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I have a confession to make.  Although I have, at this writing, spent six full years in Germany, today was the first time we experienced a Fasching celebration.  And we experienced it quite by accident.  I didn’t know this was going to be going on today, probably because I’m not very religious.  Wiesbaden, to my knowledge, is less religious than Stuttgart is.  Actually, what I do remember of Baden-Württemberg at this time of year is that people dress in costumes, as an American celebrating Halloween might, but the costumes are kind of scary and macabre.  Or… at least that’s what our parsimonious ex landlady told us before she started hating us.  I had heard that in other parts of Germany, such as Bavaria, the costumes are more funny and lighthearted.  Since I haven’t really hung out in any Fasching celebrations before today, I can’t say for certain.

A nice first picture for the display.  Most of the others are a lot raunchier.

To be honest, Bill and I usually do other things when Fasching is going on.  I do remember seeing the tail end of celebrations, as people walked by in their costumes.  It looked like fun… but until today, I never experienced it firsthand.  I’ve also never been to New Orleans, let alone Carnival.  This tradition is a mystery to me.  I have led such a sheltered life.

We went to downtown Wiesbaden for lunch, before a trip to the commissary to stock up on junk food before Bill goes TDY next weekend.  I got a first inkling that it was time to Fasch when I saw a little kid in a dragon costume.  Then I noticed all kinds of other costumes, worn by people of all ages, but especially the young.  I got loads of pictures.  Feast your eyes.

The first costume I saw.  It was relatively tame.  The main drag was shut down for the parade, which was pretty epic.

 

We saw lots of flamingos.  This was the first.

 

I felt like I’d run into the characters from the Wizard of Oz.

 

I still haven’t stopped in this store, where the world’s biggest cuckoo clock supposedly is.  I thought the biggest one was near Triberg.  I’m sure only the Americans care.

It seemed somewhat sedate… just lots of people in costumes milling around.

 

Yeah… not so exciting… yet.

 

Except for this music shop… I need to explore it on a day that isn’t Sunday.

 

Things were heating up here.

It had started to rain and it was getting close to the witching hour of 2:00pm, which is when many restaurants shut down lunch.  There was a lot of street food available and plenty of booze, but I wasn’t really wanting sausages and shots.  I suddenly remembered a really nice Thai restaurant we tried in October, when we came to Wiesbaden looking for housing.  Chookdee Thai is right downtown, next to the Wiesbaden Town Hotel, where we stayed the first time we visited Wiesbaden.  When we visited then, we sat outside, because we had our dogs.  Since it was raining today, we went inside.  That was a good thing to do for many reasons.

Chookdee Thai was mostly booked today.  It has a small, but very beautifully decorated dining room. We had to sit in the area where you have to shed your shoes.  That meant climbing over a platform like area.  It was kind of cool, if not awkward.  We had to inconvenience the people sitting next to us, since Bill couldn’t get to his seat without climbing over the ladies at the next table.

You take off your shoes if you sit at one of the traditional tables.  They have slippers, but we didn’t bother with them.

 

The walls were covered with this.  It was beautiful.

 

Bill decides on lunch.  He had shrimp pad Thai.  I think I might have even seen our new landlord in costume while we were eating.  He has a very distinctive expression on his face.  He usually looks amused, which is a relief to me.

 
 

Really… a very nice place.  This was taken just before 3:00, which is when they pause until dinner.

 

Of course, Fasching is a time when people go a little nuts.  There’s a lot of drinking and dancing, especially among the young.  They had live music and I saw lots of kids with homemade potions in big plastic bottles, no doubt loaded with cheap alcohol.  And a whole bunch of them decided to congregate at the outside table in front of our Thai restaurant.  This place is actually kind of in an alcove/alley way.  I wouldn’t say it’s in the thick of Wiesbaden’s main square.  But it seemed like every high spirited hooligan decided to party in front of Chookdee Thai, much to the chagrin of the restaurant’s proprietor, who looked a bit pissed as young man after young man pissed in the corner between a parked van and a wall, in full view of the patrons.

The dude in the hat was dressed as a cow.  He encountered another cow while we were having lunch and the two of them started “milking” each other’s udders.

The sly looking pirate was the first guy who whizzed in front of us.  He looks devious, doesn’t he?

And these two aliens cracked me up.  I saw another impressive guy in a Spiderman costume that left nothing to the imagination.  I was impressed by how well he wore it.

 

Lunch came.  I had fried shrimp with green beans, garlic, rice, and garlic sauce.  It was all served family style and delicious.  I must admit, the show outside made our meal all the better.

Yummy rice…

Shrimp pad Thai.

Fried shrimp with green beans and steaming hot garlic sauce with cilantro.  Tasty and filling.

 

I kept watching the kids outside and took photos, because I’m tacky… and the cow dude apparently noticed.  He got on top of the table outside and mooned us.  I got several photos of his bare ass, which was surprisingly hairless and zitless.

Yeah… a little “courage”…

Mounting the table.

Getting in position…

I always seem to be at the right place at the right time, don’t I?

Wow.  I actually got a few pictures of this, but these were the best of the lot.  After he mooned us, the guy got down and basically took a bow.  Most everyone in the restaurant was dying laughing.  The German lady sitting behind me was quite amused that I got photos.  She showed them to her family, which included a couple of young kids.  Germans can be remarkably uptight about some things… but when it comes to nudity, they let it all hang out.

 

Anyway… that was about the end of lunch, so we finished up and split.  I do like Chookdee Thai under the best of circumstances.  Today was just an unusually entertaining day to eat there.  I walked around a bit more and got a few more pictures before we headed to the commissary.

Gonna have to check this out.

Love was in the air…

Especially brotherly love.

These folks had the right idea.

So did they.

I’ve heard the parade in Mainz is tomorrow and it’s supposedly even wilder than Wiesbaden’s is.  I don’t how I managed to miss this every year.  It’s quite the shitshow.  I do enjoy German style fun.  I don’t enjoy German style anal retentiveness.  But this goes to show that Germans can let their hair down, too.

And it was reassuring to know that they were very well prepared if someone had an “Unfall”.  Germans are serious about their fun… and if you get into trouble, they’ll help you out.  And then they’ll probably lecture you.

I got a kick out of this classic Mini Cooper parked near our new fangled (10 year old) one.

As for the commissary, it was its usual self, complete with the remnants of someone’s dump on the ladies’ room floor.  Why do we keep going there?  Because I’m an American and I need my Cheetos… and not just the one sitting in the White House.

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