Thursday, January 3, 2008

Bottle Rockets

Last year Marco and I spent a great weekend building this type of bottle rocket. It's made with vinegar and backing soda and works great. I remember growing up in the great Midwest my buddies would come back from trips to Missouri with loads of fireworks (they were not legal in Illinois). They'd have plenty of bottle rockets for a great 4th of July evening. They would also buy a few M80's. These things were reportedly a 1/4 stick of dynamite. They were expensive and really illegal. My buddies (I watched but quite frankly was too scared to come close to one) would do their best to try to blow up mailboxes. I don't remember one ever coming off the post but there were a few doors blown off and a few holes in the tin boxes. It was fun but we all knew it was really wrong.

Monday was our first New Year's Eve in Germany. We didn't really no what to expect. The day was very uneventful and there didn't seem to be any big parties. We went about our day and evening like it was no other. None of our friends were in town so there was really no celebrating anyway. At midnight all things changed. At first it sounded like your standard fireworks but then huge flashes with loud bangs started. After the first one we heard a big crashing sound in the house. Mary went down and found Scout my running partner sitting deep in the corner behind the couch. She really worked to get there. I came down shortly after and spend a crazy 20 minutes trying to keep Scout calm during what seamed like a fourth of July show in our dining room.

Tuesday morning the dogs and I went for a walk and our street and the corner yard were filled with rocket trash. Not your standard us based bottle rocket but M80 size bottle rockets. The kind that can really do damage if they land on something. That day I went for a long run through a number of villages and the same thing occurred.

It was really interesting in a country that is full of order, where rules are followed and Sunday quiet time is real. Where a neighbor will report you for mowing your lawn and making noise (on Sunday). This 25 minute barrage of celebration could be carried out by anyone on the street. Just another learning point about living in a different country.

It's a good life...


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