“Life is just a quick succession of busy nothings.” Mansfield Park
I’m going to backtrack right quick and describe what Taybeh’s Oktoberfest was like, considering all the excitement I had for it in the preceding month.
It was crazy. The afternoon was really nice, there were a bazillion people there, with lots of families and groups of people sitting and chatting. When we pulled up in the bus into the town of Taybeh, we saw lots of foreigners on the streets carrying Taybeh beer bottles, and we knew we had made it to the right place. The festival itself was a relatively narrow alley of booths – mainly food and drink booths and a couple booths with information on the municipality. The alley led to a building which had local goods (soaps, food, spices, etc) on sale, and then to a huge stage and sitting area. All afternoon, they had different acts and games on the stage. At one point, the MC asked for male volunteers for a drinking game. Of course, almost every guy’s hand went up. When they got up on stage, the game ended up being “who can hold a mug of beer with their arm straight out for the longest time?” There were a few disappointed faces of the volunteers, I’m not going to lie. But there also was traditional music and dance, and it was really a pleasant way to spend the afternoon.
By the time the night fell in, around 6:30 or so, though, it had gotten ridiculously crowded and the crowd was more unruly. It was still fun, but you had to fight your way to walk around and that just got frustrating after a while!
As far as other ways of getting more cultured here, Ramallah (and a couple other cities in Palestine) is hosting an International Film Festival. So last night, some of us went to watch one of the films, titled هاي بلادي و هاي الدار or “This is my country, this is my home.” It was awful. It could have been so good, and it just was very poorly done. It’s a Palestinian documentary film about three Palestinian cities – Akka, Yaffa, and Lotho – and what has happened to them and their Palestinian residents since the 1948 war. And yet it ended up just being an hour-long badly made music video of the director who clearly just wanted to be in front of the camera singing. It was so bizarre.
So there look to be a few other good films listed on the film festival schedule, and I’m hoping to actually catch some good ones! The only nice thing about last night’s film was the amount of Arabic I could actually understand, which will hopefully help for my test in two days…