At last, the weekend has arrived! In the last two days of my challenge coincided with the Isarinselfest. During this festival, the long road next to the Isar river becomes full of stalls, all selling different types of food and drink. Of course, there is a lot of German cuisine on display. Wishing to end my week in style, I donned my best Lederhosen and headed down.
About two years ago, I happened to be in Munich during the Oktoberfest (or Wiesn). Amongst the drinking, I had ordered a traditional oxen burger. I have numerous memories surrounding that burger, including a sign at the stand stating that this was the 11th 850kg oxen that the people of Munich had consumed within two and a half days, and also that the oxen’s name was Paul. But I also remembered it tasting pretty darn good! So, I was very happy to find a stall selling ox sandwiches.
After quickly polishing off my sandwich, we continued walking along the stalls. Eventually, we found what looked like a tent selling fruit punch. It actually turned out to be red wine and strawberries. I didn’t think that the sweet taste of the strawberries mixed very well with the somewhat sour taste of the wine. But hey, I needed all the help I could get before going up to strangers and asking them to speak broken-German with me.
With the growing risk of turning my site into a food blog, I decided it was high time to speak with some strangers.
As this was to be the final conversation of my challenge, I thought that it would be fitting to try to put everything that I’d learnt during the last week together. I probably didn’t need to make another “my script” section just to say that but I like consistency so I’ve included it anyway.
Newly, imbued with courage from the strawberry wine (and a wheat beer), I sat down to talk to a young couple sitting on a nearby picnic table. They were happy to talk but didn’t wish to be filmed. So, after a quick chat about YouTube (he has a channel as well), Munich, and the food festival I continued my search.
The next couple I spoke to were also very encouraging of my decision to learn German, but also as unwilling to be filmed (perhaps my tight Lederhosen was putting people off). Having just had a warm-up talk, I felt much more fluid while speaking to this second couple. I managed to slip in most of my first-day topics be for moving on to talk about the Tegernsee. It turns out that they had travelled 3 hours to visit the Tegernsee, but had decided to come to the food festival due to the rain. Then, as we were saying goodbye, I said something that I don’t think I could have ever anticipated: “du hast ein Käfer auf deiner Schulter!” (“you have a beetle on your shoulder!”).
An excellent conversation!
Finally, we decided that the atmosphere might not be right for a video today. It seemed a shame to end the series without one final video, so I filmed one anyway. Below you will find my review of the Isarinselfest and my German Challenge Week, in German. As always, I do hope you enjoy it!
As you may have understood from the video, I also ordered a chocolate banana on a stick as a reward for my unfilmed conversations, this is one of many sweet treats that can also be found at the Oktoberfest. If you’re curious to see what a chocolate banana on a stick looks like, then you’re in luck, I’ve included a photo of myself and my banana (mid-chew) below!
What Needs Improvement?
German is a difficult language to understand, and it is made even more difficult when someone mixes up their past and future tenses. That is exactly what I did in my review video and it is something that I should definitively keep an eye on in the future (ironically).
It’s been a very fun week, although sometimes very daunting as well. My German has definitively improved during my week, even if only by a little bit, which is certainly something to be proud of.
However, I personally think that the biggest change is in my confidence while speaking my new language. Knowing that I can go over to someone and hold a basic conversation with them for at least 5 minutes feels like a small milestone, but a milestone nonetheless.
Hopefully, it will be the first of many!