Category Archives: Videos

Movie clips from our experiences in Germany.

American Expat and His German Wife Return to the Hannover Adventure Zoo

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“That’s right, you filthy little animals — we’re back.”

This summer, my German wife and I returned for the second time to the Hannover Adventure Zoo. We were blown away all over again! The place is just so badass! It’s huge, with tons of wildlife, and they even have a boat tour. The Canadian Yukon exhibit is incredible all by itself, but you can also see exhibits from Africa, India, Australia and North America.

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A zoo so big it’s basically impossible to see in one day.

There’s so much to see, my wife and I always try to get to the zoo as early as possible. (We also pack as much beer as we can carry, which is totally allowed.) The sheer number of animals boggles the mind, and the thematic details are just amazing. It’s like Disneyland, only filled with deadly animals. You really have to see it for yourself.

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This one is not so deadly, but if you get too close he’ll kick you right in the zipper.

Anyway, we hope you enjoy this video, but even more importantly, we hope you can visit the Hannover Zoo in person! You’ll love it!

*** As usual, this video contains a few swear words. (If it didn’t, it just wouldn’t be any fun at all.) ***

Would you like to see our first video from the Hannover Zoo? Check out our post, The Hannover Adventure Zoo – As Experienced by A German-American Couple in Germany.

And for more information about the incredible Hannover Zoo itself, check out www.zoo-hannover.de

Thank you for visiting our blog! We hope you have a fantastic summer!


 

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The 2013 Soulplex Dance Competition in Hannover, Germany – As Experienced by An American Expat and His German Wife

2013 Soulplex Dance Competition Hannover Germany

Pictured: Rapidly moving hormone factories.

For my wife’s birthday this year, I bought tickets to the 2013 Soulplex Dance Competition right here at the Theater am Aegi in Hannover, Germany. Soulplex brings together dance groups from all over Europe, and the winner gets €2,500 Euros. This year, competing teams came from France, Belgium, the UK, the Netherlands and Germany — most of whom were teenagers or young adults. And I gotta be honest with you; if I tried even one of the high-speed dance moves these kids pulled off, I would pull a muscle, rupture a disk and paralyze myself before the music even started.

Before I describe the actual performances themselves, I’d like to begin by pointing out the 3 things I noticed upon entering the Aegi theater:

  1. Beer is allowed inside the auditorium. Beer, wine, liquor — whatever the hell — you can bring your indulgence of choice right to your seat. This is all business as usual for my wife and her German compatriots, but for an American expat living in Germany? This shit just never gets old! I love it! I must have hit the concession stand like 4 times for brew doggies, and the only drawback was having to make an equal number of hasty exits to the bathroom: “C’mon kidneys! Don’t fail me now!”
  2. The audience is comprised entirely of teenagers. When my wife and I walked into the auditorium, we discovered a pulsating, undulating hive of high school students. And they stank. Oh my God, this unwashed horde smelled like cotton candy and swamp ass. In every sweaty, sticky claw was a bottle of Coke and a bag full of Haribo gummy candies, and not one of these little monsters had taken a shower that day. So please, if you own one of these things, I beg you; make it wear deodorant. Shame it if you have to. Rub perfume samples under its armpits if you must. Just don’t let it group together with its friends inside a crowded theater, because when these things swarm, they sully they very air we breathe.
  3. Young girls scream like banshees. I kid you not, from the time the show started until it ended, there were girls screaming at the top of their lungs. They cried the names of their friends on stage and howled for their favorite teams, and none more loudly than the gaggle of hell-geese sitting immediately to our left. They shouted the name of one team in particular: Entourage (spelled ‘En2rage‘). But they didn’t just shout out, “Entourage!” like one might reasonably expect. They screeched the name, so it sounded more like, “AHNTOHRAGE! OH MY GOD, AAAHHHNNTOOORAAAAHHHGGE!” Now, I want you to imagine the veins popping out of their foreheads. Arteries just barely managing to contain the surge of pubescent wildfire coursing through their bodies. That’s how zealous they were about it. The sound was so grating I was sure their throats would give out — vocal cords exploding from their mouths like those snake-in-a-can practical jokes… oh, that would have been beautiful.

