Oktoberfest in Munich
Yesterday was my very first real Oktoberfest. I had been to an awesome celebration at a hotel in Bahrain, but the Middle East take on these kinds of things is never quite right.
I was too cheap to buy a dirdil (the beer wench dress) because you could get 10 beers for the same 100 euros. Next year I’m going to cave in and buy one – it’s so fun to see halls full of strapping Germans, young and hold, in their Dirdils and lederhosen. And my friend Doug says that it really is different if you’re wearing the right outfit.
We made it to several tents. Each one is run by a different brewery, and they all have their own feel. We started with Spaten, which is known for being for the older crowd. They roast an entire ox and cut off of it as you order food, and the foodies in all of us couldn’t resist. Other great food of the night: German potato salad (a personal favorite), huge gingerbread cookies worn as necklaces until you get the munches, roasted chicken, a cheesy pasta with ham, and yummy pretzels.
We also hit up the Augustininan and Paulaner tent, which are known for serving the best beer and a rocking crowd. The beer was amazing! It comes in 1 liter glass steins, some of which actually break if you toast too hard or too often. If you’re really having a good time, you jump up on your bench to sing along and toast and revel. But if you’re having such a good time that you’ve just gotta jump up on the table and dance, you’ll be kindly escorted from the tent. So be as careful as you can after so many liters!
At every table we met with other Germans and travelers from all over the world, all of which quickly became our bestest of friends. As you walk into the Oktoberfest area, you first hear the hum of merrymaking, which gets more intense as the evening wears on, which means the band plays louder and louder, the people sing louder, and craziness ensues. The whole thing is incredibly festive and joyous – my face is a little sore from smiling so much. Amazingly my arm is not sore from so many lifts of the stein – which puts me on fine form to go back!