Monday 7 March 2011: HELAU!!!!
There's an old saying that Strange Things Happen At Sea. To that we can add that Much Stranger Things Happen In Mainz.
I knew this to be the case when I got on the train to Mainz and a woman dressed as a kangaroo sat opposite. It's not something you see every day. It was somehow normal that when her mobile went off, it was in her pouch. The train to Mainz was Full and when we alighted at the HBf the station was awash with a swarm of costumes and the clank of carryouts.
I thought yesterday was mad, yesterday was nothing. The estimate of the crowd attending Rosenmontag in Mainz is usually put at half a million, I think they'll have to have a recount, there were at least that many on the street where I was. Granted, it was a long street but it was still heaving with humanity and some of its lesser brethren (I may be a tad harsh but a Ned is a Ned regardless of where you find them).
And so, we stood and watched floats as they passed by, some quite funny, some just odd and watched people scrambling for the sweets that get thrown from them. I should add that it's not just sweets, some floats are rum indeed and throw out packets of hankies, other throw J-cloths.
We managed to see our friend who was on a white horse (he was part of the parade, in the Prinzengarde no less) and he would have been today's Blip but these two cows epitomised the look and feel of today. And you'd be awful careful if you went to shake hands with either of the cowmen.
Today's title is what EVERYONE shouts at regular intervals during Fastnacht and it's a variation on Hello. You shout it loud and sketch a big wave of your arm at the same time. Don't do that in Cologne though, there you have to shout "ALAAF". Or so I'm told.