The show began with a scruffy-looking guy with dreadlocks as the MC. He rattled off some German and then introduced the judges. There were 3 of them, and they came from American and Canada. The judges performed solo routines, and then each team — no larger than 20 people — performed their routines in turn. The Wife and I wanted a team called ‘TOCSICK‘ to win. TOCSICK came from the Netherlands, and they were all girls. They wore white t-shirts, black pants and black lipstick. To be perfectly honest with you, they scared us a little. But they were awesome. Their routine seemed to be a mix of Hip-Hop and African dance, and I say that with absolutely no idea what I am talking about. They won 3rd place, but everyone in that auditorium knew they deserved 1st. The crowd went nuts for them and the other dancers got on the ground and bowed down to them. Literally. See if you can spot them in the video below.

This video captures snippets of each performance in chronological order, followed by the 3 finalist teams performing one more time for the judges. See if you can find the following: screaming girls about to blow out their voice boxes; our favorite team TOCSICK kicking ass; the founder of Soulplex, Darren Drake Baldric, proposing to his girlfriend; and the super queer routine by ‘Tom2Rock‘ with the blinking LED lights (that one was hilarious).

Would you like to see another one of our videos? Check out the 2013 Hannover Oktoberfest.

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The 2013 Oktoberfest in Hannover, Germany – As Experienced by An American Expat and His German Wife

Hannover Oktoberfest Ride 2013

“How do you say, ‘Stop the ride, I’m gonna hurl’ in German?” — Photo by Kai Nehm (http://www.flickr.com/photos/trau_kainehm/)

You know us: I am an American expat, my wife is a wacky German, and together we live in Hannover, Germany. Once again, we ventured to the Hannover Oktoberfest at the Schützenplatz fair grounds. This year, we rode all the rides, listened to all the music, ate all the food and drank all the beer. ALL OF IT. We also filmed the entire thing, so you can experience it with us! Check out the video below:

WARNING: Video contains a few F-bombs and some other swear words. (And screaming. Lots of screaming. From me, a full-grown man.)

Would you like to see another one of our videos? Check out our trip to the “Hannover Adventure Zoo.”

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German-American Couple Stumbles into Bizarre Free Show at the Staatstheater in Hannover, Germany

My German wife and I recently went to a free performance held at the Staatstheater in Hannover, Germany. It was a pretty spontaneous decision, and we had absolutely no clue what we were about to see. The show was called ‘Empört Euch,’ and it turned out to be a weird-as-hell vaudevillian performance featuring: people in fat suits; Eric Cartman singing about minorities at the water park; a unicycle-riding, shotgun-toting Teletubby; three idiots dressed up as twirling ladybugs, a frightening, spastic pantomime, an eardrum rupturing cover of the Tom Waits song, “The Black Rider;” and finally, a concert by a scary ‘bastard pop’ group.

WARNING: Video contains a few F-bombs.

If you’d like to learn more about that band playing at the end, check out Rainer von Vielen.

Click here to learn more about the term “Culture Shock.”

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The Hannover Adventure Zoo – As Experienced by A German-American Couple in Germany

Willkommen im Erlebnis-Zoo Hannover

“Can you feel the love tonight?”

The Wife and I finally made it to the Hannover Zoo. I was so impressed it blew my tiny expat brain straight out my ears. The Zoo is huge, with tons of animals to see and fun activities for everyone to enjoy — even for screaming kids, patient adults, and wildly immature Americans like myself. They even have a boat tour, which takes you past several of the exhibits as if you’re on safari. The Yukon exhibit is incredible all by itself, complete with a rustic fishing town and a huge crane jutting out over the polar bear exhibit.

The weather that day was perfect, and we arrived just before feeding time. We got to see hippos, polar bears, rhinos and timber wolves being fed. It was glorious.

One thing to note: The Hannover Zoo entrance fee is expensive. Like €27 euros per person expensive. You can buy 7 half-liters of beer for that! But once inside, you’ll see why it’s so expensive, and you’ll see right where all that money goes; the place is spotless. It’s clean and well-organized. It’s also decked out with so many little details and things to see, you’ll feel like you’re inside Jurassic Park (minus the horror and bloodshed).

