My first IMWe was in 1992. It dates back to an age of mysteries and peculiarities. It was the last IMWe in history when German and English were spoken along, creating a strange artificial language called „Engleutsch“. And then there were only two Austrian participants plus one in the team. So she and I sang Austrian folk songs on stage with only two voices, not as a whole choir. Not that we managed to form an Austrian choir when we were 15 or so, but still.
I didn’t think about love at all, unlike the other Austrian: She found a Dutch guy, and they are still married today and have two wonderful daughters. The older one has even already started coming to IMWe herself.
I played a lot of music, sometimes even falling asleep while playing guitar or the piano. Evenings (and mornings …) took place in the Rittersaal, since the basement was not yet looking like today but a cold muddy hole. And the teamers were daring: Workshop performances took something like 90 minutes for a single workshop and included walking over broken glass and fire carpets. Besides, the teamers internally had a whole lot of arguments and trouble. This has never ever happened since.
After Easter, you had to stay in contact with each other writing hand-written letters, since there were no internet and no cellphones. And in case you wanted to visit each other, you had to take the train, since flying was unaffordable to a young European those days. And the photos you took still had to be brought to a shop and processed. Since this was expensive, noone probably took more than 24 or 36 photos, and none at night.
Anyway, after my first IMWe I told Oliver about it, and he was the one who started to bring most of the billions of other Austrians along. But I’m still proud that I somehow started the hype. Many of those who came the last years or are teamers today were at least for some time my scout kids, too. I’m proud that they somehow found their own way to catch the fever.