Parkin’ it. It’s like the German summer equivalent of clubbin’ it, except all the chillaxin’ and socializing takes place outdoors. In the park. Yeah, get your Sunday on and park it.
If you’re going to join in (or attempt to blend in), you’re going to need a grill. If you’re on permanent (or at least permanent-for-now) terms with Deutschland, invest in a portable grill. Everyone who’s anyone has some kind of metal thingamajigit that’ll hold charcoal and torch up some wurst.
Us, well, we just have the 3 euro throwaways from the grocery store. How hip can we possibly be now that we’re parents? And with six month contracts at a time, we can’t even hope to possibly be permanent-for-now.
Next, you’re going to need to find some friends to start your little shindig. Peeps who barbecue alone just look, uh, lonely. And, sometimes weird. We once went to a biergarten (for ribs, not for beer) where a dude brought his own tabletop rotisserie. He busted out his own chicken and roasted away. By himself. Uh. Um. Awkward. Yeah. At least borrow some kids. Ours are sometimes available.
If you’re going to keep your little party of friends from running off to another grill, you’re going to need some games. Yes, of course, there’s Frisbee and Red Rover (wait, do kids even still play that?). But the two most unique ones I’ve seen are tight rope walking (okay, not really a game) and kubb.
Tight ropes aren’t just for top hats and ring-a-lings. On any random warm, sunny Sunday, I can see a dozen or more groups of people hitching their ropes to pairs of trees and wobbling away. Some are short, some are incredibly long (the ropes, that is). I’ve even seen these walkers ratchet the ropes between bridge posts over the lake water!
I just can’t get into the tight rope thing, but Kubb, now that’s somethin’ else. It’s kind of an outdoor Viking chess but not so nerdy or complicated. In fact, as long as you’ve got a few adults to explain rules, kids can play too (even my T-Rex). Kubb involves throwing wooden batons in an effort to knock down the other team’s wood blocks (kubbs). There are a few other rules, but the basic idea is to knock down all the kubbs and then the king. But always the king last. If you knock it down any other time, you lose. Just like that. I’ve definitely got my eye on a kubb set for keeps.
After a good game of kubb and stomach full of meat, it’s time for a nap. And, as long as you don’t have little kiddos, you can snooze, wake up, and then start the whole party over again.