Now if there's one thing I do like, it's a party.
On Saturday a friend of mine turned thirty, and in the true German tradition he had a shindig.
However, there's a slight twist in the German observance of this very special day.
The custom is that any male who isn't married by the age of thirty must, on his thirtieth birthday, sweep the steps of the (aptly named) Rathaus, which is the town hall in English.
The ladies don't get away with it either; they have to clean the brasses on the town hall doors, but that's nearly always a more low key affair.
Anyway, I digress...
So, where this was once seen as a mark of shame by the older generation, it has now turned into a celebration of bachelorhood and freedom. While the newly turned thirty year old sweeps the steps, sometimes dressed in a suitable fancy dress, (on Saturday he was dressed in an inflatable Sumo wrestler suit), his friends and family drink beer and schnapps, laugh at him and in general have a good time.
Some carry on drinking throughout the day and up to the evening "do", which is a tremendous feat of alcoholic endurance I can tell you.
Because all parties in Germany are paid for by the host, the party on Saturday was all free; I just had to turn up. There was beer on tap, more spirits than a Customs and Excise Christmas party and a LOT of drunken Germans.
It was a great night which ended around six the next morning.
So why am I telling you all about this?
What has this to do with my writing? Has it any literary connection what so ever?
Well, the Rathaus is next to the public library, and I went there on Saturday to change my books.
Yes, but a great day.
Reg :-) (hic!)