Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Das Bier

[ The Beer ]

The Bierzelten were completely full, and it was officially afternoon – even though many were quicker than the clock to enjoy their first beverages of the day… some by far it seemed.

The streets were incredibly loud, there were people bumping everywhere, and you heard different languages all around you – German, English, Chinese, Drunken mumblings. The streets were cluttered, it was already messy denoting the celebrating taking place, and you had to dodge the horse-droppings as you also dodged aimless walkers in Lederhosen – but honestly that was all just part of the excitement of the event! It was really so much fun.

From the rowdiness of the first tent, to the streets, my friends and I met back up with the Americans that were already having a party at a long table of a crowded Biergarten attached to the first tent we were in. They were having a great time, and we got to share with them about the cool sights, sounds, and wet splotches of spilled beer on our backs from our exciting excursion to a neighboring tent to check out the countdown there, as well as the cool parade.

Of course, everyone was almost reprimanding “Where is your beer?!” and as intimidating as a complete liter mug may be, Jennifer was exactly right – we have to get one – we are AT OKTOBERFEST. The rule at the festival is that you must be seated to get a beer. This creates the long lines for seats and the crowds for tables, and the biergarten was definitely full. The American CBYX table was packed, and so Jennifer and I politely asked in German to this table near us if we could squeeze in. I thought Jennifer was nuts, because the table that we asked first had two very big Belgian guys at the end, and I really had no clue how I was going to wedge my ass into that spot – but it happened.

It is as if the culture of the festival is to cram as many people into your table as possible so everyone has an equal chance at a beer purchase – Teamwork! This environment actually allows you to meet – and be practically sitting on top of – some really cool people. We said hello and introduced ourselves to everyone in German, and then once we found out about everyone, Jennifer busted out into French with the big Belgian guys and I chatted with the neighbors to my right who were from London and Sydney each speaking with their respective accents.

We flagged down a waiter and ordered our drinks, and then someone else took a photo of us, which then the rosy-cheeked Belgians plopped their big souvenir Oktoberfest hats on our heads for the photo-op. It was honestly so fun to be celebrating just having fun itself with complete strangers.

Once we had our huge drinks – one Liter – 8.6 Euros [apparently it is big news every year in Munich how much the Liter will cost ] – we were up and about to clink ‘Prost!’ with our colleagues scattered around at other tables. Admittedly not being a drinker much at all, [Germans need a reminder that I am 19 – an age in this country that is almost ages past their norms for ordering a beer making everyone think it should already be a norm for me] and really only sampling things here when my host family or other hosts laugh that it is a ‘Cultural experience’. Well this was another cultural experience and the one Liter of beer was HUGE for me, and the remainder of the afternoon was resultantly warm and fuzzy to say the least.

It was great to catch up with some of the other American exchange students that I hadn’t seen since DC and catch up on their experiences in Germany and the gossip of everyone’s funny foreign situations. Our American table was probably obnoxiously loud, but this was really the first time where we were equaled or even beaten out by our surroundings. There were so many people, young and old, just having a great time.

Actually, some would walk over – most likely after a boost from their mugs of courage – and tried out some of their English on us. This one guy from Austria came and stumbled out his question “Are you guys… Americans?” and from there a lengthy conversation was opened up about cool places to check out in Germany, and where we should also go in Austria when we come [ I guess to him, it was inevitable! ]

[ The random guy from Austria ]

After an hour or two hanging out at the Biergarten and having a great time, it was time for me to head out – and for the Austrian guy already moving on in his blurry ramblings into Austrian history – time to kindly escape, and leave the festival to meet Ciocia Zosia again somewhere else in Munich. The rest of the Americans had a little over 12 more hours of their rendezvous, but I had a day and a half left to enjoy Munich with Ciocia.

1 comment:

  1. check out the creepy bald man behind mr. oesterreich