The days are getting much too short here. Night is slowly taking over, and with it come ghosts and ghouls and all manner of spooky what-nots.
This is the first time in my life I’ve celebrated the very American tradition of Halloween. The spookiest day of all isn’t really that spooky in Australia (or really, anywhere else in the world that isn’t the USA), and so I definitely had to take the opportunity last night to put on my creepiest costume and boogy with boogie men.
Before the night’s celebrations however, I took a short little hop over to nearby Weinheim with a group of my flatmates. There we spent the day hiking up hills that were absolutely covered in fallen gold. Even after spending some time in the Black Forest this week I was still impressed by Weinheim. The small town is a bit like Heidelberg in it’s style, though perhaps even older and more “German”. It’s certainly less touristy and packed with people, that’s for sure! The walk through the heavily wooded hills nearby also definitely matched the vibe I imagined for October 31st!
We first hit up a near rotting stone bastion, climbed precarious spiral staircases to reach it’s peak and then continued onwards to the nearby Watch Tower. After checking out the “Schlossgarten” later in the afternoon, in total, we managed to visit three “castles” in the space of a couple hours. Not bad. I’m actually also surprised at how well my legs and feet held up to the punishment of this week’s hiking. I must be getting stronger!
Soon I will be too powerful. No one will be able to halt the Hike-Hulk. Fear me!
That night I put on my best creepy scarecrow costume (hey, it was free and easy) and headed down to the Jungbusch to an Australian friend’s Halloween apartment party. There we awkwardly sat down in the dark, unsure as to how to interact with the horde of zombie Germans.
The apartment was amazingly decorated and, combined with the eerie mist that has descended over Mannheim in recent days, there was a cool spooky atmosphere going down. It was just a shame that the apartment was absolutely packed, almost to the point of groaning outwards and exploding, with probably over a hundred bodies, most of which were drunk and out for blood.
Trying to work your way through this crowd really was a horror show. As blood red and sickly purple lights shone down, we battle through the undead crowd, constantly watching for bite marks and ready to off anyone who was bitten… They turn quickly, these living dead. Better be safe than sorry!
The biggest disappointment I’ve found about German parties so far is that there are an incredible amount of people, mostly thickly built young men, simply looking for confrontation. After two straight nights of having these ugly idiots heckle my friends and even myself, I think I’m pretty much done with this sort of crowd. It’s best not to give them the time of day… but when there’s a lot of testosterone in the air, there’s always going to be some puffing of chests. I don’t exactly know why I’m finding it more visible in this country than in Australia though? Is it something in the beer?
So yeah, Halloween really was scary, if not for the costumes but for the ugliness of some personalities and my own insecurities bubbling up again in the pitch dark environment. The night just ended up more of a trick for me than a treat.
I did slowly evolve from a ragged scarecrow to an intoxicated neon king throughout the night though, so that was a plus.