First night of the festival, and it’s some sort of a miracle how this town comes to life. A small town of 30,000, has now swelled up to around 100,000. And growing exponentially more.
What once was the town center (about 10 blocks or so) is packed to the brim of revelers of all shapes and sizes. Some short (er, height challenged) and some giants, and lots of in-betweeners. I made the mistake of bringing my camera gear with me, and realized fairly quickly how easily you could lose such a thing. Fortunately, I manage to dodge the pitfalls of these maddening crowds.
It’s interesting to get introduced to my friend’s work colleagues and higher ups, when they’ve had wine already. “Welcome to New Castle” one funny gal says. My friend, Chris, laughs and tells her in French there’s no need to translate Neuchatel. I thought it was funny too. Here I am, still with no French skills, and people are trying to talk to me in English. Ah, the great social equalizer (aka: liquid courage). If you are having problems, wherever you are, and if you don’t speak the local language, this is the key that levels the playing field. People will start talking to you in English (sans vous disant même un mot en Français).
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