June 2011


On your marks, get set… Celebrating 125 years of the Ku’damm.

Waiters preparing to runToday, in order to celebrate 125 years of the Kurfüstendamm, there was an old-fashioned waiter race!

And depending upon which part of the promotion you read, in German it was either a “Traditioneller Kellnerlauf”, the “DEHOGA Berlin Kellnerlauf-Cup 2011”, or the “Kellnerderby”.

No matter what you call it, with my traditional foil for such events (Snooker in Berlin) unavailable, I asked the best possible alternative, Der Irishe Berliner, if he was interested—fortunately he was and we met near the start-finish line in order to watch the races.

The first race was the Chef’s race that featured five young chefs carrying a pot of water down the 400-meter course. I do believe that the object of the race was to not just be first, but to not spill any of the water. I think that all spilled some, and at the finish line, the first across poured whatever water was left in his pot over his own head while celebrating his victory. Perhaps a clever way to avoid too many questions from the official judges.

From there we wandered around the race course over the next two hours as the waitresses ran (each carrying a latte macchiato), then the pages (bell-hops, really, each with a suitcase), bartenders (stopping to mix a drink at the 200 meter mark), beer delivery men (each lugging a case of beer), and last, but not least, waiters carrying half a glass of beer along with half a bottle of beer.

When examining the photos of the contestants in years past, one cannot help but feel that today’s contestants lacked a certain flair to their clothing. The shoes were mostly sport shoes—not what one would want your modern stuff to be wearing when delivering your food or suitcase at a fine establishment.

All said, it was a lot of fun, and it was fab hanging out with Der Irishe Berliner for a few hours.

Pages Running

Bartenders Running and Shaking

Bartenders with their shakers, having mixed the ingredients, shaking the rest of the way to the finish line.

Waitresses Running

The last waitress -- and I might note that she still had most of the drink in the glass. Other waitresses were wearing their drinks.

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