The fair city of Rostock can feel unfair

Expressing my misery in a blog entry ain’t fair? – I don’t care.

No other city in Germany – or maybe the whole world – has such a density of fairs as Rostock.

Let me summarize our fair tradition: As soon the Easter fair is taken down we build up the Walpurgis Night/Dance-into-the-Mai fair, as soon the Whitsun-fair is taken down, we build up the Midsummer Night-fair, as soon the district festivity fair is taken down, we build up the Rostocker light-week. All of which take place on the main shopping mile in the city center. Unmentioned as yet is also the pandemonium that takes place for 7 days in August called the “Hanse Sail”, which for once leaves the Kröperliner Straße free to room, instead being down at the harbor. In my opinion most visitors fail to comprehend the rudimentary real reason for this fair, which is – not being to befriend yourself with the liquor-fairy (it’s not called the “Hanse Sternhagelvoll) – not being to watch bands (it’s not called the Hanse Rock am Hafen) – not being to visit a fairground (it’s not called the Hanse Park) – it’s for the ships (it’s called “Hanse SAIL). Anyways, I have still missed out the absolute highlight of the year: 4 weeks of the Christmas fair. Jingling yet jittery, yet only jittery from excitement for the first two days; jittery as it induces frustration, mild to extreme rage, and even hatred for my fellow human race (particular the old people), it lures us into the new year of fairs. Fair enough, we don’t have anything till Easter like, though this could be seen as the: “Gosh!-we-haven’t-had-a-fair-for-long FAIR”.

Particularly surprising is the consistent construction of fairs. The shacks are always at the same places selling the same stuff – Every. Single. Year. Numerous shacks and carrousels blockade at least 90% of downtown, where the open spaces are already sparse. The space that is left is sealed air-tight by hordes of people. No problem for tourists – they rarely have appointments to keep. Residents of the city who really have something to do are left with only three options:

  1. Avoid the area of spurious amusement and leave it to those who deserve it!
  2. Counter attack regardless of the consequences! Keep both eyes on your goal and crowd-surf your way over them or cannonball your way through.
  3. Join the oversized human-pinball machine as a passive element, and let yourself be guided by spontaneous freezers, passionate pushy persons, and impulsively direction changers till you reach your goal (most likely several hours late)!

Maybe that’s the reason why more and more residents are buying all their Christmas presents online. Count me in as part of this group of Fair-avoiders – it is a normal human instinct: survival mode. Don’t get into danger if you don’t have to.

Of course, you can have an absolutely amazing adventure at the fairs as a tourist, but as a resident of the city and student at the University of Rostock, always in need of a way through the human maze, it just doesn’t seem fair to be forced to live in this city of fairs.

 

Actually a friend of mine, Thomas Linke, who is really into poetry slam, used the same topic for one of his performances at the regional championships 2013. Because I love the way he expresses his “fury” in words I translated some of his arguments. If you have a good knowledge of the German language please watch his video and enjoy the wordplays and metaphors.

That was just my opinion. There are of course several other points of view. You want to read more about the fairs in Rostock? Let me give you a guide to some other entries on our page: Click here for a blog about the Rostock Light Week, here for great places to get food at the Christmas fair and here (or here) for some reports about Christmas fair.

 

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Born and raised in Rostock I study German and English to become a teacher. I want to share my "Insider"-knowledge of my hometown with you.

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