Yesterday, whilst drinking a cup of coffee I browsed through the local midweek newspaper, pausing only to look closer at certain photos (in case I recognised someone) and very occasionally to read something that peaked my interest (not often).
My attention was however grabbed by the half page spread (and this is a full scale BIG paper, non of this namby pamby A3 size for the Germans) all about the October rowing regatta and the accompanying dragon boat competition.
This little fest is of course a yearly occurrence, the rowing club is very active and I believe quite well thought of, the regatta is a two day extravaganza of lycra clad young men (and women) beer, bbqs and music. On the Saturday there's the dragon boat racing for all comers and on Sunday a duck race in aid of charity.
Every year I've seen the signs and thought to myself, "that could be amusing" but either forgotten about it, not been here for the date (usually mid half term) or been too late.
Not this year.
Saw the article. Texted another crazy expat, KM (as we call her, to differentiate between the 2 Karens). And acted on her almost instantaneous positive response by contacting my other expat friends and signing up for a 10 (wo)man boat.
I then set up the event on a Facebook page and invited all those who expressed an interest/those whose arms I twisted, and less than 24 hours later I'm wondering what I've unleashed on the unsuspecting inhabitants of Kettwig.
First off we needed a team name, as a matter of urgency as well because that's part of the signing up process, team name...KM didn't hesitate, "Puff the Magic Dragon" it is and I believe all those rowing/paddling** Puff will be known as "Puff's Power Girls" (although this could of course be subject to change).
The team is pretty much set, we have a definite nine with three possibles and a teenage daughter or two in backup.
Costumes are the BIG issue, we're going loud and distracting, thinking big and fairly tasteless...pink wigs have been talked about, tutus in either pink or green*** are happening, hoodies with an emblem of Puff have been mentioned and I think somewhere along the line we're going to need to incorporate our many, varied national flags**** as a reminder to all the Germans that we're expats and proud of it.
A German friend of mine sent me a message last night, having seen my message on Facebook and offered to put us in contact with a couple of her friends who are members of a proper dragonboat team, because they could help us train...apparently we're supposed to be taking this seriously rather than an opportunity to get together on a weekend and lark about, in a boat, surrounded by lots of young guys in lycra...I think that once we turn up with bright pink bobbed wigs and flourescent pink tutus our aim will be obvious, although maybe a bit of training wouldn't go amiss, then we might manage not to disgrace ourselves totally!
** whatever the term is for the powering along of a dragon boat.
*** and this is pink/green in flourescent, not pastel tones, oh no.
**** U.S., Mexico, Singapore, Australia, England, France and Scotland are all possibly in the mix.