Thursday, May 1, 2008

drums, drums in the darkness

  today is the extremely rare occasion that the austrian national holiday falls onto may the first. while that means having one day off less, it also means, well, having two at the same time.
my usual participation in this is passive, though in this country i've come to learn that already is quite a spectacle. from germany i was used to first of may [day of the work] being basically a buffer for all those who danced into the may the night before. an elegant solution for everyone not to loose their job.

but not so here. it's quarter past eight in the morning, and i've just had the day's first marching band pass my window, and believe me that that is far from anything you could ignore in your sleep. seriously, their valiant drumming made me fear for my windows. of course first thing crossing my mind were curses for my neighbours, who are renovating since half a year and usually starting at 7:30am, but this time it was simply the procession in the distance, coming closer.

imagine you're on the streets,
demonstrating for more men in the kindergardens and fight poverty, etc. etc. etc. and you're enforced by a professional marching band and children with whistles, doesn't that sound like gathering attention? but when this stream of people - demonstrators, children, balloons, posters, marching bands [yes, plural] and the much needed ladies at the very front with their handy portable beer barrels around their torso and breadbasket in their hand [hello austria] - passes the streets at 8 in the morning, i'd question the receptiveness innocent bystanders.

this is austria, and it never ceases to amaze me.


Anne said...

Darling don't be scared by the drums of the parading bands. Remember those astonishingly cruel events in Mülheim in the summer, where all those marching bands played unnecessary things never called music. This seems to be a theme in the back of your life which repeats to appears from time to time. Just don't be scared.

saturninus said...

you have to admit, though, that those enthusiastic leaders of these procession (tambourmajors? majorettes? cheerleaders? whatever) are quite a sight!

pílong said...

in my neighbourhood there's this tradition, the candy day (free translation).
people on horses and charriots ride along the street throwing candy everywhere for desperate mums and greedy children.
That'd be quite fine if it wasn't for the riflemen that fire their bazooka-size rifles to the air at 7 in the morning all along the neighbourhood :D