The Foreign Residents in the TRNC (TFR)
Oktoberfest at the Goethe-Institute Cyprus
By Ralph Kratzer
On Saturday, 12th October 2013, the Goethe Institute of Cyprus held the German traditional “Oktoberfest” in Nicosia.
The real “Oktoberfest” is the world ‘s most famous German beer festival and usually takes place in Munich annually with millions of visitors.
Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus is still divided into a northern part, the territory of the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)”, there the city is called Lefkoşa, and a southern part, which belongs to the “Republic of Cyprus”, also known as Southern Cyprus.
Between the two halves of the city there has been a UN buffer zone for decades now. In this zone is the building of the Goethe Institute in the immediate neighbourhood of the former luxury hotel “Ledra Palace”, after which the border crossing is named and which is now home to soldiers of the UN.
About 50 members of the TFR wanted to attend the festival.
Horst Gutowski, our Treasurer, organized a large bus which picked up the passengers at 4 different places and took us to the border in Nicosia. Some other members travelled in their private cars.
The passport formalities were promptly done thanks to the effective work of the TRNC border authorities.
Soon all the TFR participants had gathered in the garden of the Goethe Institute, and most of them had also quickly their first beer and snacks in their hands. That should change soon, unfortunately…
One hour after the start of the event, the garden of the institute was packed with guests.
The catering company who were taking care of the physical well-being of the numerous guests regarding food and beverages was clearly overwhelmed. Long queues formed in front of the food counter and the beer-dispensing facility. Then, in between, one of the two beer-taps broke down… for a beer festival a real disaster!
On the list of beverages the price of a pint of beer was shown, but ultimately only plastic cups with 0.4 litres were served for the same price, which many guests were not happy with.
However, for my part I was pleased with the evening… I had interesting conversations with nice table neighbours, made new contacts and had finally had enough beer to take a happy journey home.