Destinations > Europe > Germany > Bavaria > Munich > Travel Blog: So ist mein Leben, im Deu ... > OKTOBERFEST!!! Prost!!

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So ist mein Leben, im Deutschland So this is my life, in Germany

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Birthday party and a night out dancing - Previous Entry


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Friday, Sep 26, 2008  10:30

Entry 49 of 49 | show all | print this entry

This is totally wicked; I am going to Oktoberfest.  Seriously.  I live in Germany, I speak German and now I am going to Oktoberfest.  This is wicked awesome.  Harald has never been and took the day off, so that we could go together.  I'm excited to get my hands on a giant glass beer pint.  And then really excited to drink the beer inside. 

Let me give you a little background on Oktoberfest, for those that haven't taken 3 German history classes:  Oktoberfest has actual historical roots.  It dates back to this wedding between Crown Prince Ludwig (who eventually went onto to become King Ludwig I) and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen (try saying that 5 times fast!).  The two became a pair on October 12, 1810.  As a wedding present to themselves, they organized a horse race and naturally drank some beer.  Oktoberfest has had some excitement in its times:  in 1812, Oktoberfest was cancelled because of Bavaria's involvement in the Napolenoic war;  in 1819, the citizens of München/Munich took over management responsibility and moved Oktoberfest into the end of September, which had better weather and would bring in more tourists (i.e. money) but it always ends in October;  1854, 1866, and 1870 1912-1918, 1923-1924, 1939-1945 festivals were also cancelled due four wars and disease.  In 1980, a pipe bomb was set off.  13 people were killed and about 200 were injured- although some didn't feel it because they drank so much beer.

According to Wikipedia, this year Oktoberfest had 6.2 million visitors and about 4000 items of lost property- glasses, cell phones, a wedding ring and 2 crutches.  I have to tell you, at first I was surprised at the large number of items that people lost or forgot about BUT then I remembered what it was like when I was at Oktoberfest and I could imagine it happen.  First, people don't pay attention to their personal items in their normal, daily life.  Second, you add in alcohol to the equation and of course you end up with lost stuff.

Now let's go inside.  Harald and I drove to Munich.  I am dressed in my chic and warm Oktoberfest outfit: good-looking Vanity jeans, VS bra, white tank from Express and another from Old Navy, gray low-cut hoodie thermal from Nike, black high-neck Nike jacket, star-flecked scarf in rainbow colors, blue and white Nike Shox Experiences and a black across-the-body purse.  My outfit was incredibly important for two reasons: 1) I wanted to look good, so that I could get some phone numbers; 2) I had to wear layers so that I wouldn't get cold late at night.

Once we got to München, we checked on Harald's navigation system and found a parking garage about 2 minute walk from Oktoberfest.  You can check out the video when I load it but even at 12 noon, there were tons of people coming to the festival.  We headed straight towards the beerhalls and after the 2nd beerhall, we found a place to sit.  The tables in the beerhalls are reserved like a year in advance but we got lucky.  We saw a group who wasn't using their entire table, Harald asked me if we could sit for a little bit and the dude said we could stay for an hour or two maximum.  The group turned out to be really cool- we talked wtih them a little bit, they asked me about Denver and if I was enjoying my time here in Germany; I asked them questions about the table renting and Oktoberfest in general.  We ate a traditional German lunch including meat, potatoes and beer and then got the heck out of dodge.  The table next to us was full of drunken Canadian men who were looking at me like they were thirsty and I was a tall glass of water.

Inside the beer tent is chaos.  There are like 10,000 people in here, all drinking or singing drinking songs or laughing at jokes.  They are eating or ordering or just plain making noise.  There is also a band playing traditional music in the middle of the tent but I can't make out the song.  The waiters and waitresses are rushing around, bringing out food.  The average take-home pay for working Oktoberfest for the waiters and waitresses is $10,000 Euros.  That is about $20,000 USD for working 3 weeks.  Of course the work is hard, it can be hot inside the tents, your feet are barking after lunch and you have to be able to carry like 15 glass biersteins in your hands (those suckers are heavy).  But for that money, I think just about any of us would do that, especially during these hard financial times.  Better than selling drugs or your body (not that I advocate those practices NOR have I ever done that).

We walked around, looking at the different booths, eating some nuts, ice cream, chocolate-covered fruit on a stick, etc.  We rode some rides- they have roller coasters for adults and rides for the kids.  It's like the German Taste of Colorado- only German food, only German speaking, only German beer, only German clothing, usw.    Ahh... German clothing.  Yeah, I had forgotten to mention that.  Harald did not explain that everyone who comes to Oktoberfest wears traditional German clothing.  Men wear liederhosen and the women wear dirndl.  They all vary in styles and colors- from the traditional to the short and sexy.  Next time, I am wearing a dirndl.  A hot sexy dirndl in red or something hot.  With some hot knee-high boots and plenty of clevage spilling from my top.  And whoever I am coming with, it will be my boyfriend or husband, will be wearing lierderhosen.  In matching red.  We're going to look hot.

Back to this year though.  We stopped at an outside beer tent and I got hit on by a dude from a small town outside of München.  Too bad I couldn't understand him when he spoke German and barely when he switched to English.  Cute though and his friends were funny because they were drunk and doing stupid things.  Then we walked around some more until I saw a cute hat.  I had seen a bunch of people walking around wearing Oktoberfest shirts and hats but I saw one that I really wanted.  Harald ended buying it as a gift, which was cool.  I don't get a lot of gifts- although I have been getting tons since I moved out here!! THANKS FOR MY CARE PACKAGES!!- and it was a really cool souviner.  I felt like I fit in for once here in Germany, not like a tourist or visitor, but like a real German.  It was a really nice feeling.  Plus I do look good in the hat AND it fits my extremely large Michael head.

We walked some more (getting the picture here? we walked 1000 miles for Oktoberfest) and I saw another ride I wanted to go on.  Harald took my personal stuff and I waited in line.  As I waited, I turned around and the dude behind was wearing a kilt.  I asked him in German and then in English where he was from and why he was wearing the kilt.  His name was a total Scottish name like Seamus or Eagan but I couldn't hear very well, so we moved on in the conversation.  He kept asking me if I was afraid to ride the roller coaster because it was high and fast but I told him getting scared was fun to do on roller coasters.  We talked a little more, I explained what I was doing in Germany and he told me he was on a vacation with 18 buddies and finally we got on the ride and had a good time, screaming and laughing the entire time.  I was more worried that his kilt would fly up and his package would be seen by the people watching us below.  But unfortunately it didn't happen- unfortunately for the older women in the crowd, not for me.

Harald and I drove bumper cars for about half hour and that was interesting.  An Italian man asked me to drive his bumper car using body language after he tried to steal my new hat.  I did oblige because I wanted to drive the bumper car again but he couldn't speak English or German and I didn't speak Italian, so our relationship was over before it began.  Also, he didn't look so hot.  He looked gross.

So we got tired of walking around and decided to head home.  I ended up sleeping a little on the way and then crashing like a stone when we got home.  What a great day!!

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
Procurement Consultant
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