(Bet. Soest & Dortmund)
“Left Thomas’ house this morning, now waiting for connecting train in the small town of Unna. Great hospitality at Thomas’: his mom washed and ironed my shirts (to my protest, as they were just going into my backpack), and even darned my socks. Furthermore, as I was leaving she stuffed a bag of cookies and a book into my backpack, to keep my occupied on the trip. His father was also very kind, helping me carry my bags to the station (he had driven me from Altengeseke to Soest) and wished me well, saying that he hoped to see me again some time. Difficult to understand, but a very nice couple.
Yesterday went with Thomas and two of his old friends to a Schützenfest in the neighbouring community of Horn. Two brass bands, a few troupes of uniformed men on parade with wooden rifles and oak branches in the barrels, all very bizarre.”
“Also helped clean up the hall from Saturday night’s Polterabend. A tradition at the Polterabend is for each guest to throw plates and cups at the wall, the mess to be cleaned up by the bride and groom. Well, that didn’t happen – and I wound up cleaning up the shards. We then walked through the village and collected the beer glasses that people had taken home with them: I guess people would walk out, still drinking their beer, then leave the glasses on the side of the lane/on the brick walls to be picked up the next day. Very thoughtful and practical.
Ran into a girl from the night before in her boyfriend’s old VW Beetle, so she took us for a bomb down the rural back farmroads of Westfalia. Again, quite surreal.”
“Hilarious watching Germans dance on Saturday night at the party.* One thing that didn’t sit well with me was the Indianertanz (‘Indian Dance’) which involved the marching band’s bass drum in the middle of the floor on its side. The drummer then pounded it with his hands as if he were at a pow-wow, and all the Germans ran up to dance in a circle. Not appropriate at all.”
*See the Fliegerlied