Oktoberfest!!


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September 27th 2010
Published: October 11th 2010
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Once again - sorry dear readers for not writing in a week!


Many people have been asking questions and I have been saying "Check my blog, I'll write soon" and have not.

Let me first talking about my past weekend - my Oktoberfest adventure! Then I will move on to work, Vienna and all questions etc.

OKTOBERFEST

Imagine it - I escape work early in order to get home on time to pack for the weekend (I couldn't do before for reasons that will be explained in 'Vienna'). Eliza meets me there and we head out to Westbanhof, the train station. We get there with one pair of clothes in our packs, a blanket and some bread, cheese and meat for the ride's dinner. The train is supposed to leave at 6:20, but it's running late and we left at 6:40. Unfortunately, it got dark so quickly that a view of the Austrian-German landscape was impossible. We ate our food and wasted time until we got in the Munchen train station at 11pm. We were walking out when some guy jumped ontop of us - Kyle (for those who don't know him - he's a brother of mine in my fraternity, currently doing an exchange in Belgium, and meeting us in Munich). He had been partying next to the train station and decided to surprise us - which he did. Unfortunately, the long day of waking up early, working, and travel had exhausted us and we simply went home to rest up before the big day.

Saturday morning, we woke up at 6am and Eliza put on her fancy-gorgeous dress and I, my lederhosen, hat, knee-high socks and suspenders and we were off to the train station. Arriving at the grounds at 730am, we waited in line (now with Kyle) for an hour and half until being told the tent was full and we would not be able to go in. Let me just say that without an umbrella we were soaked. It was about 10 degrees that morning and raining so very hard - to say the least, we were not impressed. We ran into the nearest building which was a restaurant ("if you stay you must order food," the doorman/bouncer said). We ate some sausages and had our first 1-Liter beer. They kick you out after 1.5hours, so we left and found a beerhall just outside of Oktoberfest (inside was impossible for entry)... there we drank with a bunch of Bavarians who were about to go see their favorite "Football" team play that day - to say the least, it was fun to drink with them. We left there once the waiters wouldn't give us more beer (we don't know why as they only spoke German), so we moved on back to Oktoberfest to meet Kristyna (a friend from Bishop's), David (the guy giving us a place to live and from Bishops), as well as Kristyna's sister, boyfriend and friend.

Once we arrived it was much warmer, and sunny and the beer gardens were open. We snuck in to meet our friends and begin our third round. There we partied, sang, and danced until about dinner time. Then we headed off to eat - more sausages. bumper cars and some various activities we moved on to a bar outside of Oktoberfest once again. There for a handful of hours and time for (a not very restful) sleep.

not finished - Eliza and I then woke up at 730am Sunday morning and decided it was in our best interest to go BACK to Oktoberfest. We told the others in the apartment ("are you mad??," said Kristyna), packed our stuff, and headed back out. We had a bavarian breakfast (sausage, pretzel and beer) and saw the insides of two beer tents, though we drank/ate in a beergarden. Eliza ended up receiving an Oktoberfest 'Sweetheart" (a gingerbread heart with incing that says things like "I love you" or "you are my darling" or "Oktoberfest 2010" which boys buy girls in order to show their affection, and the girls will wear them like necklaces to show off that they have a boy - never to be eaten, only cherrished.) And I got a Beer stein (an awesome looking beer mug which holds the precious drink of the Lord.)

1:17 our train departed, and we slept again on the train - arrived home, exhausted, sick and in DESPERATE NEED of a shower. Terminator followed, quickly followed by sleep.

In Vienna

The day prior to Oktoberfest (Thursday) was litterally the only 'exciting' day of the previous week. I woke up later than usual, not being able to go to the gym, and spent all morning in a 3.5hr meeting. Quickly ate lunch and wrote a long report and left. I was supposed to go to the Pharmacy (I believe I have a sinus infection), but decided to opt out in order to check out an apartment (being kicked out October 1st). Before this appointment I had a bit of time (1hr) so Eliza joined me near my work for a coffee and dessert (Vienna Happy Hour). I went to the apartment (:s) and then decided to have a free dinner. Off we went to an OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) event, where OPEC countries show off their cultures and provide free food and music and drink. Got there a bit late, so we only had time for a snack - not a meal. But since it was nearing 830pm at this point, I figured I wouldn't go home.

There was a Stammtisch ("regular-table") at 9pm a little ways away for Interns in Vienna and I decided to join them that night. So off I went to "Cafe-tunnel". There we met up about 15 interns from bilateral embassies, UN or OSCE and had a few drinks, I ate some food, and the night was ending. I went home around 11pm - asleep by 1230. (Hence why I didn't pack before Oktoberfest - long day/night).

Wednesday - Eliza was sick, so I had to go see her (1.5hrs there) make her soup and cheer her up - delicious soup by the way, and then go back home (another 1.5hrs). I believe I caught a bit of a cold from her that night, which was only heightened from the cold and rain at Oktoberfest.

This upcoming week is laid back. I'm trying to recover from my cold and sinus infection, and just overall start feeling better. I'll probably go to the Stammtisch this Thursday again, if I'm feeling up for it, and I have another apartment to look at this Wednesday. Besides that, I'll probably be buying tickets to go to Paris for the second weekend of October (8-10) and Amsterdam for the second-last weekend of October (21-24).

The internship

Many of you have been asking questions related to my internship, so I suppose I should inform you more on what I do there, opposed to just letting you wonder. Most of what I do seem either really exciting or really dull (depending who you are), but it's actually quite in the middle. It becomes repetitive, but retains much of the interesting backdoor deadlings of nations. So, what I tell you I officially do may not seem fun, but its more the informal discussions with other people that is interesting and fun. Anyways... this is how I described it to a friend of mine:

I represent Canada at the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The organization has three dimensions that it operates in: (1) the human (rights) dimension, (2) Politcal-Military, and (3) Economic-Environment. Since I made this internship a part of my university studies, I am responsible for all meetings to do with the Economic-Environment dimension, and I still have a few Political-Military meetings. The pol-Mil meetings are: "Security Committee", "Joint Partners Committee", and the "Forum for Security and Cooperation". They are pretty much the meetings which discuss terrorism, security and other trans-national things.
It's pretty interesting, but I don't get any special top secret priviledge information. I pretty much just go to the meetings (long or short, boring or interesting) and if something of use (to Canada) was said, I write a report about the meeting.



Work last week was quite busy - this week, very slow. So if you have questions, just fire them at me and hopefully I can answer.

Unfortunately, I have to run now. So send me your comments and/or whatever and I'll get back to you

All the best,

Rob

PS. "Get Well Soon" to my (fraternity) brother Nick, who is temporarily Out Of Commission from BU life. Get better buddy.

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