Oh, and because this is Germany — yeah — you can drink inside the Zoo. Alcohol is totally allowed, so bring a huge bottle of hooch, a case of beer for backup and then go point at the monkeys and laugh. We even saw a bachelorette party toting a suitcase full of brew doggies, and they brought it with them on the boat tour! God damn I love this country.

Anyway, we hope you enjoy this video, but even more importantly, we hope you can visit the Hannover Zoo in person! You’ll love it!

NOTE: Video contains mild swearing, so be sure and turn your volume up real loud if you’re at work. :)

For more information about the incredible Hannover Zoo, check out www.zoo-hannover.de

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The 2013 Hannover Maschseefest – As Experienced by an American Expat in Germany

hannover maschsee lion sculpture night

“Go home American. You are drunk.”

The Hannover Maschseefest is a big celebration occurring every year between July 31 and August 18. It is a massive gathering of beer gardens, food stands and concert stages around the man-made lake known as the Maschsee. The Wife and I visited the 2013 Maschseefest several times, and we learned there are exactly 3 things to do there: eat, drink and listen to music until you are bleeding from every orifice.

In the following video, you will see a young Hannover-based band called That’s Why playing an acoustic version of Johhny B. Goode. These guys are awesome; they’re talented, they have stage presence and enough energy between them to power a nuclear submarine. One guy even played a melodica. (What’s it really called? A pianica? Key-flute? Blow-organ? …because all these names sound incredibly porno…) Anyway, he stands up and plays this wacky thing on his buddy’s back (which also seemed rather porno), and that’s when I decided this band was goin’ places. In fact, I predict you’ll see these handsome bastards in an American music video with a hit single before the end of 2015. Just you wait.

In this video, you’ll also see members of the Hannover DLRG (German Life Saving Association, which teaches search and rescue stuff, swimming classes and First Aid, among other things) floating down the Maschsee, eating and drinking as if they aren’t wading ankle-deep in goose shit. The Maschsee is just filthy; you’d think a bunch of trained First Aid volunteers would promote their organization with a little more respect for fecal-borne pathogens. But seriously, God bless ‘em for all the lifesaving work they do.

Finally, you’ll see a band performing at the Löwenbastion called Die Rexis und das Polyester Orchester, and they are exactly what you would expect from a band named after stretchy grandma pants.

This next video was recorded a few weeks later, on the last day of the Maschseefest. In it, you will see the Blaue Jungs Bolzum Shantychor Fankurve, which is an exhausting way of saying the All-Male Hamburg Pirate Choir. (Just kidding. They’re not really pirates.) As these gentlemen sing ditties of sailing woe, everyone in the crowd starts swaying in what is known in Germany as ‘Schunkeln.’ (You can see similar behavior in our Hannover Oktoberfest videos.)

And finally, here are a few terrible photos with comments. Click one to start the gallery, and as always, we hope you can dig ‘em!

For more information on the annual Maschseefest, check out http://www.hannover.de/Maschseefest/

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Video: French Team at the 2013 International Fireworks Competition in Hannover, Germany

Team-Frankreich-Intermède-Hannover-Internationalen Feuerwerkswettbewerb

“Woah nelly! Don’t get too carried away there, France.”

On June 8th, 2013, The Wife and I went to the Herrenhäuser Gärten here in Hannover, Germany, to see the 23rd International Firework Competition (Internationalen Feuerwerkswettbewerb). Each month of the summer features pyrotechnics set to music by a different European country. The June show was performed by the French fireworks team (Team Frankreich), and I gotta tell you, it was French as hell.

We were joined at the show by our wonderful friend from North Rhine-Westphalia, whom we shall refer to as “Legs for Days.” Legs for Days is a pretty German woman who is so tall she must squat every time we take a group picture lest she appear flanked by inebriated Oompa-Loompas.

Before the fireworks began, The Wife, Legs for Days and I walked around and checked out the different beer tents and concession stands. Among the crowd were French actors wearing these crazy-ass Alice in Wonderland type costumes, many of which involved stilts, props and various other accoutrement designed specifically to give you nightmares.

