Home > Germany, Personal > The Rugby, The Make-Up, The Masquerade, The McDonald’s, And Sleep

The Rugby, The Make-Up, The Masquerade, The McDonald’s, And Sleep

Halloween is not a big deal in Bavaria, or so I am informed. Most people do not dress up, or if they do, it’s strictly scary costumes, not the fount of creative dress (occupations and animals for those without that creativity) that it is in the United States. Instead they save all of that energy for Fasching, the celebration before Lent culminating in Mardi Gras, known as Carnival in other countries. And it’s fun, as I learned this weekend.

But I am getting ahead of myself. After such a fun birthday, I was more than happy to have a leisurely Friday, with some new, non-urgent tasks at work and a quiet night at home to help me recover.

The next day I slept in, then headed into the office to work a little. I saw that I had received an invitation from Cris to a Masquerade that night. Though I wasn’t sure how the evening would go, I figured that if the opportunity came up, I would try to find some sort of mask. Around 3, I left and went home to get ready to meet Ross. As usual, he met me at his stop and we rode in together to Marienplatz to see the rugby (Ireland versus France, so Ross was very excited). We arrived a bit early so we checked into the bar, Killian’s, where Scotland was playing Wales, and then went to a local department store for me to get a mask for the evening. The store was incredibly crowded; I could barely get through the press of people, especially around the costume area. I couldn’t find any mask section but purely by chance I found a black domino mask with a black cloth hanging from it to cover the rest of the face sitting on a ledge. I bought it from a store clerk dressed as some sort of Raggedy Ann style doll, and made my way back outside with Ross.

We went to the fountain outside the Rathaus to meet Sorcha (who apparently had been unaware there was a fountain there, understandable since the whole square is mostly dominated by the central statue). We then walked over to Killian’s (passing an awesome dragon gargoyle that looked like it was about to eat some saints) and went down the warm tunnel into the bar. Sometimes it seems to me that there’s only one Irish pub in the world and it just has a million entrances because Killian’s looked exactly like every Irish pub in every city in every country I’ve ever been to, although mercifully clear of the smoke that fills some of them. We found a table near the front and managed to steal and cadge stools in time to sit down and watch Wales beat Scotland. And then it was time for Ireland and France to take the field. Drinking beer and watching rugby while around me people with accents yelled at their respective teams to stomp the other guys heads in was really funny. An old woman nearby was particularly vehement, not to mention free with swearing. About halfway through the game, Allison (or Ally), an English girl Ross knew, showed up. The four of us continued to drink and watch as France beat the tar out of Ireland both literally (blood on the ball, lots of injuries) and figuratively (a crushing 30-10 final score). I had a good time, though Ross and Sorcha were a bit depressed over the match.

It was only a little after 7, still far too early for the masquerade, so we decided to go get food at a restaurant Ross had told me about before, Open Cuisine. A strange mix of American buffet and European fine dining sensibilities, Open Cuisine had Asian and Italian food available, so I got a pizza and everyone else got whatever type of noodles or pasta they were in the mood for. Afterward, Sorcha called her friend Ashley (whom I had met at Jaeger’s) and Ashley invited us all over to get our faces painted before the party. Though it took some effort (Sorcha got a little confused) we soon made our way to the rather nice house Ashley shared with her roommates. Along the way we discussed some of the fascinating differences between American and British/Irish culture, in particular the popular pop bands of the 1990’s (as Ally put it, “Steps is music”). Ashley had just finished eating dinner with an English guy named Steve, and after some enjoyable YouTube looks at the bands we had just talked about, she brought out the face paint and we got down to business.  I had my mask so I wasn’t in need but I helped by painting hearts all over Ally’s face. Sorcha didn’t like Ashley’s first attempt but in the end, she and Ashley both went with KISS makeup, Steve went as a (scary-looking) mime, and Ross got done up as Jack Skellington from A Nightmare Before Christmas. I got a small smiley face on my cheek just to fit in, and around 11 we headed out.

Our first stop was Jaeger’s to meet up with Cris and have a couple of drinks. People along the way were gratifyingly shocked and impressed by all the makeup. Cris too thought it was a good showing, and she fit in with her full-face white mask. It took some effort to pry her out but not long after we made our way next door to the Euro Youth Hotel for the party. Unfortunately, it wasn’t all we hoped it would be since not that many people had dressed up or gone all out on makeup.

Still, the place was pretty well full and we had a good time chatting, and generally hanging out. Ross, Sorcha, and I each had a shot though the bar staff was so busy making drinks it sometimes took a while to get a drink. I met one of Cris’ friends Sierra (who at least had a cat mask) and generally people watched. For some reason, my group decided my smiley face wasn’t enough and proceeded to give me a combination villain moustache, Groucho Marx eyebrows, and pretty much smear black greasepaint all over my face. Funny then, but not the best I’ve ever looked I would have to say.

Around 3, Ross left to meet Kristyn, Morgan, Eva, Mauritz, and Klaus at Milchbar, but the rest of us didn’t feel like dancing/paying cover so we stayed until around 4. We had though that the trains would be running late because of Fasching but apparently the ones we wanted weren’t so while everyone else headed home, Sorcha and I walked to McDonald’s for a late night snack (and got a lot of pointing and whispered comments from people, which Sorcha wasn’t thrilled about). Afterward I saw that my train wasn’t coming for at least another hour so Sorcha generously lent me her couch, where I slept until 10 and finally got back home.

All in all, an excellent, if random night, and I can’t wait for more.

Categories: Germany, Personal
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