May 1st is a major public holiday in Germany…the equivalent of Labor Day in the United States. This year, May 1st fell on a Thursday which meant the celebrations lasted the entire weekend! While I didn’t do anything on May 1st (it was rainy and cold), I had quite an eventful weekend. It is safe to say that by the end of the weekend the score was Maifest/Maiball/Weekend: 1, Jordan: 0. Regardless, I had such a lovely weekend!
My friend, Greg, is the President of his fraternity here in Heidelberg and invited me as his date to their annual Maiball. To say I was a ball of nerves was an understatement (pun totally intended). Yes, I have been to many sorority/fraternity semi-formals and formals in the United States but this was different. Ummm, guys, I’ve never waltzed before! :) They all have tons of obscure etiquette rules and it is hard to learn and remember all of them.
Greg and I managed to learn how to waltz 6 hours before the ball began. Did I mention that because he was President, the two of us, alone, had to waltz in front of everyone? Oh goodness, I felt bad for pestering Greg to teach me how to waltz but we managed to pull it off in the final hours :) I think we convinced a few people that we actually knew what we were doing! And I screwed up the second step…in front of everyone. Thankfully, we were able to save ourselves (myself?).
The Maiball was amazing and I got to meet so many other men from other fraternities around Germany. I kept telling Greg how funny it was that two Americans were opening a German fraternity’s ball. Speaking about being American…I think there tends to be a weird allure/fascination/intrigue with me at situations like this because: 1) I’m American. 2) I was in an American sorority (and they love asking all sorts of questions about that). and 3) I was an American cheerleader. Pretty much I’m a walking stereotype. However, this leads to funny conversations and beer drink-offs with fraternity guys at 1 am ;)
I ended up spending the next morning (ok, afternoon) talking and drinking with some guys from fraternities in Kiel and Tuebingen. I studied abroad in Tuebingen a few years ago and would love to eventually visit Kiel (sailing!). Later that night, I came back over to the fraternity for a more low-key event. It ended with all the guys singing “My Old Kentucky Home,” horribly off-key, to celebrate Greg being from Kentucky and the Kentucky Derby happening that day in the USA!
What a fun, fun weekend! I wish I had taken more pictures…this will have to do :)