Since last minute train tickets and lodging in Munich were either too expensive or impossible to find, a friend of mine (from the Language and Culture class) decided to rent a car and drive there and sleep in the car. He invited Paul and I to go with him and another one of our friends. It was amazing.
Oktoberfest is just like a huge carnival with rides, games, souvenirs, delicious food; just with a disproportionate amount of beer garden. Although I thought it would be some sort of drunken debauchery the whole time, my experience was much more mellow than I expected. More like everyone is drunk enough not to worry about meeting new people or talking to people they don't know. So much fun.
So the best part was meeting and talking to all of these different people from different places. Here is a little outline:
Saturday morning (in line trying to get into the tent):
-America and British: both had very jobs in the financial business (and had been on vacation since before things started crashing). The American (from Indiana) was a stock trader in the pits in Chicago and had traveled so much that the he had filled his passport and almost filled the supplementary pages. They came dressed in Lederhosen that they had just purchased and planned to return to get their money back. Their plan was foiled, or should I say soiled, when the guy from Chicago peed his pants. He wasn't trying to run to the bathroom, didn't try to hide it, but just stood there, in a very crowded line of people and peed.
-Two Americans working in Kuwait: They were really fun and very nice, and relatively normal. Craig and Michelle. They reminded me a lot of people I know.
Saturday (sitting outside the tents in a beer garden):
Four Germans- Two from Munich, the others were at Oktoberfest for the first time. Not all Germans do the Oktoberfest thing, and even then, not all of them go to Munich. It is a pretty regionally thing. And all of the people dressed up in Lederhosen and Drendls, of which there were plenty, wear them only for Oktoberfest. Also, I want some lederhosen. Anyway, when we sat down with these Germans, one of them was already not feeling well and it was only about noon. Throughout the few hours we were with them he started to feel better, but another one of them passed out on the table. And yet another one, when I found out he was on facebook and asked him to write down his name for me, struggled for about ten minutes before handing me my notebook back with his name half-written and scratched out four times and then his illegible email address written out once. He had a very hard time writing his name.
some delicious food and a few more layers of clothes later:
Saturday night (different beer garden):
-Two Irish men- awesome, perverted, and had tons of dirty jokes.
-A stag party (Bachelor Party) of British guys from Nottingham. They all dressed up in pin-striped suits, ties, suspenders, and bowler hats (their interpretation of the British equivalent of Lederhosen). The groom-to-be, Brent, made it very clear that his had was at a "jaunty angle." Very fun guys. I had two songs sang to me, got to wear the jauntily-angled hat, and got the business card of one of the friends who wanted to know if my older sister would be interested in dating "a slightly overweight, but very muscular middle-aged British man."
Sunday Morning(started drinking beer out of Liter mugs at about 9:30am):
-French George and his father: The didn't speak much English, but they were very nice and offered to show us around Paris, when we visit.
We didn't get to see much of Germany on the way there, since we drove all night, but on the way back, we stopped in Nurnberg briefly just to see the Zeppelin Grandstand. It was huge and quite interesting to be there and think about what went on there and who stood where you were standing. (I will hopefully get to see more of Nurnberg when I visit the Dietz family at a TBD date). We parked and slept in Frankfurt, and then stopped (also briefly) in Koln to see the famous cathedral there. We got to see the end of a service, which was beautiful and had the most amazing sound quality on the organ music at the end. Then we climbed the 500+ steps to the top of the tower, which was also amazing.
On the way back we got to stop by Maastricht and see some friends from the Language and Culture Class that we spent a few days with before moving to Leiden.
Overall: amazing weekend!
(Pictures will be up soon)