Day 12, 07.05.2009: More potlucks!
I love how frequently these Gemeindefest [“community festivals”] pop-up in Germany! Such a happy place to live. If the opportunity arises to join one, you definitely should! Lovely people, fun activities, and best of all, delicious Kartoffelsalat–potato salad. This time around, there was more Kartoffelsalat that was vegetarian than last time. So I really indulged myself and probably disgusted my host family and all their neighborhood friends with how many helpings I had…
Not to say that stopped me from additional servings of some Nachtisch [“dessert”]. There was an open bar of cakes, custards, cookies, crumbles, crisps, and all other forms of captivating culinary sweets. After about 15 minutes of indecisively hovering over the desserts table and making others uncomfortable, I finally settled on a cherry crumble and raspberry yellow cake.
One of the most unexpected and most interesting activities was the option to operate a tractor(?!?). There was a plot of land that everyone who wanted to learn how to use a tractor could continuously dig into and backfill. Totally fun and definitely not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of games at a festival. I undeniable struggled with operating the claw and am grateful no one was hurt in the process.
Clara introduced me to a fellow exchange student from London. Both of us were rather shy, and after making some small talk, simply sat next to each other awkwardly and ate our food in mostly silence. My young, girlish dreams of meeting a charming Englishman and escaping to the English countryside were kind of dashed at that point. Chemistry can be so disappointing. I ran into another exchange student while we were there. They’re everywhere! He was also from California, which was a good starting point for a much less awkward conversation.
The musical and dance performances provided a clean segue for us to turn our attention to other activities. We were treated to traditional Bavarian folk dance and music by dancers bravely dressed in Dirndl dresses (for women) and Trachten (for men) in searing heat. The dance is called Mühlradl [“Miller’s Dance”], where people dance in a sort of ring-around-the-rosy fashion and bounce off from partner to partner.
The rest of the day was spent at home packing for Berlin–the highlight of our month in Germany. I was oozing excitement out of every pore and hardly slept a wink that night. Either thankfully or unfortunately–I can’t decide–my enthusiasm was tempered by some sober reading of Grapes of Wrath for my AP English class.
Also, this seems like such a silly thing to note, but I had a fried egg for the first time in two weeks. Do Germans eat a lot of fried eggs? I feel like I should know that answer having lived there for a month, but perhaps it was just my host family that wasn’t big on fried eggs. In any case, if you ever get a hankering for some fried eggs, the magical term is “Spiegelei” or “mirror egg”. Spiegel = mirror and Ei = egg. 🙂