a german joke is no laughing matter

Nurnberg Travel Blog

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just checking in.  i am sure this won't be anything that is well, of any real import.  just letting people know that i'm doing pretty well.  i have been here in bavaria, munich, nurnburg, outlying towns, etc.  Its oktoberfest here and yes, I know, its september and I have no real clue why its called oktoberfest if the majority of the time for the festival is in september.  I figure that is a job for wikipedia.. should I feel like wasting a bit more time and money on the internet.  I spent some time up here visiting with a coworker of mine since my former company has a location in the area.  He's here on a remote assignment and well, if I am only a 2 hour train ride away, seems like an awful shame to give up soem quality time with someone that I enjoy having a good conversation with. 

I have to say this much, next year I'm headed back here and I'm bringing a wrecking crew.  Seriously.  I always find these kind of cultural festivals interesting but far more interesting in the company of a few pals.  Also, well, I find it interesting in that should something of this magnitude be done in the states, it'd probably be a gigantic nightmare (not just the states, many countries).  Seems that even though its a giant festival to beer and germanity, it is quite tame.  Its more like the county fair back home than say mardi gras (ah, that was the disaster I was looking for).  So it was sort of an odd kind of thing, since I did honestly expect it to be like mardi gras.. thousands of drunk people, stuffed into a small cramped park with cops barely keeping order.  So to see people get all dressed up in traditional costumes, orderly find spots in the tents, drink fairly responsibly, carnival rides, fairlane vendors, etc.. families with their kids, college students with stupid hats, the old, the young, its just nice.   Something to think about, something to put on the calendar, in pencil..

Otherwise, things are going alright.  I have been handling things fairly well.  Last night Larry and I had a very long conversation about the "what ifs" of life, much of it as it pertains to the happenings in Jordan.  Nothing really settled, nothing really resolved, just an intellectual exercise, it helps to wander down these paths, even if well, nothing really does come of it.  Things happen, and they happen to people all over.  Every death is a tragedy and the only reason that people deal with it is that there is a level of abstraction.  Had I not gone to turkey I wouldn't have known anyone on the tour, had I not known them, I wouldn't have felt the things that I did.  It wouldn't have been as sharp, as close.  But that makes it all sound like it was negative, as it wasn't.  At the end of conversation, like many I have had since this had come out, the only real conclusion I have had is that life is short and precious and you have to do with it as much as you can.  Because well, when your time is up, its up. And for the people that you feel closely about, to those you count as your friends, when their time comes, mourn and then resolve to do just that bit more with what you've been given. 

I'm watching the coup in thailand closely.  I have resolved for the rest of my trip to follow my gut, good or ill.  If I don't feel comfortable doing something, I won't. 

Speaking of time, I have an hour before my train leaves for munich and then its my last night in town.  My last night in europe for four months.  At some point when I feel so inclined, I may drop down a little summary of my trip up to this point.  But until then, I shall saw goodnight.  When I post next, I'll be back stateside (more than likely) and then its off to japan.

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photo by: tacco14