Or shall I use a quote from Mark Twain instead: “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” Be it Polonius who says in Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, but not express’d in fancy; rich, not gaudy; for the apparel oft proclaims the man” or Mark Twain, we all know how true these statements are and how we humans identify and judge ourselves by our clothing.
For completely different reasons, clothing played a role in this part of my trip. But let me start at the beginning.
I resumed my walking from the Reeperbahn in Hamburg (where less clothing is more!) on the 16th of July – day 41. The day took me to Buxtehude where I stayed over at new friends I met at one of the seminars. After the last week where my rain clothing played a big part, it was so nice to sit in the garden to enjoy the dry and warm summer’s day. At midnight Anita and Andreas shared a toast with me on my birthday with the last bit of wine that was left in the bottle.
After a lazy breakfast it was time for me to move on and I made my way further south. In the late afternoon I reached Sauensiek from where I sent my toast post.
While sitting in that little beer garden a marching band came by as part of the local Schützenfest (“marksmen’s festival“) which is a traditional festival featuring a target shooting competition. The winner of the competition becomes the ‘Schützenkönig’ (“king of marksmen“) until the next year’s competition. They looked very stylish in their traditional uniforms with all the little achievement badges. The beer garden was also the finishing point for the march and soon the ties where loosened and the jackets opened, and the stylish uniformed band became a group of people who happened to be wearing similar clothing.
I moved on and found myself a nice picnic hut for the night where I was dry from the late night showers.
On day 43 I walked through Sittensen. Here it was my “uniform” that stuck out from the norm. I was approached by a man who noticed me walking with my hat with the collected feathers and pins, my tracking pants and shoes and pulling behind me a cart full of paraphernalia. He introduced himself as a local journalist and explained that when he saw me, he thought to himself that there must be a story behind this strange fellow walking through his town. We sat down at a local café and he was fascinated with what I could share, made notes on his journalist’s pad and took some photos.
After my ‘interview’ I pulled my cart further to Scheeßel where I was glad to be welcomed by old friends. After some coffee and snacks and a welcome shower after the hot day, Joachim, Hildegard and I went to a big Trachtenfest, a cultural festival with traditional folk dances performed by local and international groups. It was great to sit with them in the first row, VIP seats, and to be entertained by groups from six different countries.
And again it was the clothing, ranging from conservative dark greens and black of the folklore dancers to the pastel sunbleached Mediterranean village dresses to the colourful Caribbean carnival costumes, that was an identifying factor for each group, country and dance.
The next morning I took the train to the part of Germany where the traditional Dirndl and Lederhosen are still part of everyday attire. In Munich, in Bavaria, my next seminar was waiting. There I went to learn about the fascinating field of the subconscious and how to ‘undress’ it layer by layer with hypnotherapy.