Thursday, October 6, 2011

Oktoberfest 2011

So, another Fall is upon us and with it brings the much-anticipated Oktoberfest celebration in Germany.  While Munich is the only "real deal" there is no shortage of spirit throughout the country.  In our first year we made the trip down to Munich.  Last year we went to Stuttgart for Volksfest and Frankfurt's Oktoberfest.  This year we kept it local and went with a colleague to his soccer club's private party.  Over the past two years we've also gone the cheap route and passed up the opportunity to invest in Lederhosen ("leather pants") and a Dirndl (traditional dress).  This year, however, we bit the bullet and invested in our Oktoberfest garb that will double as our Halloween costumes for life.  I'm sure they'll pay for themselves eventually........


Here we are sporting the new purchases from the C&A Department store.  Only 99 Euros each!  Much better than our Halloween costumes from 2004!

This is the home-made version from 2004.  Upgrade?

Back to the present...........here is our entire group outside of our co-worker's soccer club.  Overall we had solid participation on the dress code.

No Oktoberfest-ival is complete without "Festbier".

So we were partly celebrating Oktoberfest, but also celebrating our co-worker's (Richard) 5-year wedding anniversary.  Being Scottish and having lived in Dublin, Richard had to show us a jig or two.

Coming as a great surprise to me, I was selected as a candidate for the 2011 Mr. Oktoberfest competition.  Women in Dirndl's picked six of us to compete in five elimination games to determine the true Mr. Oktoberfest.  While I did make it past this first round of musical chairs played to an accordion, I wouldn't put my money on a foreigner to win "Mr. Oktoberfest".

The sneaky Germans showed me up with the second game, which was to see how long you could hold this liter of beer straight out from your chest.  Needless to say, I was the first one down after a few minutes of agony.  There's definitely a technique to it that I pondered the rest of the evening.......with my free liter of beer that is!

The happy couple of 5 years.

Not sure if it's a British thing, but my colleague Jaygo always seems to want to arm-wrestle after a couple of beers.  After being embarrassed by the Germans in beer holding, I wasn't about to lose another test of manhood!

On a separate occasion we reserved our neighborhood restaurant, zur Sonnenuhr, to host a small Oktoberfest party for our co-workers.

Don't ask me why I tried again, but the result was the same as before......with no free beer at the end!

Our merry group enjoying themselves on the patio.

I made a special request that Tanya, the proprietor of the restaurant, also wear her Dirndl for the occasion.

All of the participating North Americans with Tanya.  We plan to frame some of these and give them to her whenever we leave.  We're trying to follow in the steps of Buck and Mae, who had their photos posted in their neighborhood place in Thailand.

Lastly, our "first friends" in Germany, the fellow Americans Katy and Ryan celebrated their last Oktoberfest with us before moving to Vancouver.  It was bitter-sweet and we wish them the best in their new city.

Everyone loves Oktoberfest time round these parts..............but what's not to like?  Marisa and I were talking recently about traditions that we'll take with us from Germany and we both agreed that we'd want to have an Oktoberfest party wherever we live in the States.  It will be our way of sharing this great culture with our home culture.  We've got it all planned out from the food, to the music, the beer, the decor, and the Mr. Oktoberfest competition!  Can't wait to have y'all over for the festivities some day.  Till then.......

--Justin

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