Monday, November 15, 2010

Oktoberfest 2010 Day 2: Something German This Way Comes

Part 1

A prelude to the glory that is one of the most guten tag-in, sausage-eatin, liederhosen gawkin' days in the entirety of my life, I need to describe to you what the night before that day was like.

As a reminder, I was sleeping in a giant tent, meaning that there was naught but a small bit of canvas between me and the elements. Second, I was sleeping on top of a giant concrete slab, which does not make for a great way to stave off the cold. Third, the weather was like hell, but the thermal opposite. Not only was it a horrifying level of frigid already, but it was also pouring down rain at levels that would have rivaled that of Noah's floods.

It was one of the worst nights that I've ever experienced in the entirety of my existence. After coming back to "The Tent" with Mike post-fire, I spent the next 7 hours or so in a constant state of shiver. When I woke up, I was absolutely exhausted, plus borderline bronchial.

But when I woke up, got dressed in an awkward way that minimized skin-to-air contact, and braced myself for the outside world, I knew I had to rally. Because....because I was in the Fatherland during the greatest time of the year. Because damn it, I had an obligation as a stout, blond, bearded gentleman with an affinity for women in dirindl and a last name with a hard Z-sound to get out there and embrace German culture like it was a sweet sweet human-sized sausage.

And so, I made this speech:

video

Now tell me you're not inspired. That's practically Braveheart, Caesar crossing the Rubicon shit.

And with that, we gathered our spirits and a couple semi-friends, rubbed our tired eyes, threw on an extra pair of socks, and began the trek to Oktoberfest.

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Now, keep in mind: we're leaving our hostel at roughly 8am to even get a spot at a beer tent. When we got there, there were already lines all over the grounds. We scrambled around, looking for the shortest one at the Hofbrauhous. After winding our way around a giant, muddy line, this is what we walked in to:





Ja.

The tent officially opened at 9, and we had to wait forever to finally get our steins....



Don't judge me. It's a cultural experience.

And because we didn't want beer to be the only course at breakfast, we decided to split a pretzel.



Which just come in that size. Like everywhere.

About this time (i.e. - once we'd had roughly half a stein), we began talking to one of our neighbors, a German man named Toby.



After we chatted in surprisingly good English, he said the words that would shape the remainder of Mike and my day:

"Ve shood get drrunk togedder."

And that is how we spent the afternoon in Oktoberfest with real, honest-to-God Germans.

They all showed us around the fair, taking us far beyond the tents and sausage stands that we had limited ourselves to. Some highlights?













That's right, a Jumanji ride. Oktoberfest is the best.

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Eventually, we all decided that we were in the mood to sit and have another stein. And so we searched a few other tents, chatting and having a grand old time. Toby somehow managed to find another stein sitting around (number three on the da, for those of you playing at home), and it seemed to go rather quickly through him.



AKA - He peed here.

On the way, as a bonding experience, they bought us some authentic German shnapps (sour apple!) and they taught us how to toast. Then after a series of ventures into various, overly crowded tents:







However, we couldn't find a seat at any of them. Leading us to realize: it's harder to get drunk at Oktoberfest than one would imagine.

But we had some adventures nonetheless.







(Some adventures are best left untold)

Soon, though, they had to come to an end. One of our German friends got a headache, and wanted to go back to their hotel to lay down and take some Tylenol. Toby gave us his number and promised to text us to meet up later that night. We reminded him that our phone couldn't send or receive phone calls or send texts, and that he had to tell us exactly when and where to meet him in his text. He said he understood, and said they'd see us later.

And so Mike and I began to explore. And eat. Mostly eat though.

First point of awesomeness for German culture: their sharpshooting games?



Use crossbows.





Yup. German biker gang.

And look at Star Trek paintings on kiddie rides.



Then we decided to take a break from the Oktoberfest vibe for a bit and wander the city. We had had a lot of beer and sausage and walking on the day, and wanted to explore Munich a bit. The fact that we were out of cash also helped out decision making process, and we didn't know where to closest ATM was.

As we wandered the streets, we saw something that intrigued us:



Don't look at my blog like that. Mike and I are sushi-holics, and hadn't had our fix in a good, long while. When we looked at the menu and saw that it was cheap, looked at our freshly refilled wallets, and looked deep into our souls and saw what we were about to do was good, we dove in:



But its fine!



We had German beer to even it out.

Then we headed back to the main grounds to Germanize ourselves again with some wienerschnitzel:



And spent a little more time in an accessible beer tent before needing to call it a night for a bit. We headed to the train station (where we found this:)



(Nerds of the world unite!)

And headed back to The Tent.

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One final story: in case you were wondering, we DID hear back from Toby, at around 12:30 in the morning. We were almost ready for bed, but told ourselves that we would go out and meet them if they talked to us before one. His text?

"Hey, where are you?"

And so the second-most repeated phrase of the weekend (behind "follow the liederhosen" and in front of "ein bratvurst, bitte") became:

"Fucking Toby."

7 comments:

nova said...

Wait...there are RIDES at Oktoberfest?

soft nonsense said...

Which is why Disney is not the most magical place on Earth.

The Shanner of Attention said...

"Third, the weather was like hell, but the thermal opposite." My favorite sentence of this post.

Also, I could have eaten that entire pretzel by myself. Oh yeah.

Eleni said...

Sounds like a miserable night. They didn't have better blankets? And this is why I will pay for proper hotel rooms on my travels.

Mmm, giant pretzels. And that sushi looks good. When I was in Germany, I went to a Thai restaurant one time. It was nice, though, because I knew what a lot of the items were on the menu, unlike at other restaurants--turns out it's called "Pad Thai" in German as well as in English ;)

I did a "sharpshooting" crossbow game at King Richard's Faire. Actually hit the target on one of the shots, but I think I needed two out of three for the prize, or something like that. But I was six years old, so my parents were pretty shocked anyway.

Pat Tillett said...

this is a whole different experience from anything I've witnessed in our little german town. The food you are eating, the things you are seeing, are all amazing! I'm glad you're having a great time...

soft nonsense said...

Shanner - And who says I didn't at one point in time?

Eleni - When you're poor and there are no other rooms available, sleeping in a giant tent becomes your best option.

Pat - Why thanks! Believe me, I'm aware of how lucky I am to experience all this. Just wait till Greece, it will blow this out of the water.

The Illustrious D said...

Sharpshooting in liederhosen, world of warcraft and jordie leforge...

Germany: doing shit right since 1945.

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