Today we have one of the rare Sundays that really reminds one of a hot summer day. So I went to our favorite Italian ice cafe in Munich. It does not yet has its own webpage, but I swear it serves one of the best ice-creams (It is listed in the business yellow pages, though.) As usually, I ask for several cones (or Kugeln, as they are called here in Germany) of Cocconut, Pistacci, Yoghurt-Blueberry and Lemon-Basil and had them wrapped in paper to quickly deliver them home to my family. Half way home I came across an old house with a moving van in front. It appeared that three African families with a refugee status were about to move in what is a sort of municipal shelter house. The men were carrying the furniture, the woman were busy sorting out the card-board boxes with clothes, and the children were sitting on the pavement and following the scenery with couriosity.
Remembering my own frequent house removal, and the feeling than one initially feels a bit alian in a hostile environment, I thought that the ice-cream might have a more extraordinary taste for the African kids than for my family. So I asked one of the ladies around if she would like to have the ice cream for the kids, and she immediately accepted with a smile. I unwrapped the 8 ice-cones and after each of the kids had taken one, there were even two extra left. The lady came back to me and reached for my hand. When I wanted to give one of the remaining ice cones to her, she refused and laughed, saying ice-cream is only for children. But she still reached for my hand, and I thought she wanted to say thank you and shake my hand. So I took her hand and shook it gently. But she laughed again, and pointed to the wrapping paper, that I had unconciously screwed and kept in my left hand. So she was most concerned about taking away the waste paper. Finally, everybody was happy and had learned new things and the kids hopefully had a happy start in their new environment.
Today, in fact, another ice cream event took place in Munich, and this was really a funny coincidence. I think I would have not realised this one, called the Ice Cream Festival, if one of our students would not had forwarded to me a FB announcement. As I could read there, Ice Cream Festival is a worldwide epidemic event, that took already place in London, Austin, Prague, Atlanta, Seattle and Vienna (strange that neither Barcelona nor Stockholm have jumped on this movement yet, considering that they always want to build their image as hipster capitals of Europe). The Munich Ice Cream Festival offers in addition to the sweet delicacy club music and chill-out areas, and in anticipation of the expected hipster customers, also organic and lactose-free ice-cream.
To give it a more precious image, people had to order tickets (via Eventim) for the Ice Cream Festival, and this promo strategy must have worked very well: Thousands were gathering in front of the event area, and those who had a pre-booked ticket (4 – 5 €) could enter through a special gate and get a sort of VIP feeling. Honestly, I would have not go there, even if I would have been paid to do so. One could realized immediately that this was just another purely commercial idea, misusing social media for promotional purposes.
I was extremely happy that I had organized my own litte Munich Ice Cream Festival with a handful of African refugess.