In Germany "silly" is synonymous with "stupid" and people maintain dignity at all times. So you can imagine my surprise when we were invited to a Karneval party on Saturday night and met with a night of Germans gone wild.
We had planned to meet up with our friends Simon & Sarah. They decided we must go to a Karneval party. With only an hour or so's notice we scoured the closet and came up with a costume of "American Tourists." We donned our most athletic sneakers, white tube socks, money belts on top of our clothes, sunglasses, and Obama pins. Ryan tucked in a polo shirt and I wore a scarf proclaiming "Paris, France." We looked pretty dumb and I really hoped that we weren't having a prank pulled on us.
But when we got to the party people were dressed much weirder than us, wearing bizarre hats shaped like cakes, flower pots, etc. Faces were painted green, or wearing Elton John-like sunglasses. Some people were dressed like cowboys, but most costumes weren't so literal. And unlike Halloween there weren't any sexy costumes.
The music was very loud and very oompa-pa. Ryan and I didn't know how to dance it; it was more like marching music. But everyone else was going crazy! Simon explained to us that this is the once a year when Germans can dance without worrying about looking undignified. Most of the songs were traditional Karneval songs from Köln (Cologne) and in a very thick dialect. The DJ did play "Country Roads" and "Summer of '69." I was excited to hear a song I knew, and some drunk old business man did a weird dance with me. The dance basically consisted of slow-motion high-fiving. Then the DJ got really excited and took off his pants. His shirt was past his bum, thankfully, because he wasn't wearing any underwear.
Later on we were forcibly abducted into a conga line, I drank too much, and on the way out of the bathroom Sarah and I were hit on by some guys who said they didn't care that we are married. Sarah asked if they would buy drinks for our husbands too, and I almost thought it would work. It was too much for one night, and when I woke up the next morning I decided it was good that Lent started soon.
But one more thing. They played a funny song called "20 Centimeter" which is about, um, male anatomical bragging. Its very catching, and here's a link if you dare. Email me if you want a translation.