Blog Goes Abroad: Oktoberfest


You might have noticed some photos like the above clogging your newsfeed this week. For all those juniors on-campus who feel confused (and annoyed) about Oktoberfest, we’re republishing an old post that puts the #abroad drinking fest in Brown terms.  Two blog writers attended the event in Munich, Germany a few years ago, and in a beer-induced nostalgia for Brown, they compared the infamous event to aspects of Brown’s social scene, including the Whiskey Republic, a frat basement party, and Spring Weekend’s Dave Binder concert.  

The differences between Oktoberfest and the three aforementioned Brown social venues are obvious—Oktoberfest takes place in Munich, Germany in tents that hold up to 10,000 people. However, you may be surprised to learn just how many “comforts” of home we found in such a foreign landscape of debauchery.  Among the lederhosen and drindls, we literally stumbled upon the same infamous characters and qualities that are quintessential to the Brown party scene:

1. Oktoberfest vs. Whisko

  • Aggressive bouncers: Count your lucky stars that Whiskey’s bouncers aren’t German-speaking, whistle-wielding body builders from hell. These guys were literally employed by Satan himself. Who thought we’d miss the sassy Whisko guards that we’ve all come to know and hate/love?
  • Bathroom stampede: We all know that the girls’ bathroom at Whiskey is always a shit-show. Well, that has NOTHING on the corralling of females taking place behind the scenes at Oktoberfest. We use the word “corralling” intentionally: the stalls were literally in a barn off the tent and we were but helpless cattle. If you weren’t careful, you could be dragged out of a sneaky back door under the false promise that there were “extra stalls” outside. Once outside, you became crudely aware of the fact that there was no getting back in. Let’s just say that only the most dire bladder pains would tempt us into that bathroom. Oh to be back in the toilet-paper-strewn, overcrowded restroom of the Whiskey Republic.

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Hey ResLife, it’s everyone who studied abroad last semester

You don't know what you got 'til it's gone.

Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.

Hey ResLife,

It’s us – the students that went abroad in the fall semester. Unfortunately, we need to talk.

While we’ve been away, we’ve traveled around the world, and we can’t pretend it’s not bittersweet to be going back to Brown. On the upside, at least we’re going back to stability: no more living out of suitcases, or wondering what conditions tomorrow’s hostel will bring. No, we are returning to a campus where we know we have a place – where we know that we’re wanted back.

Oh wait, never mind.

Actually, we still don’t know where we will be living in approximately five days time. After months of transit, it doesn’t seem like we’re so welcome home after all. In fact, the Storage Center of Providence is skeptical that we’re even returning, because we haven’t told them where to deliver our boxes (Matt Degulis, if you’re reading this, we’re truly sorry for the inconvenience).

Not only has this been a worse state of limbo than where Leo DiCaprio found himself in Inception (wait – if we jump out of window, will we wake up in a dorm in Providence?), but according to your email this morning, we should be exploring our off-campus options in the next 24 hours. This is rather absurd, considering Brown policy states that no student who went abroad in the fall can live off-campus in the following spring. But, hey, thanks for the 24-hour heads up to start calling landlords, and we really appreciate that we will still get charged an off-campus fee!

Email received January 12th

Email received January 12th

It sounds like at the moment, we may not even have rooms at Brown. *If you need creative suggestions for housing next term, see this post.*

Now sweetheart, we know that things have been stressful for you in Grad Center E. This isn’t meant to be a flog, but we filled out our housing preference forms in late November, and you haven’t even called since? If you don’t want us back, grow up and say it to our faces (and pay for our respective plane tickets for another semester abroad). Or, realistically, send us an email to let us know that things are running behind schedule, but we shouldn’t stress.

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BlogDH Goes Abroad: Sampling the… LanternBurger

2014-11-19 22.20.19

As anyone who’s taken ENGN 0090 – Management of Industrial and Nonprofit Organizations will remember, Marvel Comics faced a crucial business dilemma in the early 2000’s: was it better to focus on a few of their popular core superheroes, or attempt to create brand-new franchises from a number of their lesser known characters? With the benefit of hindsight and the massive popularity of spinoff franchises like The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, we now know that Marvel took the latter of the two options. The once-struggling company has since been responsible for some of the biggest blockbusters of the past decade.

Why is this at all relevant to your life, you may be asking? For starters, it’ll help when you burst into section ten minutes late, having yet to read the case study or even open your ENGN 0090 textbook, only to raise your hand and comment brilliantly that you think Marvel should diversify its characters – and, while it may seem like a crazy idea, you have a feeling that Robert Downey Jr. might make a great Iron Man.

