I got off and went up from the underground – 360’d around…
Which famous statue?...
There were tourists EVERYWHERE. This was the heart of Munich, and it was the first day of Oktoberfest. It was packed. Around me was a beautiful church, the ornate Rathaus [city building] with its large clock, other statues and landmarks around – Where is my little Polish Ciocia? I paced around a bit, and saw a pillar fountain on the other side of the street. I went back underground took another exit and fortunately there she was next to that statue… I guess it was the famous one.
She directed me down one street, and guided me into a store. At the register she told me was one of her friends working. The woman was franticly working with probably a surplus of customers due to the tourists, but switched with a partner to come say Dzien dobry to her friend. Ciocia Zosia proudly introduced me as her relative from the states finally coming to visit, and I was so happy that she was so excited to have me around.
After that little stop, she said we were going to have a late lunch. I was actually a bit hungry – I hadn’t eaten since the morning. [ Now you may have seen Zep’s shirt from the previous post “Beer is Food”, which yes, that liter of “Liquid bread” probably had a scary number of calories, but I was ready for lunch]. Ciocia Zosia had something special planned that she said she only gets to do once or so a year when this event comes around, and that was to go to the Hofbräuhaus, the central brew house restaurant, and get some good Bavarian eats.
The Hofbräuhaus was very cool. It was connected to the Rathaus, and the inside was centuries old,with stone walls and painted ceilings. In fact, it seemed to be what the tents at the fair tried to make their temporary structures resemble – this was as realistic as it came. We weaved through the crowded tables and found one to join where we could fit two people – note the sharing and meeting new people again.
In fact, later in the meal, one woman asked where I was from and was surprised to hear America. Some people at the table probably didn’t hear us too well and just figured we were German since we were speaking it – and others that were closer probably were incredibly confused as to why their neighbors were struggling with German and fumbling with the language so poorly to communicate until they later heard our unique story that I was American and Ciocia ,Polish and German was our second language each for our communication. It must have looked pretty funny to see a teen and an older lady churning out grammatically incoherent sentences, and still holding great conversation.
Our waitress came over – and seemed to be truly bogged down by the job of lugging the literal kilograms worth of beer around in the typical mass delivery approach – and Ciocia asked if she could get a water for me [ I was definitely done after my beer from the morning] and a half liter of the weizenbier for herself. No go. Only liters of beer were served there for the Oktoberfest. Well, ok then, Ciocia ordered herself a beer bigger than her head – I had to help share – oh gosh.
We also ordered a very typical Bavarian staple for the festival, Schweinshax’n, a huge pork knuckle served with cabbage and kartoffelknoedeln – special potato-like noodle dumplings. When those plates hit our table, it was seriously a feast. That piece of pork was huge – it seemed that this entire festival was about being dense, rich, and big – entire liters of bier, slabs of pork, platters of wursts amongst other selections of sweets and cakes.
We barely managed to finish our meals, let alone the beer, but the food was delicious. I thought it was great to have been able to check out other parts of Munich during the weekend, and also have some great Bavarian food as well.
We were going to spend the rest of the evening checking out the surrounding city place and also head over to the Saturday evening Polish mass [ Ciocia laughed because there was going to be no communion for us after that beer, that was for sure! ]