Last weekend my husband had a wild and crazy time at Oktoberfest. Here, in his own words, he spills the beans! Enjoy!*
Where do I begin? Okay folks, let’s first close our eyes, take a deep breath, exhale and take this story with a grain of salt and four Tylenol- as this story ends; quite literally. I was on a mission, to have a crazy wild night with two of my best pals and an infinite number of strangers. Against better judgment, but at the behest of my loving wife/taxi (we’ll get there), I will go through the cleaner moments of the adventure and give some do’s and bad ideas of Oktoberfest.
First, let me debunk for any who have not yet had the opportunity of attending this awesome festival that it isn’t anything like movies you might have seen with men and women in their lederhosen/dirndl’s flooding the streets in drunkenness and disorder; mostly. Really though Oktoberfest provides an atmosphere of fun for all ages. Basically it is the largest month long carnival that you can imagine. For those of you Texans out there, it’s comparable to the State Fair, which I am missing terribly, with a multitude of rides, games, food stands, and souvenirs. The majority of the drinking takes place inside “tents” or buildings and beer gardens.
Now we can delve into my day.
0530: Wake up, get all schnazy, go get my buddy from across post, make it back to get Amy and my other pal.
0645: Get dropped off at the second nearest train station and head towards our halfway point of Regensburg.
0845: Get on the train to Munich full of lederhosen, drunken Russians, dirndls, and of course…no open seats. This was the stage for our “pre-gaming” for the real party ahead of us. Bad idea #1: Buy the cheapest liter of vodka to use as the engine starter. Between the three of us we finished off the bottle and each had a beer. At this point the game is on and we are all three sheets to the wind. What, I’m a lightweight. Fun fact from the train: Did you know that you Germans still have reparations to be paid for WW2 taken out in their taxes? Gero, a young guy traveling with a group of 16, explained this to me on the way there.
1037: We arrive in Munich. There are no definite time markers I can use from this point on. We make a quick pit stop at the latrines before we head out to try and drink Munich dry (a task soldiers have been trying for 40+ years).
After lots of stumbling and yelling and left turns, or right turns, we arrive at the Oktoberfest grounds.
The key to actually getting a ‘Bier’ at Oktoberfest is making it into one of the biergartens or tents. Believe it or not, many people seeking this beverage leave empty handed because they can’t find a way into one of these meccas. I was feeling pretty loose so I told my pals to lock arms with me and I would dance my way to the front of the crowd to the opening rope. Note: Oktoberfest bouncers are the largest most hairy men I have ever seen…super scary. In short I wiggle us through the crowd and I think because, as I can only imagine I looked super ridiculous doing this and had the crowd’s attention, a bouncer shuttles us in quickly through a side rope entrance. WE’RE IN!
We get a table in the biergarten and toast to our current and future successes. The great thing about Oktoberfest is that if you’re out for meeting your new best friend, you’ll probably succeed. I didn’t see anything but friendly and inviting people while I was there. It was a rainy day so we got wet on the inside after getting wet on the outside. We figured that it would only get worse so we moved to a table closer to the door into the tent. This is where the fun comes to a halt. I get up and make my way to the enormous line for the latrine and upon my return I find one friend standing over the other, clinching his stein as though he was going to club him with it. After some interrogation and messy details omitted for the readers pleasure, one friend relieved himself at the table…on the other friend’s shoes and pants. L
We avoided conflict and separated for better results. Tip #2: Never separate from the group you go with and if someone seems too loose, just leave; it will be better for all the next day. When I get back from seeing friend #1 off, I find that friend #2 has disappeared. At this point, it’s a bit hazy but I know I end up making my way into the actual tent…somehow. I don’t know AN.E.ONE. inside so I decide to make friends. I sit at the first open seat at the first open table I find. Turns out, two of the Austrians at the table studied at the University of Texas for a semester abroad and I am instantly a welcomed celebrity.
Near the end of the night I receive some bad news bears phone calls. I learn that Friend #1 has left on the train solo. Then later I learn that Friend #2 has been taken to the psychiatric ward of a hospital in Munich. Apparently, blacking out and yelling about Afghanistan will get you the celebrity treatment in Munich. At this point I am literally going it solo and have to figure out how to get back on my own. In my stupor I lose track of time, the tent is closing down, and I am basically carried out to the train station by two of my new friends (Thank you Sebastian and Stefan*). I make it to Regensburg on the last train out of Munich, but there are no more trains from Regensburg. It is roughly 2 AM. I call my guardian angel/taxi and she bolts down to Regensburg to get me. Oh thank God the agony is almost over.
An overall fun day, 8 liters of beer, and a crazy night will be my first and last Oktoberfest. The bier was great, the people greater. I would advise that if you go to Oktoberfest, have a plan and strictly follow it. In truth it was an experience that I’ll never forget or never remember depending on the time. Thank you to my new friends of the night: Chris and his sister(Australia), four college girls(Cologne), 3 kids including Jane(Italy), Stefan and Sebastian(Austria), Jeff and Andrew(Ohio), Martin and Beto(Bavaria), Daniel/Mike/Mike/Sasha(Switzerland)and the one we called “España” who wore a boars head hat thing (Spain).
What was your wildest night? Have you been to Oktoberfest? I really just like writing in bold as my wife normally does. Tschus!