We’re in the middle of the fifth season here in the Rhineland. The silly season. Karneval season.
The normally sensible and dare I say, somewhat dull members of the local community will be dressed in odd uniforms, wigs, feathered hats and face paint for the next few days as they go about their normal business or drink in the local pubs.
In normal life he's probably a tax inspector
Karneval is now building up to Rosenmontag – the day of the big processions. In the Rhineland there is always a political dimension to the parades. Fabulous floats drive through the streets with oversized 3D caricatures of local, national and international politicians. This year I think we can confidently expect Mr. zu Guttenberg and his cut-and-paste doctoral thesis to feature prominently.
Serious politics requires a fool's commentary
I also think some of the previous years’ ideas could well be reused…the Hoppeditz clearly didn’t manage to get much changed last time he was (briefly) in power!
Milking the motorist
This coming weekend is the annual Whitsun fair in Meerbusch. A chance for kids and adults alike to consume a diet of alcohol, fat, sugar, chemical additives and then go on rides which are guaranteed to have you splattering the fairground with vomit from a great height.
It’s an excellent opportunity for you to feed your children the sort of nutrician-free goodies which will make them hyperactive all night – thus ensuring you can stay and boogie in the beer-tent until dawn.
For our family the highlight of the weekend will be when we all get together on the horseracing game. This involves trying to roll a wooden ball into holes in a board. If you manage it, your horse will move forward by another one, two or three leaps. The winner of the race is awarded a cuddly toy to add to the burgeoning collection of Whit-fair animals which every child in Meerbusch possesses.