But, more importantly, it’s also relevant to the McDonald’s line of Justice League-themed promotional meals currently flooding the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Just as Marvel diversified, so has McDonald’s, following up their BatBurger and SuperBurger meals with a Green Lantern-themed “Potato ‘n Beef”‘ burger and The Flash-themed potato wedges. Clearly, neither of the two superheroes was good enough to warrant his own meal – McDonald’s has obviously learned from the disaster that was the Green Lantern movie. Sorry, DC. Better luck with Khal Drogo’s Aquaman.

The burger, dubbed the LanternBurger, is a standard cheeseburger with bacon, steak sauce, and the titular “potato” added. What, you may ask, is the “potato” aspect of the burger? Why, it’s a McDonald’s hashbrown!

Sounds nasty, right? Well, no. The LanternBurger isn’t horrible.

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BlogDH Goes Abroad: Sampling the BatBurger

Bat Burger

After his fictional hometown and stomping grounds of Gotham City, there are few metropolitan areas with whom Batman shares more of a bond than the real-life city of Hong Kong. He leaps from the top of the iconic IFC tower in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, has inspired legions of Occupy Central protesters clad in his signature black and yellow color scheme, and – perhaps most importantly – spurred the recent creation of a limited edition “Diner Double Beef'” burger available at McDonald’s restaurants located in the Hong Kong SAR.

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An overpass in the protest district of Admiralty, Hong Kong

In the wake of President Paxson’s controversial comments on superheroes last year, we at BlogDailyHerald decided it was absolutely essential that our Hong Kong correspondent sample the Diner Double Beef and rule on whether it’s truly a dish fit for the Caped Crusader himself.

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The Diner Double beef costs HK$ 30.80 (slightly under $4 US) – a full meal, with accompanying “squeezy cheese fries” and “apple-green tea,” will run you HK$ 37.80 ($4.87 US). The burger comes in a snazzy box emblazoned with the Bat-mask (is that the term for his mask? it should be), as do the squeezy cheese fries.

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The BatBurger (McDonald’s, you’re welcome to use this title for your next campaign) comes with two beef patties, an egg patty, a slice of cheese, and onions. Sauces include steak sauce and a white sauce that tastes like a cross between Big Mac special sauce and tartar sauce – whatever that may be called. The Squeezy Cheese Fries are french fries, bacon bits, and “squeezy’ cheese.” The Apple Green Tea is green tea, flavored with apple and served with ice.

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Blog Goes Abroad: What actually constitutes an #abroadproblem

(BlogDH) Study Abroad

It’s been three months since I got to Europe, and I have two months to go. While I feel I’ve been getting the hang of this whole living abroad thing, I consciously try to not let my head get so big as to annoy the hell out of my friends on campus. Because let’s be real… some kids can go a little overboard with their oversharing on Facebook and Twitter while abroad. A lot of the times they try to justify their humblebrags by tagging whatever they post with #abroadproblems. But #abroadproblems isn’t a scapegoat, and it certainly doesn’t give you permission to show off how ~fabulous~ your life is. Here are things that are not problems:

“Ugh I hate airport lines. But going to Rome! #abroadproblems!”
Ah, the classic #humblebrag. Being drunk at an airport sucks, especially when TSA is in a foreign language and they’ve just started yelling at you for some inexplicable reason. But the privilege of traveling is the polar opposite of a problem. So kindly omit the hashtag, and make your way through security, s’il vous plaît.

“Changing your profile picture weekly. #abroadproblems”
Studying abroad means taking pictures of any and every menial thing you do/eat. That’s a given. (Confession: my Instagram feed is now 70% food, and I’m not about to stop.) But if you’re constantly updating your social networks, you musn’t be doing anything too interesting. Plus, there’s no need to document every time you go to the Eiffel Tower/Tower of Pisa/Tower Bridge/any other European Tower. Continue Reading

Blog Goes Abroad: Wait, I have to be a real person?

Paris Ana

Other than checking my Bank of America statements online, I don’t really get many reality checks abroad. I go about my days eating bread, drinking wine, and watching non-French TV on non-French websites. It’s a simple life, really. Until I go on Facebook, and read about so-and-so’s internship in New York/D.C./San Francisco this summer. I scoff, take another swig of wine, and think, “Ha. Internships.”

And then I think, “Shit. Internships.” The most dreaded yet sought after word in a college student’s vocabulary. I thought studying abroad would allow me to disconnect myself from the stress of on-campus life (i.e. conversations in the Blue Room about interviews on Wall Street; “daddy’s friend” helping someone out during the job search; the endless stream of Career Lab e-mails). Instead, I get brief but painful reminders that I’m graduating next May and will be forced to become a real person, and it’s terrifying. Continue Reading