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Published: February 21st 2007
Carnival is Amazing!!!
Phoebe (wearing a Bjork swan dress), me (in bunny attire), Caitlin (as some kind of crazy carnival fiend), and Derek (we think he looks like an Inuit, but who knows what that costume is supposed to be about)
Well, today is the last day of Carnivale and the last day before Lent. Ellen and Phoebe are going to give up refined sugar. I'm not. Haha, but I can still enjoy the carnivale partying! Last night was a bit tame, but BOY was last night fun! I don't really know how to describe the joy that is Maastricht Carnivale, particularly when coupled with the amazing Phoebe Friesen and assorted international friends, but I'll describe a few adventures and hopefully give you a small glimps into the past 48 hours.
So, after sleeping in till 1pm after our marathon day of travel (sooo nice. Just like the good ol days of spending endless nights at Phoebe's house!) we got up, made some pancakes, borrowed 4 bikes from various friends, and set off--dutch style--into town to get costumes for Derek and I. Very nearly everything was closed because this entire town and all its residents, regardless of age, go crazy for carnival, but there was one costume store still open in the center square where the party was happening. What a GREAT atmosphere!! Bars and restaurants everywhere were blasting a huge variety of music out of their windows and people in
Yes, she has a tug boat on her head
People go allll out for Carnival costumes!
amazingly elaborate costumes were dancing in the streets, in the middle of the day. Well.... it wasn't exactly the middle of hte day. It took us a little while to get our acts together, so it was nearly 5 by this point. It turns out we got to the costume store just in time because they were closing at 5. It was reallllly tough to decide what to get, but in the end I got some bunny accessories and added a bunch of pink attire that I already had with me, and Derek made an impulse purchase to buy this halarious blue furry suit of some kind. The people in the picture on the tag make it look like a kind of traditional Swedish outfit or something, but when Derek puts it on he just looks Inuit, plain and simple. Everyone agrees. So, we made our rush purchases and then got out of there. Next stop was the grocery store to load up on some more cheap red wine (somehow that kept disappearing from our room...) Biking through town is SO fun here! I was on an amazing bike that allowed me to just glide effortlessly through the streets. I
It's a family affair
I absolutly loved seeing all the themed family costumes. Same costume trend--mutliple sizes. Sooo cute.
really felt like the bike and I had a special connection. Maybe it's because the actual owner's name is Jessica, too. It was a wonderful bike. I hope I get to ride it again before I leave Maastricht. And I'll take pictures. I love you, bike. Anyways, there are special bike lanes everywhere and it seems pretty flat, so it was a really fun time. We made it to the grocery store just before it closed (the only one in the area that was open at all during carnival time) and then headed back to Phoebe's to get fully costumed for the evening ahead.
We started our night in the kitchen/common room area with a pretty huge group of residents of the floor of the dorm (it's called the "guest house") and their assorted visitors. Everyone was in costume, we had music playing, wine flowing, and just a generally good time hanging out. Around 11, I guess, we started to make our way to town. What a party!!! There we were people EVERYWHERE of ALL ages, just having a great time. It was soooo fun. And what I really liked was how it was all locals. This wasn't just
Would you want to wear this all night?
I really don't know how some people put up with these huge costumes for any length of time, and this one is only moderately sized!
something that they did for the tourist crowd. We would go into clubs and they would play these bizzare traditional dutch songs, and EVERYONE would be singing along to them while we stood there looking dumbfounded. It was really fun. The dutch are normally such a clean, calm people, but WOW during carnival that all changes! The streets are just covered with confettii, wrappers, broken glass (LOTS), urine.... although it majically all disappears early the next morning. No one seems to mind, however, because the whole town seems to be in love with the event. You can tell because there are red, yellow, and green ballons/streamers/flags everywhere and on every building. It's awesome.
I can't even begin to describe the costumes. They're incredible, and SO creative. It's really amazing. Today, I literally saw a family that was each dressed as a huge historical looking palace. They were all different. I think they might have been historical buildings of Maastricht, but I'm not sure. I didn't get a picture, which is unfortunate. Some are dressed as TV characters, others have a coloured theme. Others just wear crazy clothes. I even found the Jamacain Curling Team! (who were really Maastricht locals,
Not just for adults
Everyone has a great time at carnivale, even tiny kids late at night. These kids were hanging out on some kind of float with wheels, playing with instruments. No parents in sight (a common occurance, but it seems to work out)
to my slight disappointment upon further investigation. They were pretty impressed that I ACTUALLY curled, though!)
The night was extremely fun. We came back at 4:30am and it didn't even feel that late. Awesome.
Today we went out during the day again so I could snap some day photos of costumes, but we were, once again, extremely late getting going so we were only out for an hour or so. Tonight the Guest House crew was having a huge house party at the house of some students they know, but it wasn't that fun for me since I didn't know any of them that well. I would have rathered been partying at actual Carnival. It's OK, though, because last night was amazing. Derek and I came back rather early, and I've just been enjoying some uninterrupted internet time since then.
OK, well, I didn't at all do justice to the amazing festivities I have just experienced, but I think I'm going to sign off here. It's nearly 4am so sometime within the next hour Phoebe and Ellen will come home and it will be time to sleep. Oh yah! Our other friend from Victoria, Ellen, arrived today
Who you gonna call?
No worries about being in such an ancient city--the ghost busters will keep us safe!
and Scott (Phoebe's old school friend's friend) left to go back to where he is studying in Holland. Ellen is SO awesome, too, so we're having a really great time. A little cramped, that's for sure, but great nonetheless! I think Phoebe was getting a bit stressed with all the people around today, so she went on a bike ride by herself--to Belgium!!!! How cool is that? Europe is so awesome.
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