Here is a video I recorded of the French circus freaks in action (Warning: mild swearing involved):

Once we’d loaded our subconscious minds with enough creepy imagery to fuel our night terrors for the year, we took our seats and waited for the fireworks show to begin. Last year, The Wife and I saw the Croatian team’s performance, which was wild; a non-stop display of explosions and music, with lots of energy and not a moment of lull. This year, the French team held true to what you might expect of a people who think high art is pointing a video camera at a weeping clown at the beach while he steps on a robin’s egg or something. The fireworks display was very pretty and the music was lovely, but it was sparse. I got the feeling the French were taking a ‘less is more’ sort of approach to the whole affair.

I am an American, and to me, firework displays should be huge. Grand. Larger than life, and so rife with concussive reports and blinding lights my ears bleed and the eyeballs are burned from my very skull. Firework are rock and roll, goddammit, and these Frenchmen tried to class it up with an acoustic performance.

Check it out, but please note — these are the most interesting moments; the rest of the show reminded me I have the attention span of a fruit fly.

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Video: Expat Bachelor Weekend Ends with Frenzied Housecleaning and the TUI Marathon in Hannover, Germany

Over the weekend of May 5, 2013, my German wife was at an overnight bachelorette party with her friends in Braunschweig, Germany. I had the apartment all to myself, so I did what any self-respecting American male would do when his wife is out of town; I stripped down to my undies, watched porn, ate beans straight out of the can and drank a fifth of vodka.

The next morning, as I emerged from my coma of bachelorhood with nervous bowels and a headache, I left the apartment to go do whatever chores my wife had asked me to do before she left. I had no idea what those chores were because I wasn’t listening, but the point is I was in no mood to find myself in the middle of the goddamn 2013 Hannover TUI Marathon.

What follows is a video of this marathon, which I recorded with shaking hands and thinly veiled contempt.

I retreated from these strangely tribal sounds and dragged myself home. My wife was due to return from Braunschweig very soon, and she likes to keep our apartment nice. Now, remember, for the past 24 hours I’d had the apartment all to myself, so you can imagine how thoroughly its state of order devolved from “Euro Chic” to “Hurricane Pig Grenade.”

Check out these pictures I took 5 minutes before my wife walked through the door, when I was scrambling to clean up everything like a tornado made of panic and teardrops.*

* What has two thumbs and is totally up for the Husband of the Year Award? THIS guy.

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Video: When Spring Arrives, Germans Appear As If By Magic

After an extended winter, spring has apparently arrived in Hannover, Germany (even though it has been snowing balls since I wrote this post). I recorded this short video on April 7th, 2013, when tons of Germans came out to the Maschsee to drink some beer before wandering over to the AWD Arena to watch the Hannover 96 play against VfB Stuttgart. (And I have no idea who won because — try as I might — I just don’t care.)

Usually, when I jog around the Maschsee in the morning, its like a ghost town. No one around but me, a German or two and a couple of filthy geese. But when the sun comes out? Oh, it’s party time. Check it out.

(NOTE: If you’re wondering about that grunting noise at the end, it’s me lifting the camera up with my tiny little T-Rex arms.)

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Video: American Man Grudgingly Jogs Around the Hannover Maschsee in Germany

Jogging sucks. You know it, and I know it. Even professional athletes and marathon runners know it; they just won’t admit it.

Every stride is a test. Every thundering heartbeat, every burning lungful of air, every aching muscle and swollen joint is a lesson in willpower. Your mind whispers conspiratorially, “You know, we could make this end right now. We could stop this pain if we wanted to. We can run for real tomorrow; let’s just walk today. Walking is good enough, right?” And then some ancient German granny in spandex totally dusts you, and you think, “Not today, Raisin Wrinkles. I’m not losing this race to the old witch from Hansel and Gretel.”

And if you’re me, you pull out your iPhone and start filming things while you jog. Here is a video of me jogging around the Maschsee in Hannover, Germany. The circumference of the Maschsee is 6.3 km, or 3.9 miles. Pretty hard, for a terrible jogger like me. It’s even harder when I’m holding my iPhone out in front of me and talking at the same time. I got a lot of funny looks from the Germans I passed, but I ignored them all because I was too busy trying not to hurl.

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