The night before Labor Day is Witches Night in Germany. We certainly had our share of them. All along the streets, cars had been TPed, and adorned with stunning modern art, typically of the ketchup and k-y jelly variety.
And last night I could hear the labor day tension brewing outside my window as a mob of drunken German men gathered in the streets. They started bellowing and shoving each other around, so I had to peek my head out the window to see what it was about. It was incredible: big-bellied men, hollering and pushing each other around as if they were ten years old.
Soon I got a bit frightened: two guys finally started slugging it out on the hood of someone’s car, trying to strangle each other and yank out the other’s hair. I was so afraid of someone pulling out a knife. Cars driving up stopped and tried to back up and take another route. Eventually the mob made it to the sidewalk outside another bar, bashing one guy up against the cigarette vending box. The guy fell to the floor while the others stood around kicking him. Then, just as suddenly as they had gathered, they got bored and wandered off to their respective bars.
It was one of those times that it is good to know the equivalent of 911 in the country where you live. Of course, had I even known that at the time, I would never have been able to explain what was happening outside my window, let alone understand their questions over the phone in German. The police did eventually show up, but by that time, everyone was gone, except the guy on the ground of course.
Still, it was fascinating how people would just walk by, unconcerned for their safety, during such a ruckus. The same thing actually happened last Friday night after we packed up our schwenker to go home. We had to pass by a big mob of dark-haired boys (Turkish? Algerian?), some of whom were shoving each other, others who were trying to hold the shovers back. We walked right through them, but they paid us no attention. It struck me as very Fight Club.