May 16, 2012

Elf Fantasy Fair

I'm killing time in the airport at Shannon on my way home, so I thought I would write a quick post telling the story of something awesome which I meant to write about but hadn't gotten around to yet - Elf Fantasy Fair.

Now, Anne had been talking about Elf Fantasy Fair for as long as we'd been hanging out. She'd shown me pictures of the fair grounds and the costumes, and told stories about camping and dancing and general revelry, and while I compared it to our Renn Faires at home, I could also tell that it was unlike anything I had ever gone to. So when the fair grew close and I became far too jealous to just let her leave and come back and tell me about it while I spent a weekend on campus, I asked her if I could come along, and she said yes. So we woke up at the crack of dawn one Friday morning and took a bus to Dublin, and from there a plane to Amsterdam, and from there on to the middle of nowhere, Netherlands. Her friends picked us up at the train station, I received a brief lesson in riding on the back of someone else's bike without falling off, and we were off to the campsite.

Imagine, if you will, a Renaissance fair, a Society for Creative Anachronism event, an Anime convention, a steampunk meet up, some LARP-ers, and some goth kids all get together on a slightly rainy Saturday morning. Then imagine that they do this on the grounds of a stunning 19th century castle, all red brick towers and arches and rose gardens.

Yeah, it was something like that. But better.

I have to go catch my flight soon, so I can't go into all the details of how Anne and I spent a good half hour after arriving just jumping up and down being amazed at the extravagance of it all, or how we had tea and ate chocolate mustaches in a steampunk tent done up like an anachronistic archeological excavation/opium den, or how after the fair we all sat around the campsite, eating candy and singing Mysterious Ticking Noise and the ABCs in Dutch (I could do almost all the letters, except for the damn G.) Anne's friends were incredibly warm and welcoming, despite me being too nervous to speak Dutch to them.

I won't be able to go next year - I'll be finishing my senior thesis around that time - but I'm hoping to see "Elfia" again the year after that.

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