Throwback Tuesday Post (TBTP) from 2014: Everyone knows Oktoberfest: the biggest beer party in the world. But do you know that the opening procession is for the workers? Horse-drawn beer wagons adorned with flowers and hops vines, plus all the brewery workers, beer tent wait staff and anyone serving up the suds in any way get to parade down the streets of Munich to lead the crowds to the official opening of the grandest beer party you've ever seen!
Well, that jug didn’t last long, but we all managed to maintain during the hour drive to Straubing. During the drive, they handed out what looked like little garters that we were to write our names or initials on. I wasn’t sure what that was about. I would find out later.
As with anything in Germany, even with a ride you have to walk quite a distance. We disembarked about a half-mile from the fest grounds. We could see the giant Ferris wheel as we approached:
Our tent was the Krönner, a huge structure that holds almost 4,000 people inside with about 1,500 seats in the outdoor area. They served Irlbacher beer, a kind I’d never had before. Local brewers make batches of beer specifically for the fest, of course. Irlbacher Festbier was very good!
It’s so fortunate that we had reserved tables in the loft area because I had a great balcony to do my photos from. Besides, the tent floor was already getting full:
Soon our waitress appeared. She might not have been cheerful, but she was efficient!
As soon as the beer arrived, we discovered what the small garter thingies were for:
Teaching English here in Germany affords me a lot of information about the local dialect and traditions that tourists wouldn’t normally discover. And that’s why I’m here.Here’s a good example. Two of the groups I’ve taught consisted of IT team managers at Deutsche Telekom, the German equivalent of AT&T or Verizon. I came to know them a couple of years ago and met with them almost every week on Thursday at their office building. We all grew to be friends.In the course of teaching them English, I was privileged to learn about their families, hobbies, projects and opinions. And last June they invited me and my husband for a “short walk” to a well-known local landmark, Staffelberg. I included quote marks in the previous sentence because a German’s idea of a short walk is vastly different from an American’s idea of one. However, they took it easy on us and we had a grand time.I made a slideshow out of some of the photos I took that day. Peep it:
The first song in the slideshow is called the Frankenlied, or the Franconian Anthem, which sings the praises of the glorious local land. The second song is called Es Gibt Kein Bier auf Hawaii, or “There is No Beer in Hawaii,” in which the singer says his fiance wants to go to Hawaii for her honeymoon and he doesn’t want to go because there is no (German) beer there. So that’s why they are not married yet, after 12 years of engagement! One of the lines in the chorus is “Hula hula doesn’t make your thirst go away.” They taught me about these songs at dinner after our walk.