I finally got around to visit one of the German-American Societies in the area.
For an Oktoberfest.
I did not grow up in Bavaria (even though I was born in Franconia) so I generally wouldn’t care about an Oktoberfest at all. But hey, that’s what it is and what was scheduled, so The Wife and I hopped in the car and drove over.
And it was odd. I don’t know what I expected, but I did not expect to see my culture “through a fun-house mirror”, as The Wife put it. Now, I know a lot of these people are x-th generation Germans and just keep that heritage alive. Fair enough. But does it really have to be Bratwurst and Sauerkraut and Volksmusik? Really? The lowest common denominator what people outside of Germany think Germany is about? I know this is one aspect of Germany, a very regional one at that, so I shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was. But it put me off.
And while the sausages were okay (really, how can you mess that up?) the true test of German heritage was flunked: Kuchen. They all didn’t look so amazing and I took a piece of Zwetschgenkuchen (plum cake), because I hadn’t had that in years. Nope, Not good. Not good at all. Or, as we say on the internet, FAIL.
So, I don’t know, maybe those societies are different in different areas. We’ll see.