Dixie Peach: Friday Shuffle - Boot Scootin' Boogie Edition

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Friday Shuffle - Boot Scootin' Boogie Edition

Late this afternoon I went in search of new toothbrushes. Yeah, I could get them while grocery shopping but the grocery store I frequent has the nasty habit of hanging their toothbrushes literally out of my reach so I can't search through them to be sure I'm picking up a soft one instead of a middle-hard one. I suppose they believe that those of us under 5'5" tall either don't need to keep up with oral hygiene or should just settle for what they can reach.

During my shopping trip I not only bought new toothbrushes but also a new powder makeup compact, a new round brush, eye makeup remover and - and I wish I were kidding - a hairnet (German pillows, which are vastly different than pillows in the US tend to smash the layered top of my hair into devil horns overnight so I was figuring that a hairnet made for sleeping may help. Yes, I have turned into my grandmother.) This always happens. I go to spend 7€ on toothbrushes and don't come home before I've used up a 50€ bill. Damn my makeup addiction!

I came home on a streetcar and when I exited I could hear some very loud country music and across the street from me I saw this:

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Sorry for the quality. All I had on me was the camera in my cell phone.

Remember back a month ago when I mentioned that down the street from my apartment they're opening a self described "saloon/BBQ/line dance bar" called "Nashville"? They were having their grand opening this afternoon. I'd done some searching in past month and found that this place isn't new, they're just changing locations. Or opening a second one - I never figured out which it is. Anyway, they have a regular line dancing group or club or whatever you call it and they were out there in front of the new establishment line dancing their little hearts out.

I know it was mean and rude of me but I had to laugh. I covered my mouth and all and tried not to let on but I had to laugh. Not laughing at them. They were actually sort of cute and I gave them props for being brave enough to do that out in the street. It was more of a nervous sort of laugh. As I said last month, few things weird me out more than fake country/fake Southern/fake Americana stuff and seeing these people decked out American flag shirts doing their little line dance routine was weirding me out high ten. It's simply too strange to be out in the middle of a city in the middle of Germany and watching Germans line dancing while Eddie Rabbitt on a CD wails that he loves a rainy night. It also didn't help that I despise that song. And boy, were these people stiff. I know that country line dancing isn't exactly the jitterbug but this looked like a cross between the Achy-Breaky and Riverdance - lots of foot and leg movement while backs were ramrod straight. Maybe they loosen up after you get a few drinks into them.

I walked around the building to my apartment, grabbed my camera, and dashed back hoping to get better pictures. Unfortunately the adults were finished with their dancing display and it was time for the kids group to perform. Decked out in their tee-shirts with "Country Kids" printed on the back they performed their own line dance routines. Now they really were cute. Not terribly skilled, but their enthusiasm was wonderful and they were very cute. There was one little boy with a bandana around his neck, a little fake cowboy hat with a sheriff's star on it and a little six shooter holstered around his waist that just knocked me out.

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And then there was this:

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Pardon the lamp post. I was trying to get the picture on the sly. I couldn't exactly say "Would you mind posing for me? You're entirely too strange to pass up!"

What in the hell are they supposed to be anyway? Did Magdeburg get a new schoolmarm and sheriff? Is dressing like extras from Little House on the Prairie supposed to be somehow country? I think they must be some of those people you find in Germany who are rather infatuated with the whole old South/Civil War/Wild West culture and they take the parts of it that they like and shake it all together. They actually get together on weekend and vacations and "play" these roles. I know a family that does this. Not like serious Civil War reenactors you find in the US - these folks definitely lack authenticity. My guess is that if looked under her acrylic shawl you'll find a zipper on that dress.

About an hour ago I went back out and walked over to the Nashville Saloon to see what was going on and I would pronounce their grand opening to be a success. Both the restaurant area downstairs and the dancing area upstairs appeared to be full. And boy oh boy - that place is reeking with kitschy Americana decor. From the upper level I can see both American and Confederate flags decorating a few of the windows. I don't even want to start with how inappropriate that is...these folks certainly wouldn't get it. There's also a Statue of Liberty lamp - her torch has a big, round bulb on the end and her gown is painted in Stars and Stripes. I saw a wooden Indian, dreamcatchers in two of the upper windows - a bit more inappropriate cultural appropriation - and of course what saloon/line dance bar would be complete without the plastic blow up electric guitar advertising Jim Beam whiskey?

