Happy New Year! (2008-01-02 - 3:03 p.m.)

Happy New Year to all!

I spent mine here in Marburg, Germany, with Malcolm and a bunch of drunken Germans. Turns out the main German New Years traditions are watching this bizarre English skit called Dinner for One and setting off explosives in the streets. The first part was hilarious and enjoyable, the second hilarious and terrifying. Apparently Germans only set off "approved" fireworks in the streets (surprise, surprise!) but it still didn't look what one would call safe, once you add in all the sparkling wine that was being sloshed into glasses. There were some proper fireworks that you set off by sticking them in your discarded bottles, some little ones that you throw as far as possible (and hopefully not into anyone) and some little fizzy ones that scoot around in circles and give off loads of coloured sparks. I observed all this, of course, from the position of cowering in a doorway, ready to run for cover at any moment. And Malcolm, of course, was in his element, out waving matches at bits of gunpowder.

The really strange part was that there were still people driving around on the streets, apparently unconcerned about the explosives going off around them. Phlegmatic, these Germans.

Anyway, the party was quite good as once everyone had a few beers in them, they were more than happy to speak English with me. There was dancing and shouting and a strange fortune-telling procedure where you melt a bit of metal in a spoon, then dump it into a pot of water. The resulting shape tells you what your year will be like. Mine immediately broke up into about twenty pieces, which a quite drunk German girl translated as, "Jaaaaaaa... .this means you will be GREAT!" Whether or not she was lying, I'll take it.

We went out to a club at about 2.30, but I gave up early (bed by about 5.30). Malcolm was a bit more hard-core and didn't come home till 7am. I have vague recollections of having an entire conversation in the loo line with a girl who kept saying things to me in German while I smiled and nodded, and watching some guy in a chicken suit dancing.

At any rate, I didn't expect to stay this long in Marburg, but am having a great time. The weird part is I'm also getting a lot of work done, as Mal has stuff to do and most of his friends have left town for Christmas, so weve spent quite a lot of time in the office. Granted, a good bit of that was on Facebook, but Ive made excellent inroads into at least one of my assignments. Back at the office again today (with a bizarre German keyboard, grrrr) but we are leaving tonight to go... somewhere. Im hoping for Prague, Mal thinks Berlin would be cool. Actually were both okay with either option. Weve been trying to book our Prague train for four days now and have been stymied at every turn, so now were going to head to Frankfurt and try to book it from the train station there (larger, less provincial, and the desk people speak English). If Prague doesnt look like it will happen, Berlin it is.

backwards ~ onwards

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Missed anything?
moved! - 2008-05-12
Sunday = time to ramble on - 2008-05-11
apparently I'm doing monthly updates these days. Sorry. - 2008-05-04
watershed - 2008-04-06
end of trip - 2008-03-31

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