Coincidences: Oktoberfest


In the mid eighties, my friend and colleague, JoBeth and I decided it was high time to see the world.

Saving up enough cash to last us a few months on the road, we obtained a leave of absence from work and before you could say "Beer Hall", we were dancing like chickens at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. The tradition spans 200 years and this year, Oktoberfest will celebrate its bicentennial. For more info...see Wikipedia's  Oktoberfest
The Oktoberfest grounds consist of several huge tents sponsored by different beer companies. Drinking at the 'Spaten' tent vs. the 'Heineken' or the 'Hofbrau' tent doesn't really matter. It's the energy of the tent, the band and word of mouth that draws you in. Tents are huge and brightly-lit with rows upon rows of wooden picnic tables, a dance floor and a band. Add about one-thousand beer drinking people being served by busty waitresses with impressive forearm strength and manual dexterity ...
And you've got the makings of a great party!

Armed with our "English-German Phrasebook " JoBeth and I would strike up a conversation with anyone that would listen.Our attempts at speaking German were welcomed and frequently laughed at. Loudly. After a few king-sized Heineken we thought ourselves to be quite adept in speaking German.

Somehow, knowing that we would never see our drinking buddies again made making complete fools out of ourselves acceptable.

Between chicken dances and beer guzzling, I began a little small talk with a fellow English-speaker...

Me: "So, where are you from? 
Him: "Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada." 
Me: "Getouttahere! I was born in Halifax!" "What year were you born?" 
Him: He told me his birth year. 
Me: It was the same as mine. "OK, when's your birthday?" 
Him It was the same as mine. 
Me: All squinty-eyed..."What hospital?" 
Him: "The Halifax Infirmary".
Me: "All right, let me see your I.D."

We had been nursery-mates.

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