Monday, January 23, 2006

so you wanna be a gangsta...

The end of Karneval time is drawing near. Well, not that near, but if you're a kid, it can't come soon enough because that's the day you get to dress up and party. Rosenmontag (literally 'raving Monday' - nothing at all to do with roses) is the Monday before Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday, the official start of Lent. There are parties all over the place and the children go to school in costume.

Rosenmontag falls on February 27 this year, and although northern Germany supposedly isn't that big on Karneval, the stores are already full of all kinds of fancy outfits and accessories. You name it, they have it - clowns, policemen, knights in shining armour, princesses, escaped convicts, devils, angels - the choice is yours.

About a week and a half ago, Boy9 was leafing through one of the glossy department store Karneval flyers we've been getting lately and fell in love. With a gangster costume. Really. He cut out the picture. He slept with it under his pillow. He scanned it and put his head in in place of the kid in the picture. He had to have that gangster costume. It was all he talked about.

Now I'm not usually one for buying stuff when I can make it myself, especially stuff like costumes that most likely will only be worn once, so I told him we'd go downtown, have a look and then decide. So we did, and he was in heaven. My sewing skills are quite decent, but I decided there was no way I could make something like that for the money it cost ready-made, and besides, the last time I sewed a pinstripe suit for someone was...well...never, so I just went ahead and bought the thing and made him promise not to grow any more so he could wear it again next year.

Boy9: Oh Mummy! This is the best day of my life! *sigh*
Me: Oh, really?
Boy9: Well, OK, I guess the real best day of my life would be if I won a Lamborghini Diabolo, but I'll just say it's the best day of my life up until now. I always dreamed of being a gangster.
Me: But you know that gangsters are bad guys, right?
Boy9: I know that, but it's only dressing up, and anyway, I'll be a good gangster! I won't even shoot anyone!

How can you argue with that logic? Check it out.

(to be modelled by Himself at a later date)

Because he's such a slender, wiry little guy, the suit fits him like a dream and the 'Al Capone' hat just makes it. He had to try it on again as soon as he got home.

Me: Papa will tie your necktie for you and here, your shirt looks much better when it's tucked into the pants.
Boy9: Noooo, Mummy! Don't do that! Don't help me!
Me: Aww, you won't even let your poor mama help you a bit?
Boy9: Gangsters don't have mamas!

(But gangsters, or at least the one that sleeps in Boy9's bed, DO insist on having a little cuddle on the sofa every morning for 20 minutes before they go off to school!)

Boy12 has also decided on a costume, but his is being kept under wraps for now.

And speaking of stylin' young men, do go take a look at what Sal, Spain's most fashionable expat, has been up to lately. Did you know that thanks to his faithful readers his blog was recently declared a guaranteed Tipper Gore-free zone? It's true!


At January 23, 2006 12:49 p.m., Blogger Ms Mac said...

Blimey! Is it really nearly Lent already? But I haven't even seriously started my NY resos yet!

Al Capone looks adorable! Please post pics!

At January 23, 2006 12:56 p.m., Blogger Just another American Expat said...

I'm not a big one on Fasching (for our American and Canadian readers, it's the German version of Mardi Gras). Went to the ball last year...have to work this year.

Question: Does Quebec celebrate Mardi Gras?

At January 23, 2006 1:19 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Ms Mac - Time just flies by, doesn't it? I really think we should just give up our New Year's resolutions for Lent and kill two birds with one stone. ;-) Pics will be forthcoming! We have to practice drawing on a gangster moustache first!

Duncan - yeah, I don't like Fasching all that much either and have never been to one of those big parties, but the kids love it.

And yes, Quebec does celebrate Mardi Gras, but they call it the Quebec Winter Carnival and have that giant snowman, the Bonhomme as their mascot. Apparently the celebrations in Quebec are the third largest in the world after Rio and New Orleans.

At January 23, 2006 1:57 p.m., Blogger Sandra said...

What is it with little boys and Lamborghinis? My Boy9 is always talking about them, too. (Cute costume!)

At January 23, 2006 2:07 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Sandra - I don't know! All of a sudden he just decided he loooved Lamborghinis, especially the yellow ones. He searches the internet and downloads all the picture he can find.

At January 23, 2006 2:40 p.m., Blogger Betty said...

Boy9 has quite the personality. I learn so much here.

At January 23, 2006 4:39 p.m., Blogger James said...

I bet your little guy was a real gangsta in a previous life. That's why he likes it so much now. Do you believe in reincarnation???

At January 23, 2006 4:55 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Betty - yes, for such a little kid he has a lot going on inside his head

James - I hope not, but maybe he was. And yes, I am a believer . :-)

At January 23, 2006 5:43 p.m., Blogger Sal DeTraglia said...


The kilt that would not die! Thanks very much for the plug. More than that, thanks for referring to me as "young man." That hasn't happened in years.

As for Tipper Gore, she's just mad because my legs are better than hers. Perhaps that's why Al Gore keeps leaving messages on my answering machine.

See you at the European Bloggers' Annual Convention next December in Oulu, Finland.


At January 23, 2006 5:48 p.m., Blogger Cathy said...

What a hoot!
Looking forward to the photo of him wearing it!

At January 23, 2006 6:42 p.m., Blogger Expat Traveler said...

Sal is a character. Yes I was going to report on Fasnacht soon but haven't gotten around ot the post yet since it has started arleady in Switz.

At January 23, 2006 8:27 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Sal - anything to get you that book deal. Expat silliness must be rewarded :-)

But Oulu, Finland? Geez, I dunno. Will they be passing out free fur hats to go along with the vodka sno cones?

Cathy - he just looks so cute in it! Like it was made for him.

Expat - looking forward to your Fasnacht post!

At January 23, 2006 8:56 p.m., Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

That is sooooo cute. Can't wait for the pictures. I love the Basel Fasnacht, but I had the "bad luck" of living almost 3 years in the center of town and I can tell you... Even when I was home, I heard the drums and piccolos for 4 nights in a row. That killed it for me. No way of getting any sleep for 4 nights!

At January 23, 2006 10:58 p.m., Blogger christina said...

canadianswiss - Wow, that sounds really loud! Nothing like that around here.

At January 23, 2006 11:47 p.m., Blogger Dixie said...

That costume is just the best! I love wearing costumes and I miss Halloween parties for that one reason alone.

At January 23, 2006 11:52 p.m., Blogger GC PHILO said...

Wow, that's a great costume. You;ve got me thinking about what i should wear this year. A group of friends last year went as the Fraggles (home-made the costumes and everything) but none of the Spaniards seemed to know what they were. A lot of effort for little appreciation. At least everyone will know who AL Capone is!

At January 24, 2006 7:39 a.m., Blogger Karen said...

That is one cool costume - can't wait to see the pictures of him actually in it.

At January 24, 2006 10:35 a.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

This is just hysterical, Christina. I laughed all the way through it. Is this what my grandson will be like in 3+ years? I hope so. Boys will be boys and will say the darnest things! And yes, maybe he was a good gangster in his past life, never shooting anyone. Just the look! You should feel so proud.

At January 24, 2006 10:38 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Dixie - then you MUST dress up on Rosenmontag and ride the tram up and down the street!

gc philo - yeah, I can see the Fraggles causing a bit of confusion. :-)

Karen - he's really slim and has blonde hair and blue eyes so it's even cuter.

Ginnie - he really does come out with the funnies things sometimes. We always tell him he's better than TV!


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