continue this wonderful evening at a local bar. On Friday nights, it is 99 cents for any mixed drink at a bar right here in Werne, and we took full advantage of our Saturday day off by abusing this bar's specials. In addition, Marko pulled some black-market-Serbian-sweet-talk to get us into the bar without having to pay a cover charge. A fun night for a small fee: Glorious.

When the house finally awoke on Saturday we were not a very energetic bunch. We relaxed mostly and stayed in for the night, teaching a few drinking games to Marko throughout the evening and going to bed a bit earlier than the night before. Uneventful to say the least. Since I had to work on Monday, I did not plan on going out Sunday night but Marko, Junior, and Trevor supposedly had an amazing evening at a famous local pajama party in Waltrop. Sounds good to this guy... but now, we shall proceed to the really good stuff.

I awoke Monday like any other Monday: sleepy and upset that it was only Monday. I had little to no expectations for the day. I was very excited, however, that we got to leave work early to attend the local parade / party / Karneval celebration. I had heard rumors that Karneval was a good time but we live in Werne and how good could a silly parade in a small town be?


First off, Karneval is similar to Halloween in the US - everyone is dressed in costume (or mostly everyone), and the people on the parade floats fire candies in the crowd the entire day and you know I love me some German gummy bears - 1 point Karneval... In addition, there are no laws prohibiting open containers and such and Germans encourage everyone to drink at the earliest hour possible: in this case - we were drinking by 1 PM on the streets of Werne, patiently waiting for the parade to begin - tack on another punta for Karneval.. Cheap Vodka = point, Good Orange Juice = point, Even better screwdrivers = multiple points - you get the drift. I think I can stop officially awarding points now and let the reader come to his or her own verdict after hearing the story of the rest of the day...

So, while drinking our screwdrivers and hanging out on the streets of Werne all day, we witnessed many hilarious events. One of my personal favorites was the old, drunk German lady who walked up to Junior, licked her thumb, and proceeded to try to rub the blackness off of his face. I guess she had black make-up on her face (I sure as hell didn't see it) and was curious as to whether Junior, T, and Junior's friend Jemell were wearing the same black make-up she had on. Much to her dismay, they were going all natural for the day.

Throughout the day, Junior's friend Jemell attempted to contribute to the liveness of the parade as much as possible. I don't know how it was in other parts of Germany, but our parade had no barriers and therefore, it was quite easy to join in and participate in any number of ways. For instance, Jemell used the old Dave Chappelle robot move and followed a few unsuspecting Germans along their parade route. He then grabbed a toy rifle so that he could lead a march through the streets of Werne. Oh yea, and 5 smurfs supposedly beat up a viking... You get the point, hilarious stuff to say the least.

After the parade finished, we headed over to our favorite local bar to continue the party. It was a ridiculous 4 or 5 in the afternoon and we ended up staying there until it felt like it was 6 am (it was actually only 8:30 PM or so but who's counting?). The day ended with some of us looking a bit different than we normally do...
I dunno about you, but when I can get my Serbian roommate to wear something like this, I call the day a success.
Overall Rating: Karneval gets an A+ for pure liveness..

Hope you enjoyed it!