A few weeks ago Maybole Pipe Band traveled to Arran for the Brodick
Highland Games and with them went a young German intent in taking part in
the heavyweight competition.
Fitted out in the kilt he took his place in the field and fulfilled a
dream, he shot putted, threw the hammer, lifted the barrels and attempted
to toss the caber, only his height restricted him from competing in
throwing the hammer over the high bar.
Behind him cheered 52 people from Maybole, band members and friends of
this extra ordinary man.
In 1998 Kai Uwe (oovah) Stutzkeitz arrived in Scotland to work, as a
waiter at Turnberry Hotel, his reason for doing so was quite simply to
improve his English. He had already qualified as a chef in his native
Germany and had spent one year in the Bavarian army under the German
national service system. He also undertook a journey around most of Europe
by car and then traveled to the Far East to complete a year out of studies
and army life.
Being an outgoing young man he soon discovered the night life around the
area and much of his free time away from the hotel was in the pubs and
clubs in South Ayrshire. In particular Kai visited the High Society bar in
Maybole and made many friends with the locals there.
All were very interested in this young German who frequented the bar,
smoking a pipe and soon real friendships were made. This was the point
where many lives have changed, not only Kai's but to all who decided to
He had a typical Scottish sense of humour which help him to endear himself
to everyone around him and he was also eager to learn the dialect as well
as slang words and phrases, needless to say he was caught out on numerous
occasions with his willingness to try out his new words on unsuspecting
females, on his most recent visit he did not accept that there was only
one meaning for the word fankle and refused to use it.
Kai lived in Scotland for a year and learned an embarrassing amount about
the lifestyles of the Scottish people, their cuisine, drinking habits and
most importantly whisky. The Germans love Scottish whisky and Kai was no
exception, he traveled all over to sample and buy whisky and shipped them
home to Germany where they would play an important part later on in his
Eventually Kai left Scotland to return to Germany and settled in the
Heidelberg area, he worked in an hotel before opening his own restaurant
in Malsch, a small town to the south of Heidelberg.
As a close friend of Kai, I went out to visit him on several occasions and
was present at the opening of his restaurant. He was still as enthusiastic
about Scotland as ever and I was to play the bagpipes in full uniform to
show the people that he was not just stocking whiskies and having Scottish
nights without some authentic touch to it.
Ever since I have traveled out 3 or 4 times a year to play at Scottish
nights and whisky tasting events, as a piper of course. Accompanying me
have been a host of his Scottish friends to experience for themselves the
way an ordinary German lives his life and how much knowledge they have
gained about Scotland from reading and most importantly from Kai himself.
During that time we have picked grapes, visited beer and wine festivals,
trade shows, hockey matches, played tennis, played at a volleyball match
for the national ladies team and mixed with people from all walks of life:
wine growers, vets, butchers, students and lots of others.
The most talked about and biggest event of the year is his official Burns
supper where his friends from Maybole are always welcome. We try to share
our Scottish traditions with the German people in the best social
circumstances we can offer, good eating, drinking, music, songs and poetry
and most of all friendship. We take with us the essential ingredient,
haggis, neeps and tatties, shortbread and more whisky.
Kai's whisky collection is over 200 bottles of malt and is arguably the
biggest in the area (if not the country). He offers the finest German
cuisine in his restaurant but people come from near and far to sample the
whisky he has on offer. His knowledge of whisky is quite unbelievable, he
has a fantastic sense of taste, a memory that could describe
characteristics in any food or drink and a preciseness to detail that
would attract you to sample anything knowing that what he has described is
exactly what you experience.
Kai is also a lover of cigars and pipe tobacco and has a humidor to match
his whisky collection. His friend Jens deals in tobacco and they have
raised an idea to flavour tobacco with whisky hence their latest trip to
Scotland to buy empty whisky casks and believe it or not a full cask of
Kai tries to travel to Scotland as often as possible but always makes it
for the guitar festival in Kirkmichael and the Arran games. He brings
friends with him and shares his knowledge and Scottish friends with them
as we do likewise.
Many people who read this would have met or know Kai to speak to or to
see. Whilst walking up Maybole High Street last week he was recognised by
many people and he turned and said to me, "this place is more like home
than the place I stay".
Kai has a great love for Scotland and its people and we have helped him to
see and to understand what Scotland is, but most of all this young man
from Germany has given a lot of people from Maybole an insight into his
native land and given us a great deal of laughter, kindness and plenty of