as i write this, i am drinking a bier.. which i NEVER thought would happen. everyone who told me i would, you were correct. svedka is going to have to take the back seat for awhile.
i am in the apartment of lewis’s good friend thomas he has not seen in 8 years. my view is of the BMW headquarters and the setting sun. i don’t think there is anywhere i would rather be, besides maybe a beach. thomas was a foreign exchange student in south dakota at lew’s high school and now lives in munich. meant to be, right?
i slacked on this blog post because i have been so busy/in denial. it is comparable to waiting to read the last chapter of a book or not wanting to finish your favorite TV show on netflix because it’s like, “now what?” the blog posts about oktoberfest and münchen means the end is near.
ideally, i should have had 3 to 4 blog posts about munich but now i need to condense it down to 1 or 2 – time flies when you’re having fun!
when we arrived to munich, lewis’s friend thomas greeted us at the train station. let me just say that the train station was nuts. there were people from all over the world dressed in driedls and lederhosen. we saw extremely drunk men at 6 pm getting in fights, police officers gloving their hands and running around the station. dozens of police officers were there to break up fights or assist those who were vomiting all over. i couldn’t wait!
we went to a traditional bavarian restaurant after settling in and got a taste of the oktoberfest side of germany. in these places, you sit at any open table you want (which means sharing a table with strangers), unlike the states. the tables have room for about 8 people. so if you aren’t with 8 people, you will join smaller parties and all sit down together.
german food is very heavy. bread dumplings, sausage, roast pork, gravy, potatoes, fries. so delicious! i ordered pork shoulder with a dumpling and gravy and couldn’t be more satisfied. i also got a giant beer, of course. it was nice being with thomas since he could translate the menu for us and speak to the waitress.
the next day, thomas’s girlfriend’s mom (stay with me here) had to spend the night unexpectedly and arrived in the morning. so it was me, lewis, thomas, and thomas’s girlfriend’s mom in a one bedroom apartment. thomas’s girlfriend was traveling for work so she was not there. confused yet?
the best part of all of this is that thomas speaks german, lewis and i speak english, and the mom spoke spanish. thomas was the only way of communication. talk about language barriers.
to give her privacy and to hopefully make it less awkward (after thomas left for work), lewis and i left to go to the mall. in actuality we did this so i could exchange my lederhosen for a bigger size; my butt was too big for the ones i already purchased. i had to be ready for evening and wanted to dress for the occasion. lewis did not want to dress for the occasion but settled on an oktoberfest sweatshirt.
we headed to oktoberfest around 7:30 pm on thursday and it was like nothing i expected! for starters, it is a huge fair ground – much like the state fair. also, arnold schwarzenegger was there. we were not able to get in the tent he was at (shocker), but we did get in to another tent without any issues. thomas warned us this was rare and for it to be extremely busy on the weekend.
fyi: these buildings are called “tents” but are not actually tents. they appear to be a tent on the inside due to decoration, but are huge concrete buildings on the outside.
i could not believe how many drunk people were in one place. mmm.. naturally the first thing we see is an indian guy passed out, puking all over himself. his two friends pretended to not know him, drinking their beers and watching the police help him up and carry him away. unfortunately, this scenario happened more often than not.
to order beers you needed to be at a table, which were all pretty damn full. it was close to 8 pm and still pretty busy. please keep in mind the fest starts at 9 am.. this means a lot of drunk people for a long time. i would guess there were 2,000 people in there, if not more. also, this was only one of six tents.
we finally found a spot after pushing through the crowd. we stood on the tables like everyone else, greeted immediately by a beer maiden to take our orders. everyone was dancing and singing, jumping up and down. what an experience. i remember thinking, “i cannot believe i am at oktoberfest in germany!” i clanked my huge beer mug against lew and thomas’s as we sang and danced with the rest if the crowd.
the funny thing is that the bands played popular songs in english like “it’s raining men” and “i will survive”. everyone knew the lyrics.. but a lot of people don’t speak or even understand english. that was common in every country we went to, american songs. i wonder if people even know what the songs are about or if they just sing along without knowledge?
after a huge beer, i was proud i was not falling on the ground or looking like a zombie.. stumbling around like a baby taking its first steps.
we moved on to another tent which was even bigger and there were no tables to stand on this time. completely packed. we managed to wave down a beer maiden by standing near a table, and met some new friends who spoke english. sebastian and bilbo. okay, his name was not really bilbo.. but he looked identical to bilbo baggins which has caused my memory to disregard his real name. anyway, they were both german and extremely friendly which was refreshing. they also were not black out drunk!
a man who spoke english came up to us and kept thanking everyone for oktoberfest and kissing their hands. his beer splashed out of his mug as he ran around trying to kiss everyone. hi, maybe you should stop drinking. luckily he did not see me. this is what makes me happy about being short – being able to hide in the crowd or behind my tall boyfriend. bilbo and sebsatian were on the same page as us and tried to “shoo” the guy away. i bet he threw up a few times later that evening? he would not go away. i watched a girl push him away and he almost fell over. when he disappeared in the crowd everyone was relieved.
they stop serving beer around 10 pm and we left a little before that. we ate bratwursts happily before heading back to thomas’s. the journey back to his apartment was a treat. more zombie-like people were stumbling around as the more “sober” friend would try to lead the way. the trains were packed and i was afraid someone would throw up on me. they didn’t.
traditionally, lederhosen are leather shorts or pants with suspenders. 95% of men had these on. typically the more sober friend would grab their drunk-er comrade by the suspenders (from behind) and try to drag/direct them on to the train, down the street, etc. imagine a child on a leash at disneyland. yeah, it was like that. hopefully the fact i remember all these details shows you i was not incoherent and can drink responsibly. 🙂
it was a blast and was excited to go again on saturday. little did i know that it was going to be 100% busier, even with thomas’s warning.