Tuesday, June 27, 2006

life in a northern town

First of all, did you know that if your husband throws his back out yet again and you say to him, "Gee, honeybunch, I'm really sorry your back is bothering you, that must be really painful. I can't even imagine what it's like though, since you know that I never, ever get back pain" that three days later while you are sitting at the computer minding your own business the karma gods will hunt you down and hurl a lightening bolt into your back causing you to nearly pass out? Yep. Friday morning, left side, just under the shoulder blade. I'm blaming it on too much Pilates. It's gone now, but holy moley, I'm going to be choosing my words more carefully from now on.

Searing back pain did not, however, prevent me from enjoying a rip-roaring weekend of fun because last weekend was the annual Dullsville Stadtfest - the village fair organized by the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, a local farmer and a couple of other young men who want to ensure that a good time was had by all.

The first thing you notice when you wander on down to the Stadtfest, conveniently located between the Lutheran church and the elementary school, is the plethora of beer stands. Beer as far as the eye can see with a few cocktails thrown in for the girls and the sissies.

Friday afternoon's festivities began with an appearance by the men's choir that our neighbour sings in - traditional German songs that Germans love to sing along with. Especially those who have had a lot of beer. As soon as they hear these familiar songs, they will lock arms and start to sway to and fro in time to the music. German, being such an economical language, has a word for this action: schunkeln. Remember that if you ever visit Germany. Ask someone "Wollen wir ein bisschen schunkeln?" and you'll get a big smile.

Next up was a surprise visit from Morgenmän Franky, a very popular DJ who does the "Guten Morgen Niedersachsen" (Good Morning Lower Saxony Show) for a local radio station. He autographed postcards for all the kids before introducing Friday's star act.

Billed as the "Mega-Hammer" of the evening, singer Jürgen Drews has been around since the 70's.

He is a so-called Schlagersänger - a kind of a kitschy pop singer very popular here. If you click on the link, there's a picture of him with his lovely wife, 31, who seems to have replaced all her original parts at a young age.

He put on a good show, if you like that kind of thing, and considering the energy he has on stage, I was surprised to find out that the guy is 61. He likes to refer to himself as "Onkel Jürgen" (Uncle Jürgen) and was crowned "Der König von Mallorca" because of his many appearances at clubs and discos on the Spanish island of Mallorca, a popular German haunt.

We left the fair pretty early on Friday, but Mr. M and the boys went back on Saturday evening to watch part of the World Cup game between Germany and Sweden on the big screen while my aching back and I stayed home to rest. I must say that for someone who managed to skip out of gym class for the entire 6th grade, preferring to read Nancy Drew mysteries in the library with her best friend Suzanne, I had developed an alarming interest in sports as of late and MUST watch every single soccer game right to the end. Perhaps I'm coming down with something.

Those who chose to stay until midnight on Friday or Saturday night were treated to an "Erotic-Show", actually just the same tired old wet T-shirt contest as every year. *yawn* I believe it was won by a 54 year old housewife last year. You do the math. Apparently things went well this year and only started to go pear-shaped (as it were) when a person of colour (is that the correct PC expression?) was up dancing on the stage and a few pea-brained neo-N*zis started insulting him and tried to pull him off the stage. The police were right on it and quite a few arrests were made that night. Lock 'em all up and throw away the key, I say.

Among the other treasures we brought back with us from the fair: three German flags, two rubber ducks,an autographed postcard from a member of the Scorpions hockey team and an offical (but very plastic looking) World Cup soccer ball personally signed by...the butcher, the baker and the farmer. Oh well, this IS Dullsville after all.


At June 27, 2006 12:00 p.m., Blogger Berlinbound said...

Great piece - I enjoyed it - particulary since I'm stuck away now in the Catskills and missing DE.

One question though: Can you ever have too much Pilates?

Best ...

At June 27, 2006 12:35 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Hi Richard! Thanks so much for stopping by. I'd say the expression being "stuck in the Catskills" is probably relative to some of us who would like nothing more than to hide away for the summer. :-) But I'm sure DE is missing you too.

Just putting the tape into the VCR is sometimes too much Pilates for me, I'm afraid.

At June 27, 2006 1:26 p.m., Blogger Cathy said...

Very funny, Christina!
Minus the bad back, that is. I'm glad you got over it quickly. The festival sounds fun, although I'm not so sure about the Uncle Jurgen; more than a little creepy to me, I'm afraid :)

What are your plans for Canada Day?

At June 27, 2006 1:48 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Hi Cathy - yes, Uncle Jürgen IS a bit creepy but he seems to have a lot of fans.

Not quite sure yet with Canada Day - I think we'll be having some friends over for a barbeque on Saturday.

At June 27, 2006 2:19 p.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

I declare, Christina--you can tell one good story! I always read every single word you write. So, that Jürgen guy is 61! Can you imagine ME doing something like that?! (Please don't say yes.) And about that back karma, no fun. I love that you're getting into these soccer games (you're probably watching more of them than I am now that I'm Stateside). Hurray for Germany. Let's see how far they go. I'm rooting for them (and Ghana, of course :).

