Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Small-town Carnival

What's the same? What's different? We ask ourselves these questions for just about everything we encounter here. A few weeks ago, we went with our friends to a summer festival in a nearby small town called Suderbrarup. On most accounts, it was just what you would expect for a small-town carnival- junk food, corny games that you aren't meant to win, dangerous-looking rides, beer tents and loud music from twenty years ago!
There must have been a dozen candy stands! That's one (bright pink) just behind us in the photo. They were filled with chocolates, licorice of many flavors, nuts, gummies, etc. There were also giant heart-shaped cookies elaborately decorated with icing, with strings so you could wear them around your neck. I didn't bother getting one, as I think they were gingerbread cookies (not my favorite). Instead, we tried apfeltasche, which is the same concept as a McDonald's apple pie but tastes ten times better.

We rode the ferris wheel and that gave us a neat view of the surrounding area. Rolling fields and pastures as far as the eye could see, dotted with eighteenth-century church steeples and ultra-modern wind turbines. We also rode something whose name translates to Dream of Love! It was just one of those mini-roller coasters that go in a circle- fast, slow, backwards and all the while blaring music by Bon Jovi and Backstreet Boys. We got laughing so hard at our friend Maren, who is easily excitable and screamed the whole time, that we had tears getting ripped out of the corners of our eyes! Such fun!

There were helium balloons and stuffed animals. Spongebob Squarepants is very popular. You probably didn't know that he and his friends speak fluent German! They do- I've seen them on TV! Bob the Builder is also popular, but people seem to know all the pop culture cartoon characters from America.

Some of the carnival rides seemed really outdated- one for kids had the Smurfs painted on it! Another ride had this picture of Uncle Sam with the sign that reads,"I want you!" Huh? Surely, we are not recruiting for our armed forces in Germany! Aaron and I have so many good laughs over stuff like that. I'm sure our friends think we have strange senses of humor, but then again, with our mangled German they get plenty of chances to laugh when we don't know what's funny!

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