Erste Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest spread of goodies

Translation: First Oktoberfest.
Disclaimer: I don’t know much German, and even less grammar. Apologies.

The first time I heard of Oktoberfest, was when I joined UTS and started seeing the posters about the event pop up all around the university around September. While initially curious about what appeared a vibrant university event-to-be, eventually the impression I was given was merely a celebration where people were given the opportunity to drink lots of beer and party. It didn’t sound like my cup of tea.

While this may have been the university’s take on it, of course the truth is not quite that one-dimensional, it doesn’t even qualify as a two-dimensional image at this point. This I was to learn after meeting Ruben almost two years later.

Today was a day of firsts

It was a day of firsts in many ways — my first Oktoberfest celebration, my first completely ‘Western’ celebration, my first time meeting the rest of Ruben’s ‘family’ (quotes meant in the best possible way), and probably the first time Ruben sat with two ‘Clara’s on either side of him, with headspinning pronunciation differences that made for interesting conversation.

As Ruben put it, despite sticking out like a sore thumb as the only Asian girl there (I’m sure I was the only one who was thinking about it), I felt greeted with open arms and their warm friendliness was humbling; as this awkward, shy girl not only wandered into terribly unfamiliar cultural territory, but didn’t drink any beer, non-alcoholic or otherwise!

I didn’t know whether I was supposed to shake hands or give someone a hug and kiss their cheek, but it seemed either way, I was accepted.

lunch and dessert

Another semi-first was of course the food, some of which I’d sampled in dinners with Ruben before, but not quite like this. There was a lovely platter with a Camembert dip, liverwurst, bread, pretzels and other things I can’t recall the name of; followed by a lunch of chipolatas, another type of sausage I didn’t know the name of, potato salad and sauerkraut, with a healthy dash of sweet mustard. Topping up the lot was a delicious apple strudel with ice cream… I’d never been so full!

Even more than the food though, what was nice was learning a bit more about Ruben’s past and being involved in a family event, as he recounted playing in the garden and we simply spent time with people he not only had a long history with, but were very dear to him. Unfortunately I don’t know at this point in time if I can offer him the same kind of event, but I know that one day I would definitely like to try harder to make it happen, and give him as pleasant an experience as I had today.

Thank you, Schades and Adolphs.