One of the most interesting,
and perhaps unexpected
things about the Carnival season here in Gutenberg Land,
is that you suddenly learn things you would never expect to learn from Carnival.
By which I mean:
turn on the tv,
or put on your costume, and go to a “hall meeting” of one of the Carnival ‘corporations’-
and you get a giant old-fashioned variety show-
and, of course, the king of the disciplines,
the political stand-up.
Basis for what the carnival was founded for,
political stand-up is a once a year chance to bash politicians-
who have to sit there
and prove they are good sports,
or later face their constituents,
or, even worse,
lose out on world-wide public exposure.
And I DO mean world-wide-
During the yearly four-hour long televised “hall carnival”
of the biggest four of the corporations,
there were continuous blended-in greetings from:
Capetown, China, several spots in the USA, Dubai, Rumania,
you get the picture.
And what was being criticized?
For example that:
Gutenberg City, population 300,000-375,000,
depending on who you are talking to,
and how many incorporated villages are being counted-
is just too crowded-
since we now have entire new villages and subdivisions springing up-
complete with rich managers from corporations moving here,
probably since it is easy to entertain visiting opposite-number managers
by taking them on a tour of the second tv village,
to a soccer game in the local stadium,
for wine tasting at Kloster Eberbach,
where they filmed “The Name Of The Rose”
at this time of year,
to one of the “hall meetings,”
with in-ear translating services,
and box seats among the vips for the Rose Monday parade,
add up the number of new managers moving in.
Add the representation factor.
And the number of cars per family there,
as opposed to the average German,
who regularly uses the packed trains, trams, and buses,
and you get:
a medieval walled town,
dating back to the dinosaurs,
with streets so small you often had to drive a large horse-driven cart on both sidewalks.
and now picture it populated.
Make that over- populated.
Till there is no parking space.
Now add in one of the very few bridges across the Rhine,
at a major crossroads,
which was weakened by the removal of beams at various times,
the attempt to widen it without taking it down all together,
and the unlimited amount of liquid left behind by
the neighbors from that state capital that shall not be named,
just on the other side of the bridge,
arm in arm,
with the other tourists,
living in cheap carnival lodgings on the non-Gutenberg side,
who are unable to generate their own carnival spirit,
so they leave their cars behind-
(did I mention you can spend three days in a car on bridge trying to go two miles?)
And so, when you add all this up,
what do you get?
According to the Fastnacht (night before fasting starts) speakers:
more traffic and congestion than in:
Tokyo, New Delhi, Calcutta, New York.
And that is just the start.
Now that the streets are going to be “repaired” for the next year,
and the trains strike regularly,
and the airport is adding more flights daily…
now that I think about it,
compared to what was said about the local infrastructure,
international political comments,
about Brexit, Turkey,
and, of course, the US election,
including a huge picture of Donald Trump
as a naked rear end with two ears
were actually quite harmless.
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