21 June 2007

Cheeseburgers and Parties in Germany

No new city visits or journeys to pass on; I’ve stayed in Eichstaett since the last post. My time in this town has began to wind down, and I feel the need to absorb as much of this corner of the world as possible before I board the final train away from here. No need to dwell on that topic for now though, I still have roughly two months left.

Last Thursday was Kultur Open Air, a university event where different clubs present themselves and sell things to raise money for their programs. AK International, the international student organization, wanted to sell different foreign items prepared by natives of the respective countries. The Japanese sold sushi. The French sold crepes. AK recruited Dylan and I to sell authentic American cheeseburgers.

After stops in five separate grocery stores we had seemingly bought Eichstaett out of hamburger buns and ground beef. My small kitchen looked and smelt like the back storage room of a McDonald’s. We spent most of the afternoon slicing tomatoes and onions, shredding lettuce, and forming hamburger patties. It turns out around 20 pounds of ground beef will suffice for 100 patties.

We arrived on campus with all of the supplies about an hour before the starting time, 7 o’clock, and set up shop. Dylan received grill duty, I applied the toppings, and Brandon (who we didn’t know had also volunteered) took the customers’ money. Dylan and I expected to be able to relax between customers while talking the other foreign students into giving us free samples of their concoctions. We got the free food portion of that assumption, but not the down time.

As soon as the first people were let into the festival we worked without a pause for three hours. A line quickly formed in front of our booth and it became very clear that the cheeseburgers were the hottest item for sale. Dylan and I cursed a certain fast food chain for making this little bit of Americana so popular around the world.

Things probably could have we gone faster if we had a better grill. Some customers in line grumbled about the waiting time. They must not realize that cheeseburgers, when made properly, aren’t necessarily fast food.

Here’s a photo of Jishu, who made Chinese dumplings, and the two German girls who helped her.

And here’s a photo of Bettina, one of the two ring leaders of AK International.

The long queue of customs persisted until the last cheeseburger left the grill. Even after then we had to wave disappointed individuals away.

We did get free cheeseburgers and drinks, and after we were done we were able to walk around and enjoy the festival.

This is a party of week of sorts, with at least one every night. Tuesday night’s was held in the courtyard of one of the student dorms. By the size of the turn out it seemed to be very successful. It felt like a large beer garden. For the most part Dylan and I enjoyed the night with German friends.

Here’s a picture with Dylan and Laura.

One with Dylan mistaking a candle for his drink.

Another with Steffi and Francie.

And the last with Steffi, me, and Dylan. The last went mentally insane seconds before the click of the camera.


DaddyO said...

Nicholas, nice post, I enjoyed reading. Seems like they really have allot of activities for the students. I don't remember that many things going on, when I was in college. Have you purchased your ticket home yet?

Nick O. said...

Daddyo: No, not yet. I might do it today though.

B said...

Do you know what day you arrive back in the States?

Nick O. said...

That will be the 14th of August.