At June 27, 2006 4:01 p.m., Blogger Expat Traveler said...

Oh man for backs! Sounds like you've been having a good time and well catching onto being a "football" fan isn't all that bad. :)

At June 27, 2006 7:36 p.m., Anonymous Elle said...

That guy is just creepy. And his wife seems to have done some major damage to her back as well.

But let's forget that and go to a happy place. What would be going on in Canada at this time of year in your hometown?

At June 27, 2006 8:47 p.m., Blogger Tim Rice said...

Sounds like quite a weekend. Shame about the racial disturbance though that problem exists around the world. But the festival sounds like it could be fun. Did they have lots of good food to go along with that beer?

At June 27, 2006 11:10 p.m., Blogger Dixie said...

I love the Stadtfest. We, of course, by virtue of being a much bigger town, have a big beer tent with bands from Bayern playing. The drunker you get, the better you participate when they sing Holzmichel for the zillionth time.

I love Jürgen Drews but then again I have a sincere affection for cheesy 70s pop music - even German cheesy 70s pop music. That guy is a total crack-up.

At June 28, 2006 7:27 a.m., Blogger Karen said...

No, not Dullsville - sounds like a fun time :-)

At June 28, 2006 9:55 a.m., Blogger Elemmaciltur said...

Talking about those stupid skins...there was supposed to be a demonstration in Munich on this Saturday. A counter demonstration had been organised, which I was pretty keen on attending. I mean, how dare they do this during the World Cup?!

However, when I was looking for the links to put in the comment, turned out hat the skins actually cancelled the demo themselves but they are going to do it in August instead. *sighs*

At June 28, 2006 12:23 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Ginnie - Thanks! I do try my best. Can you read between the lines too? :-)

You'll be relieved to know that I can't quite picture you up on stage singing cheesy German songs. And the games are on at 5 and 9 p.m. now so it's very convenient to watch them.

Expat - Yep, I guess I could have chosen a worse sport that soccer to get excited about. :-)

Elle - Actually, together they are even creepier.

Tim - You're right, these kind of disturbances do happen everywhere, but it's been getting pretty bad in Germany lately. Unfortunately there wasn't much good food there, just bratwurst and the like. People mostly go to drink.

Dixie - Wow, you guys have the Luxury Stadfest. :-) Yep, if you love 70's music, Onkel Jürgen is your man. I guess he does look pretty good for his age and he knows how to take a joke, so more power to him, eh?

Karen- Once a year they let it all hang out and then it's back to business as usual. :-)

Elemm - Figures that those losers would try to wreck the good mood. I still can't believe they let them get away with any kind of demonstration at all.

At June 28, 2006 6:35 p.m., Blogger mar said...

Sorry about your back but I loved your post! your description of Onkel Jürgen is just perfect!!! I was in HH last week and brought back some souvenirs too, which I posted wordless today. Missing are the German wig (he he) and the "Berlin Final" t-shirt my son was wearing as I took the pic. No, he wasn't wearing the wig! happy WM!

At September 01, 2006 4:53 p.m., Blogger weltkind said...

dear homesick mausi,

came over your blog while searching some information about the uncle....is he really 61 - wow, i wrote he was "in his late 50s" (ggg). seems he´s not that nice guy he wants to show us: months ago the tabloids wrote about his poor old mother, who was thrown out of her own house and sent to a nasty "seniorenheim" by good old juergen-boy. we are not amused, uncle juergen. by the way -do you know the other old german singing guy called udo juergens? he´s over 70 and looks like 60 *g*. at the end of his shows, he uses to sing a last song in his white bathrobe, drinking a cup of camomile tea (first flush).the german adore udo juergens, even the young ones. he is not as kitschy as "the uncle" and sings bitter-sweet love songs like "merci, cherie", playing the piano with a taste of melancholy. maybe we love him so much, because he is the only serious "chasonnier" we have. by the way: mr. juergens is from austria and lives in switzerland........

have a nice time in dullville and maybe have a look at my blogs. yours, e.t. erlkoenigs tochter

At December 12, 2008 10:26 a.m., Blogger Any middle-aged German Witch in Amerika, said...

I wonder where in Northern Germany you are. I am from the rural Northwest, but no longer living there. I am homesick, like you are, just in the other direction.

About Juergen Drews: he is actually a very intelligent guy, believe it or not!

Yes, he plays the trashy guy, but that is only for the show. He has to pay a mortgage and he has a child and wife. It is all work. Like other people go to work and have to perform in a way they would not in privacy.

He has to make a living with those trash songs, as different music would not sell nowadays, at least not for him. His audience wants idiotic drink songs, so he delivers what he can sell. It is that simple.

A TV Tip to see the real Drews in a serious interview: later this month (I believe on the 27th?) 3sat will repeat the successfull TV-Film about Les Humphries (Aufstieg und Fall einer Legende, I believe, was the title).

It had been shown last year and became a big success among fans. So the director made an extended version, which was already presented in a cinema in Hamburg earlier. I wished I could have been there...

Well, that extended version of that film will be shown on 3sat that night. Check it out, you will be surprised how serious and intelligent Juergen Drews can be...


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