How Much Wood is Up Front?

It’s Oktoberfest time again!

German Beer

If you ever have a chance to attend this event in Germany, there are 3 things you have to know first:

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1. The proper response to “Ziggy Zoggy, Ziggy Zoggy!”

This phrase is a line from a German drinking song that people sing when they are really, really drunk, so don’t worry –  the response is really, really easy:

OY! OY! OY!

If you can handle that, then you are ready for Oktoberfest!

The song actually goes like this:

Ein Prosit, Ein Prosit, der Gemütlichkeit
Eins, zwei, drei, g’suffa!

Zicke, zacke, zicke, zacke,

hoi, hoi, hoi

Supposedly it means:

A toast, a toast, a cozy place!
One, two, three drink (literally drunkeness, or sozzled)
drink, drink, drink,

hoi, hoi, hoi!

The last part doesn’t actually mean anything, so you don’t have to worry about screwing it up!

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2. Oktoberfest is in September.

This is an important little tidbit to know if you are traveling from far away.

Germans have been celebrating Oktoberfest since 1810 when Prince Ludwig of Bavaria decided to get married. To celebrate, he and his friends got really sozzled at a big bash near Munich. Germans have thrown a party every year since. Oktoberfest starts on a Saturday in September and continues for 16-18 days, ending on the first Sunday in October.

So why didn’t they call it Septemberfest?

Beats me. Maybe they were too sozzled to know what month it was.

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3. How much wood is up front.

For all you ladies out there, if you ever have a chance to attend Oktoberfest, be aware of one thing. Those cute little Bavarian dresses called Dirndls are not just a fashion statement. They’re designed to answer a question that’s on the mind of every Lederhosen-clad man:

Holz vor der Hütte.

It means:

How much wood is in front of the cottage?

There’s only one right way to answer this question…

Stand tall and push up your assets!

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Eyebrow Raising Food Packages

A few packaged foods I found on grocery store shelves in Germany:

These two models look like they’re having a really great time. I wonder if he knows this product is called the Ham Nutcracker?

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Hungry for a fine little wiener? Yours for only 3 Euro…

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I think this one is where the phrase ‘Lost in Translation’ comes from…

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I haven’t actually been able to find this Sausage Suitcase on store shelves, but I’m on the lookout…

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What’s the motto printed across the bottom of this ad?

German Sausage. Everything else is Cheese.

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Gotta Love Panda Butts

A reason to smile this Saturday…

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Toilet Seat Exhibits

Random things that make me smile…

Who can resist lifting the lid on a toilet seat exhibit?

Toilet Seat Exhibit

My new favorite hobby – rock watching…

Rock Watching

Is this a common mistake???

Kangaroos in Austria

The world’s worst park…

No playing, no camping, no bicycling, no relaxing, and worst of all… no tightrope walking. (Walking a muzzled dog, throwing away blocks, and lying on a bed of nails is apparently okay).

Park Sign

Oh yeah…

What were those toilet seat exhibits about?

TP Exhibit

What else?

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Raging Bitch and Heady Topper

Animated beer labels!!!!! Very cool!!!

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See more: http://beerlabelsinmotion.tumblr.com/

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What’s with Hello Kitty?

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If the world had a logo, I think it would be Hello Kitty. She’s everywhere.

When I’m strolling the streets of a quaint European town, searching for a picturesque shot, she’s there… flying on banners, spilling out of postcard racks, and bobbing up and down in balloon bouquets.

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So I just have to ask: What’s with Hello Kitty? Why is the world obsessed with this big-headed, pink-clad cat?

She’s cute, sure. I probably owned a Hello Kitty pencil case when I was a kid. But why does the whole world seem fascinated by her?

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Obsessed with this question, I embarked on a little Hello Kitty research. What I found didn’t exactly answer my question, but it did teach me a few things I didn’t know:

*     H.K. was created in Japan, yet according to her profile, she is British (born in London to be exact).

*     She’s named after a cat called ‘Kitty’ in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass.

*     She is five apples tall and weighs 3 apples.

*     Her last name is White.

*     She doesn’t have a mouth because we are supposed to project our feelings onto her.

*     In addition to modeling for products that gross half-a-billion dollars a year, she has been an ambassador, starred in her own TV show, owned theme parks, restaurants, commercial jets, a jewelry line, wine varieties, and even a maternity hospital.

That girl has it all.

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Maybe I’m just a little jealous.

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This Chocolate’s Made For Walking

We often go through life believing things are the way they are because, well…that’s the way they are.

For instance, the Ritter Chocolate Bar. It’s square. Not rectangular like nearly every other candy bar in the world. Ritter bars are square.

That’s just the way it is.

Right?

Well, guess what? Ritter bars were not invented this way on a whim. They were invented this way for a reason.

When I first moved to Germany, I attended a culture class. On the last day of the class, our instructor took us to the Ritter Chocolate Factory and Museum. I wasn’t sure how this counted as German culture, but I happily went along for the chance to eat chocolate. While I was sampling, I learned two things: the word Ritter means Knight and the chocolate bar of the same name has been part of German culture since 1932.

Thus convinced of its cultural significance, I was free to enjoy Ritter’s museum, which takes visitors through the company’s entire history, including the reason for the chocolate’s square shape…

It’s made for walking.

Apparently, a very clever woman by the name of Clara Ritter realized that chocolate bars were the best travel snack around. Even the great German poets said so…

There was just one problem: those pesky rectangular bars didn’t fit very well in pockets and they had a nasty habit of breaking. Clara Ritter’s solution?

A square chocolate bar designed to fit in the pocket of a sports jacket. Suddenly, folks going to sporting events could carry their chocolate with them. Hence the bar’s unusual name…Ritter Sport.

Who would’ve thought?

Today, Ritter is still packaging chocolate that’s made for walking. If you visit the factory, be sure to head to the back room of the museum shop. There you’ll find pre-packed bags of Ritter bars with easy-to-carry handles…just right for walking.

Better get two…if you’re anything like me, only one bag of the bags will make it home to share with friends.

Okay… maybe only half a bag.

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