Stuffed full of Eisbein (pork knuckle)!

Stuffed full of Eisbein (pork knuckle)!

Every year, the first Friday in November is a significant date in the Mares calendar, because it means stuffing ourselves with Eisbein! Last Friday, it was that time again: the Hamburg Shipbrokers’ Association’s (VHSS) 66th Eisbeinessen was held at Hamburg Congress Centre. This year, Mares had reserved eight tables for its guests.

Ruhe vor dem SturmAlthough we are guests at the event and can enjoy the evening, the organisation begins weeks in advance. And even on the day of the Eisbeinessen itself, the organisers are still unable to relax: the final purchases have been made, the name badges have been printed, and the final touches have been made to the seating plan. As we’ve done several times before, Mares invited its guests to a reception at its offices beforehand. The caterers from “der Blaue Hummer” transformed our conference room into a bar area for the event. From the outset, the atmosphere was very lively as we eagerly anticipated the world’s largest and most important industry event. IMG_2910

After a few drinks and nibbles, we proceeded to the Hamburg Congress Centre together. The coach transfer was somewhat reminiscent of the school trips of days gone by, and ensured that our guests and colleagues were in high spirits. Having arrived at the venue, everyone first fought their way through the thick cloud of cigarette smoke in the lobby to get to the bar. The event then got underway around 6:30 pm.

The Brazilian carnival troupe, Maracatu Nation Stern der Elbe, got the proceedings off to a pulsating start, thus drawing attention to this year’s partner country, Brazil. Hamburg’s Mayor, Olaf Scholz, delivered the opening speech for the shipping industry’s international gathering. 5,000 shipbrokers, shipowners and freight forwarders from 50 different countries had come to consume four tons of pork knuckle, 800 kilos of sauerkraut, 700 kilos of potatoes, 400 kilos of smoked pork and 9,000 litres of beer.

No-one came around with glasses of “Aquavit” that evening, because they were on the table as usual and jauntily raised in a toast whenever an opportunity arose. Probably to those who had already eaten well at lunchtime. Serving the pork knuckle, smoked pork, turkey and vegetables was once again a logistical masterpiece. All the tables were served at almost the same time. But there is no sitting still for long at the end of the Eisbeinessen. The “Big Pig” disco opened its doors from 10 pm. And as always with Mares, the celebrations continued until the early hours. This year’s 66th Eisbeinessen was a huge success. We were able to strengthen existing relationships, make new contacts and had a great deal of fun. And next year on the first Friday in November, it will again be time to stuff ourselves with Eisbein! We’re already looking forward to it.

20141107_19233320141107_19334320141107_19312620141107_19263720141107_192342 20141107_192333