Thursday, June 04, 2009

Damned Bavarians!

They obviously are the cause of everything wrong!:
For most foreigners, Germany is little more than Oktoberfest, the Alps, beer, lederhosen and the Bayern Munich football club. The stereotypes, though, apply to just one corner of Germany -- the state of Bavaria, which happens to be Germany's biggest and richest.

Much of the rest of the country, though, regards this wealthy southern colossus with a mixture of bemusement, derision and loathing. It's like a German version of Texas.
Like Texas? Well, that explains everything!


Steve Bates said...

I think every Western nation has a place with such a reputation. When I was teaching at a summer institute in Austria 30 years ago, there was a joke going around about the state called Styria (or Steiermark). According to the joke, the government of Austria had decided to build three mental institutions: One was to be in Wien. One was to be in Salzburg. And for the third, they planned to fence off the entire of Steiermark.

I don't know for sure, but I suspect Bavaria is different because of its proximity to central and southern Europe... all those cultural influences cross national boundaries like water. It's the same in Texas and California because of the proximity to (and history with) Mexico.

ellroon said...

(Ha! My stupid joke about Texas impelled you to post!)

You're right, Steve. We are cross-contaminated and therefore cannot be the heartland of the country... which is exactly one guy's shed in his back 40 near the town of Lebanon, in Smith County, Kansas.

Bryan said...

Bavarian beer is by law 3.2% which makes it water for most Germans [as well as leading to rude jokes about Lowenbrau]. Their most famous king was quite rightly called "Mad Ludwig". They speak with a very heavy accent.

Well, except for the beer, just like Texas ;)

Steve Bates said...

Lebanon? Oh noes! Don't tell the Israelis! :)

Steve Bates said...

Bavarian beer is awful. I wasn't able to find it in most markets in Graz, and I didn't really care. We drank either the local product Gösser ("Gut, Besser, Gösser") or something called Puntigamer Pantherbrau. Both were quire tasty and satisfying.

FTR, in Salzburg, in a bar outside a hotel in the old city, I had an Originell-Budweiser, and believe me, it bore no resemblance to Bud produced in the U.S.

ellroon said...

That explains everything, you guys. My son is in Austria atm, and said the beer is dreadful. Nice to know why...(Being a teatotaller, I don't know these things and even though I buy beer, I could not tell an ale from a lager...)

Steve, trust the heart of the USA to be ferrin!