Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

German stop numero uno was the city of Landau, located in the southern wine route and birthplace of Thomas Nast, political cartoonist and creator of the modern image of Santa Claus!!!

One of the days we were there we had the privelege of being introduced to the mayor, who showed us around the city center and even took us into the government assembly hall (?) Or courtroom (?) Or oddly bright planetarium (?)  I can't really say for certain because the whole tour was given in German and I understood about seven words of it.

City center

Making a judgement... or stargazing

Mega sun roof!

My favorite thing about Landau (besides our absolutely adorable host sister, Lena) was that we got to perform Elijah in a "real" space as opposed to the glorified movie theater in Sucy-en-Brie or the gymnasium in Barr.  The difference it makes for myself as a soloist, as well as the choir and orchestra I'm sure, is completely monumental.  I was a bit nervous singing Elijah in Germany because, well, I was singing it in German.  To pat myself on the sholder a bit, I did have several people come up and ask me if I were German because they said my diction was absolutely wonderful.  THANKS to all you teachers who helped that be possible!

Where I made my German premiere!


After having an amazing night in Sucy with Stephane and going out with some of the other counselors in Obernai, I think that it must now be a rule to... we'll just call it "de-stress" after each Elijah performance.  Luckily for Mason and I we had a fabulous host sister who knew all of the great places to go out.

As a bit of a side note, though, I must commend Lena for putting up with the both of us.  Spending day-in and day-out with the fourteen to eighteen year old social scene can take a toll on one's maturity level, and we were certainly no exception!! (At least that is what I am using as an excuse... you probably know better).

So.... Ausfahrt is the German word for "exit."  Come on, though, that's pretty funny

The counselors have also translated "that's what she said" into both French and German so we can still say it around campers without being completely inappropriate.  Lena had never heard of or seen The Office (where the phrase originally comes from) and so she just rolled her eyes everytime we said it in German! "You are just like a five year old" she would tell us.  Truer words will probably never be spoken.

Anyway... back to the partying. Directly after the concert we went to a bar and got some drinks with a group of other counselors and their respective host sisters.

                                                                     Lena, Myself and Mason

Lena then took Mason, myself, and Zack, one of the orchestra members out to a couple of discotheques.  And yes... that is what they call them, which I LOVE.  The first one we met up with her friend Ronja, who just happens to be the local Onion Queen.  She was unable to make it to the perfomance of Elijah because she was decorating her onion cart, but we got to party afterwards nonetheless. 

                                                              Zack Manier, Lena and Mason

                                                                        German smiles!

The second stop on the disco train was the DiscoPlex, which had different themed rooms with different types of music. The first room was what one would expect from a disco: strobe lights, fog, techno music.  The second, though, was some odd Appalachian room that played '50's Amercian music and had stuffed, animated animals and people right out of a trippy version of Deliverance.  I swear I heard banjo's going at it somewhere in the distance. 


Classy chandelier

Please don't murder me in my sleep little German fox

Why are you doing laundry at this time of night!!! Shouldn't you be churning butter?

All in all Landau was a pretty fantastic first time in Germany!!! Up next... the Rose Festival of Uetersen!

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