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M'Era Luna

I was in Germany for the M'Era Luna music festival; with a group coach trip in both directions. It's a camping festival, so we arranged out tents around a central gazebo for sitting and chattering when we needed a rest.

Lots of fun, even on the coach journey out when we were all excited about going there. (The journey back was more for sleeping, still fun chattering about the weekend).

I won't turn into a music-review journal; I was going for the industrial and mittlealter (medieval, think rock with bagpipes) bands, and the performances were mostly good.

The weather forecasts were conflicting, and one was worrying. In the end, the campsite stayed dry, while the nearby town received over an inch of rain.

My German vocabulary is slowly growing, partly with general conversation words and partly with words that are used in typical song lyrics, it was good to be able to understand more of the chatter around me and band showmanship. I was speaking it for buying food and drinks,but I still wouldn't be able to have a conversation in it. (The default language tends to be English anyway - unless the other speaker is German or Austrian than it's likely to be the common language).

OTOH, I did get used to German being the standard language for the bands' introductions. Some guidebooks recommend learning and using "hello", "please" and "thanks", even if those are the only words you know. language. I'd assumed this would come across as ruder than sticking to English, because you then immediately have to drop back to English. But somehow I found myself in the opposite position for the closing band's performance; as the only band that didn't say anything in the native tongue they stuck out more than the ones that sounded as if they'd memorised just their opening.

My German is obviously not native speech, and shopkeepers will often respond in English. Just occasionally they'll respond in French; and a possible reason finally clicked - as I haven't used English myself, they could eliminate both German and English as likely nationalities.