Mad Schuhplattler

Schuhplattler at 200th anniversary Oktoberfest from zurika on Vimeo.

In honor of the 200th anniversary of Oktoberfest, a historical area has been set up next to the regular old tents and rides. It costs €4 to get into the historical area, but that €4 includes all kinds of entertainment, such as fancy historical whip-cracking and fancy historical dancing. And a nifty souvenir pin.

Judging from the looks of this dance, I’m guessing that Bavarian women living 200 years ago did not have any inner ear fluid.

Is there anyone who watched this video without thinking of Chevy Chase?

Oktoberfest: where to pee

This blog has been getting an amusingly high number of hits this week from people googling phrases such as “where to pee Oktoberfest” (second only to those searching for “Oktoberfest sex”). Don’t let your fear of inadequate toilets keep you away, folks: there are plenty of places to pee at Oktoberfest. Continue reading

What your dirndl is telling the world

Soon after acquiring my dirndl, I was taught the rules for tying the apron. The strings are long, and usually you wrap them all the way around your waist and then tie them in a bow in the front. But not just anywhere in the front. No, no, no, this is important stuff, so listen up. If you tie the bow on the left, it means you’re available; on the right it means you’re taken. Beyond that the rules get a little hazy, depending on who you’re talking to. I’ve heard that a bow tied in the center means either you’re “open” or that you’re a virgin. But given that we’re in very Catholic Bavaria, being a virgin and being available should practically mean the same thing, right? (Snicker, snicker.) A bow in the back means you’re a widow, or possibly a waitress.

This whole apron-tying nonsense seems a little too middle school to be taken seriously. But, if tying my apron on the right means fewer sloppy drunk boys will try to hit on me at Oktoberfest, then by all means I’m following the rule. Which reminds me, it’s about time to tie on that apron and head out for our opening-day tent reservation. O’zapft is!

How do you tie your dirndl apron?

Hamburg, with bloggers

The last time I was in Hamburg was over ten years ago, and I was happy to have an excuse to return last weekend for the Whiny Expat Blogger Meet-Up (or NAMBLA). Scott and I went a little early so we could have some time exploring the city on our own, too. Continue reading

Eating Oktoberfest: a vegetarian survival guide

If there’s one thing you don’t see very often at Oktoberfest, it’s a vegetable.

Navigating the menu at an Oktoberfest tent is not always easy for vegetarians. In here, a plate of sliced-up sausage qualifies as a salad. But even at those tents named after the animal they are best at cooking, one can find at least a couple of meatless dishes. Bavarian vegetarian food is heavy, creamy, cheesy, and infinitely starchy: actually, not such bad attributes for a meal that’s accompanying many liters of beer. Now that you’ve found a seat in one of the tents, here are some of the vegetarian dishes you are most likely to find on the menu: Continue reading

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