Music was still blaring outside and while I sat for a moment on a bench located a respectful distance away I could see a handful of folks line dancing on the sidewalk. I don't know if they just couldn't fit inside on the dance floor or if they just couldn't resist showing off their dance skills in public while Dolly Parton asked why'd you come in here looking like that. Oh Dolly - that's a question you needed to pose to our hoop skirted friend we saw earlier.

Everyone seemed to be having fun and I suppose in a world where fun seems to be in short supply at times I was glad for them. Sure, this place is almost like a parody of Southern America and the country music culture but maybe that doesn't matter. And honestly I wouldn't mind going there myself sometime, just to have the experience if nothing else. B's dying to go there too. He keeps asking me if his wheelchair will fit inside and honestly it may be a tight squeeze. The restaurant area downstairs has nothing but booths for seating. Red vinyl covered booths like a diner. Oh yeah. Very roadhouse.

Yeah. It's a bit unauthentic and a lot corny and kitschy. And it makes me homesick. I'd give a whole lot to be tonight in the Elk's Lodge in my hometown and listen to the country band my brother performs with as they play and we drink flat beer and dance.

Bixente the iPod has a French name but he was developed in America and built in China so he's already multi-national. If country music can go international so can he so he's going to dip into my vast country music folder and shuffle from there.
  1. She Knows What She Wants - Foster & Lloyd
  2. What A Crying Shame - The Mavericks
  3. I Fell In Love - Carlene Carter
  4. I Married Her Just Because She Looks Like You - Lyle Lovett
  5. Little Bitty - Alan Jackson
  6. Why Baby Why - George Jones
  7. Family Tree - Loretta Lynn
  8. Honey (Open That Door) - Ricky Skaggs
  9. Guitars, Cadillacs - Dwight Yoakam
  10. It Sure Is Monday - Mark Chesnutt
Have a good weekend. Enjoy whatever it brings.

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Blogger Molly said...

Kitschy? ya maybe. But God Bless them for even liking us enough to do a little Americana copy.
I'm dying to know what foods they serve and if it is any good.
On the other hand, I'm anxious to go to the HofBrau Haus in Las Vegas. HA

1:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"few things weird me out more than ...fake Americana stuff" Amen to that! LOLOL! Me too! At first you think it's going to be cheesy, but somehow cool. Maybe a little slice of home to get you by. But, um, no. It will never be quite right and in the end more strangely disturbing than enjoyable, lol. More like some bizarre German fantasy of America, complete with Germans singing our songs and failing miserably to sound remotely American. But, I suppose, in the end that's how a German feels in America watching our wanna-be Oktoberfests ;-)

7:44 PM  
Blogger melusina said...

Ok, I'm totally coming to Magdeburg now. I have to see this place for myself!!

Of course, I never set foot in the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville (a line dancing place) so it would be weird if the first such place I entered was one in the middle of Germany. But that is what makes it so awesome.

8:22 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

Oh gawd, how EMBARRASSING!! Any time I'd see Americans acting like Americans in Germany, I'd distance myself from them as much as possible. I'd have RUN if I'd seen this!

And we wonder why Germans (and the world) think we're shallow and stupid!


8:51 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

On the saloon's puny website there are pictures of the owners on vacation in Nashville and of course they're in the very line dancing bar you speak of!

I really have to experience this for myself in person. I really do have a feeling Germans running an "American" saloon will really be like going to Oktoberfest-wannabees in America.

9:56 PM  
Blogger Twango said...

I think you should go back and teach them how to line dance. Hey, can't be worse than a hairnet. :p

3:17 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

My Goodness! Be afraid! Very afraid! I have to agree. I sometimes do not know if these displays of "Americana" should be cute or disturbing.

3:50 AM  
Blogger melusina said...

I think it is positively hilarious.

I can't imagine a group of German tourists in Nashville. I'll have to look at their website.

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, you must go eat there and report back!

It reminds me of Frankenmuth, Michigan. The whole town is faux Bavaria. Sally, Kirsti and I had dinner at a restaurant where we had damn near perfect fried chicken, served to us by 50+ year-old women dressed in milkmaid dresses.

2:59 PM  

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