Sunday, September 27, 2009

o'zapft is

[ The tap is open! ]

TGIF - Not only was last Friday the greatly anticipated first day of the weekend, but it was also the day of our German examination marking the end of our intensive language school curriculum. My teachers at the school have all been extremely nice and helpful - but for anyone, I am sure that 7 hours of German grammar a day can be true agony at times.

At home on Friday some men were walking rental tables and benches into the back yard which was for our Family's Oktoberfest party that was going to be held on Sunday for many friends and family of the Weber's. Along with the tables and seating came the huge keg of real Bavarian beer on tap for the weekend as well. I thought it was cool how elaborate my host parents were making the party, and I was looking forward to Sunday.

Come to find out, however, that just like preparation for dinners at the house, the fun doesn't begin when the party begins - it is the entire duration of the set up as well. As I have mentioned from my Oktoberfest posts, o'zapft is is a Bavarian dialect saying " Its tapped! ", and in a way, that is exactly what happened at the Webber house on Friday evening. The family was together – in fact I met another older sibling of the family, Boris, who stopped by to visit as well – and the evening already felt a bit festive. While dinner was being made, Angelika called me outside and next thing you know, Stefan, Boris, Angelika and I were all clinking glasses of the foamy weizenbier and toasting each other with a Prost!

Someone turned on some Bavarian music in the background complete with yodeling and accordion playing, and this only evolved into the entire family singing and dancing some square dance variation that Stefan was showing us, and I was spinning Klara around in my arms. Angelika pulled some ingredients together as well as some crepes, and before you know it we had a flambé dessert glowing blue on the table. I would like to say that the evening was just another normal day at the Weber house, but this just proves that everyday with them is full of excitement and never like the last.

Kulturzentrum am Eurobahnhof

[ The cultural center at the Euro train station ]

This Thursday Angelika told me to be home and ready at 6:30 to go with them to " see the new art museum". That is really all I knew of what was going on, but as I was told with my invitation, I was ready at 6:30 and Stefan, Angelika and I all headed out for the evening. We drove to another part of Saarbrücken and it ended up being at the old Hauptbahnhof [ train station ] of the city, which has now been turned into a thriving cultural and art center. In fact, I learned that the facilities are used as studios for artists and their works and ideas for sculptures and architecture around the city can also be diplayed there.

I found the idea of utilizing the old building for art to be very cool and this past Thursday turned out to be an opening event to show some of the works to the public. Stefan and Angelika are without a doubt very integrated into their community here, and always seem to have special events to go to or people to meet. When we walked into the event, within minutes I was already shaking hands and doing a bit of small talking with various different people from Saarbrücken, many probably very important figures in the city, always being introduced with my now endearing title of " Das ist Chris, mein Amerikaner" - This is Chris, my American.

Small talking can be a little intimidating having to do it Auf Deutsch, and I really don't venture too much further in my short greetings other than that I am a student from the states, and perhaps how long I am studying in Saarbrücken, or how living here in German has been for me in the past two months. Even so, it is a bit of a wake up call to me that, whereas I am speaking German everyday, when you are meeting people for the first time that don't immediately know and speak to your level of German, you can truly be put to the test of chatting, and I know that I must really work hard if I want to be able to have a very socially integrated Praktikum later this year.

The exhibits had some very neat things being displayed, from some modern art, to beautiful photography of some landmarks of Saarbrücken, or mini models of bridges that are being proposed to be constructed over the Saar river. It was very cool to check everything out, have the feeling of being at an opening event in the city with many prominent people around, and also being able to meet many people as well and test a bit of my German knowledge so far.

After the museum, My host parents, my host aunt Gabbie who met us at the exhibits, and myself all went out for a very nice dinner in the city. Angelika had asked if I had ever tried frog legs before - nein, noch nicht. Well, guess what we were playing with hopping around on our table as our appetizer! And yes, the deep fried critters really do taste like chicken!

Am Triller 2

[ Am Triller Zwei ]

The heart of where everything connects back to for my life here in Saarbrücken. The Weber family has a beautiful house and it oversees the city from its place at the top of a large hill.

[ pulling out the N64 with Klara and her friend in the downstairs living room - which doubles as my bed room with the couch as my bed ]

[ And just to throw it out there... I totally beat Klara in Mario Party ]

As I have mentioned before, the castle of the city is just down the street, and it impresses me everyday. The only negative about living in a house with such a great view from a hill - the walk up it everyday. [ I guess you have to burn off the calories of Angelika's great cooking somehow ]