As a child I hated circuses. How could you not with those scary clowns and their big feet? Who loves to go to a place with big scary horses, big scary camels and big – but not so scary – elephants? I wouldn’t have entered a circus, even if you promised me a truck load of cotton candy – which, among all kinds of candy, I disliked the most.
In December of 2010 A and I found ourselves in Munich. Checking out the Glockenspiel, doing some touristy stuff, getting lost in the city and enjoying our last few days together, before he had to travel back to the US and I had to travel back to Vienna. That was long before we were living together (obviously).
On the last night in Munich, A and I both were a bit restless, to say the least. What are you supposed to do on the last night together before you had to travel back to your ‘all-too-familiar-and-lonely-life’? So we got our coats on and decided to see what was going on in Munich on the 2nd of January of 2010. Oddly enough, there was not too much going on.
Our hotel was in a very quiet part of the city, there were a few restaurants close by and apparently (according to the receptionist) a movie-theater. So we headed that direction, only to find out, that the next movies shown are going to be in German and would start in about 2 hours from now (it was already 8.30 and both A and I weren’t so keen on waiting that long for a movie to start, especially considering that the next morning we would have to be at the airport at 5.30 in the morning).
We wandered around in the dark and cold city, looking for something to do. I was afraid, that we had to go back to the hotel room and ‘await’ the morning, which left my heart already broken and filled me a kind of sadness that I wish no one, when all of a sudden I saw some bright lights in the distance. I immediately started walking faster, leaving A grumbling about why we would have to run in the cold and icy dark. A few minutes later we stood in front of the entrance of a small – permanent – circus.
I don’t remember too much of the performances, animals or the clowns, all I remember was a sense of relief, that we were sitting together in a circus, far away from reality. I even felt kind of happy, knowing that we made the very best of our last night together. Up to now, I still get that feeling of happiness, when I think back to that very night.
A couple years later, on one of my runs, I discovered a travel-circus. Instantly the happiness I felt a few years ago, came rushing back to me and I decided to surprise A with a visit to the circus. To be honest, he wasn’t as thrilled as me, when I told him about the circus. His exact words where, ‘Really? A circus? Why?’ In the end he had to go along, whether he liked it or not and I was certain, that by the end of the night, he would love it. Or at least I hoped for that outcome.
As we stood in line, surrounded by desperate parents and about 100.000 children high on sugar, I realized, that this was going to be very different from what we experienced a couple years ago.
A and I quickly made it to our seats and awaited the beginning of the show in anticipation. (Side note: I will not go into detail about the animal acts, as I believe that no circus should have any kinds of animals as part of their acts!) I have to admit, both A and I were highly impressed by the performances of the circus-people. The amount of energy, strength and the willpower all of the artists had, were just thoroughly amazing and thrilling. They kept us on the edge of the seats the entire time! Leaving us with A’s and Ooooh’s.
And then the intermission came. A kept yawning and mentioning how tired he was, hinting, that he wanted to leave early but who, other than exhausted parents with their crashing children, leaves a circus early???
As the show started again, A looked not very amused, he looked even less amused, when the clown stopped right next to us. He mimicked A to follow him, A hesitated, he shook his head and smiled, but when he realized that the entire circus was looking at him, he knew he had no choice but to get up and follow the clown. So he and 4 other guys followed the clown into the arena.
I don’t know if you know this, but since we moved to Oslo, A only learnt a handful of Norwegian words, like ‘Merry Christmas’ and ‘Have a great weekend.’ Which ultimately are the only words you need to have a decent conversation in Norway. At least according to A.
So as he stood in the arena, I was afraid that the clown would ask him a question in Norwegian and I knew that A was thinking the same thing. Luckily the clown didn’t ask any questions and still he got A to participate in what I thought was the most hilarious thing ever. He got A to dance like an Egyptian, he made him play a gong like instrument and he made A laugh so hard, he still had tears in his eyes when he sat back down next to me.
The show was over shortly after. We slowly walked back home and laughed about the happenings of the night. Clearly, although a good night out, it wasn’t the same magical night like in Munich. It was different, dare I say better? Sometimes you need to get out of your own comfort zone, you need to do silly things, you need to allow yourself to participate in things you otherwise wouldn’t have done or seen.
Yeah, it probably wasn’t the greatest date A and I ever had, but at least it made a good story.