Shops have of course decorated according to Carnival. The grocery store has a section for the “day after” with lots of hangover food.

This morning I thought my bike commute was a little more peaceful: less cars, less people. What happened? I think it’s a Carnival effect! The few people I saw were partly in costume – or actually, with some you never know: does she just wear a weird coat from the Eighties or is dressed up? Is that the regular everyday hat of a Dizzel eccentric or will he shout “Helau!” at any minute? Others are clearly identifiable as Carnival-goers: I saw some animals, a king and two Kermits on the streets today. A lady all in glitter smiled at me.

My biggest integration success must really be my positive attitude towards Carnival. I think it is perfectly acceptable for stores to close today at noon, there is nothing laughable about adults in costumes and obviously the gym cannot be open on Monday, it’s Shrove Monday, the holiest holiday in the Rhineland, hello!


This week, we threw away enormous quantities of paper waste at the office. So liberating! Also this week, I am experiencing the coldest temperatures in Dizzel so far, and despite easily surviving -25 in Stockholm, I am freezing all the time here, not able to shield myself against the cold even if I put on four layers. Tips, anyone?

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