It’s that time of year again – the Rheinland-Pfalz Austellung (State Fair) hits town and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
First of all, I now get tickets at the Senior rate (and I have it on impeccable authority that all of 7 people since it opened last Saturday paid full price).
And then there are the perennial favourites:
A whole tent full of La-Z-Boy knock-offs, Cheese Fred from Holland who’ll pack more cheese that you can eat in a year into a plastic bag for €10, Eel Hans from Hamburg who’ll do the same with fish and various other entrepreneurs in soap/candied ginger/sausage with the same business model.
There’s a whole tent full of people touting information about a wondrous variety of diseases, which makes you emerge feeling quite healthy. (At least, I don’t THINK I’ve got any of them…)
The man selling Gecko pads. Attach it to your dashboard and ANYTHING you put on it will stick to it and not fall off. Just like a gecko. Unless, of course, it’s an iPhone with a silicone cover and it’s a good thing that my reactions are faster than gravitational force.
“Well, yes” he said “Silicone doesn’t stick very well….”
And then there are the anomalies:
The City of Mainz Health Service, spending €800 a day on their booth and saving heaps by not staffing it and not telling people why they’re there in the first place
A local radio station running a multi-choice sports quiz and not getting anyone on the stage who got the right answer.
The head chef of Weingut Nack, one of the best and most expensive restaurants in the region, preparing yellow fin tuna sashimi with a wasabi vinaigrette, Tuna tatare and something else equally exotic for an audience of grannies that sat there in stunned silence.
“Was hat er gesagt, Hildegard? Roher Fisch? Ei, des ess isch net. Ei, werklisch net. Igitigit…”
But there were a couple of disappointments.
ZDF, one of the national TV networks, has downsized significantly. They used to have a mobile studio and broadcast from there. This year they were giving away ballpoint pens.
And the guy with the outrageously overpriced spätzle sieve – pour in the batter, squeegee it through the perforations into boiling water and hey presto, noodles – wasn’t there either.
And just when I’d saved up €25 from my meagre pocket money to buy one…..