Mardi Gras/Faschingdienstag

So, suddenly I turn around and realize that it’s almost mid-March. What’s the deal with that, March?!

An epic account (including pictures! Pictures of green green green things!) of my trip to Dublin with Laur is in order, and I am getting around to writing in between working at the bar (occasionally), reading depressing novels about drug abuse (thanks a lot, Irvine Welsh) and walking around my neighbourhood in the sun and enjoying the slowly increasing temperatures. But before that, a short update on a randomly epic Tuesday night that I inevitably seem to forget is a huge celebration: Mardi Gras or, in Austria, Faschingdienstag.

1938 Munchen Fasching Poster

This is the celebration the day before Ash Wednesday, also known as Shrove or Pancake Tuesday, when people give up sinful (code for sinfully delicious) things or habits for Lent. It’s my practice to give up Lent itself for Lent, which is kind of meta- and pretty much the easiest thing to give up for 40 days, since I’m happily without Lent for the rest of the year as well. Failproof logic! For the Tuesday before though, it’s pretty much a free-for-all. People wear costumes as elaborate as the ones found at a sexy North American Halloween party and create general havoc throughout the city.

I worked at the bar during the day, and as the night shift was coming on something unexpectedly awesome happened: all of the girls got dressed up as guys, and then they forced the boys to don bikini tops, head scarves and tiny dresses. The girls were transformed into a 90s boy band lead singer, a daredevil cowboy, a dude in a blazer with a sleazy moustache, and a vest-wearing hipster. While they were cute, it was obviously way more hilarious to see two skinny Irishmen flaunting their sexy moves in cocktail dresses behind the bar. I was somewhat disappointed that I’d be missing the fun at the bar and wouldn’t get the chance to serve people whilst wearing a ridiculously long-handled black moustache.

But. The Minkus came through at the last minute by buying a neon pink and a neon orange wig for us to wear out on our own fasching adventure. We went to Charlie P’s, since it’s swiftly becoming our favourite bar, unsure of what this random Tuesday night would hold for us. Peter met us there around midnight, and we alternated between sitting and mocking the drunken dancers and busting a move or two ourselves. Plenty of people were in costume, and I saw a fair number of men dressed as women, but there were also miscellaneous accoutrements such as pirate eye patches, devil horns and fairy wings sprinkled liberally throughout the crowd on the dance floor. The highlight of the night was definitely the impressive bunch of five guys who were dressed in banana costumes. They looked about 14 and their drunken arm flinging got in the way of everyone the entire night, but I give them mad cred for their commitment to the party.

We returned home around 3:00 am, exhausted but happy. This is a great tradition, Vienna – I wholeheartedly approve!

Cartoon Characters

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