This summer when I was still waiting for my vacation I looked at my calendar and found the autumn to be very long. In spring there are lots of days off and long weekends but the fall has none of that! However, I did have some extra vacation days so I’ve made some long weekends. For September I took off to visit my friend M in Munich and celebrate Oktoberfest. Upon arrival Thursday afternoon we met up at the airport and went into town. The weather was cold and rainy and needless to say I was underdressed. So with this whole drindl shopping I was like no, nope that won’t happen! It’s expensive, I’ll never wear it again, I’ll freeze to death and so on. We came home empty handed.
For Friday M had some classes so I had a lazy morning to myself before I went in to meet up with her. We had lunch and a stroll in Olympia park, the weather was nice so I gave in and we actually went and got me a drindl. Evening was spent at the house with a homecooked meal and lots of talking. M is a really good cook and she’s a talker too 😉
Then came the day of the opening of Oktoberfest! It’s a Saturday morning and we get up before 7 am. Breakfast, getting dressed and then heading out in the 12 degrees Celsius and rain. We got together with some classmates of M’s and started for the festival area. By now we were from three continents, spoke over six different languages and the time was still not 10 am. The area wasn’t very crowded yet, we didn’t really have a good idea for which tent to go for so when we came upon a line we figured this would be as good as any.
This is when we ran out of luck and the fun stopped (should have kissed that damn pig..) We stod there in the rain and wind for 2,5 hours before we gave up. By then the line behind us was gone, we never got in to see the mayor break the barrel, we didn’t see the parade, we couldn’t get in anywhere else so we still walked around cold and wet, hungry and I must admit more and more grumpy. When we later that night talked to M’s landlord all the things we had done by mistake shouldn’t have been possible to start with, the line should have been for the front gate and not the back so we would have been able to see the parade, the tent in is self should have let people in at 12 but again maybe we where just by the wrong door and no one told us..
Anyways, we split up for a while and I got some food in me, M played some games and won a teeny tiny Nemo – all happy again we found the others who had managed to get a table outdoors but under a heater and the rain had finally stopped so all was good. Here came my second mistake though (can’t even blame bad luck on this one) – if you don’t like drunk people when you are sober either don’t go to a beer festival or don’t stay sober. I did both. Still had a good time the first couple of hours but maybe not the last. By six pm I was quite ready to do something else and I was hungry again. We did get going, my friend maybe a bit more than the tipsyness she argued and here the evening took another turn for the worse. M lost her purse. We don’t know where but the guess is in the washroom and that the one who found it felt a need for it… Besides money there was also the housekey and her passport with all visas and such. So we started looking for the purse, back where it could have been lost, at the lost&found and then also reporting the missing passport to the police. During all this we still haven’t eaten, we are tired, my friend is drunk and my people skills suck so I don’t think I’m helping much. By 10 pm we are back home, let in by the houseowner and go straight to bed. What a day!
Last day of my trip M is still feeling a bit under the weather, both for the loss of her passport and being a bit hungover. We basically chill the whole day, go for dinner before my flight and I have a delayed but uneventful journey home. So all in all I had a nice change of air, got to see and spend time with my friend who I hadn’t seen for years and learned how not to celebrate Oktoberfest. Lessons learned:
- Read up on how things work before going to the festival area, don’t trust hearsay and even if there are new rules which says no umbrellas – bring a crappy one to throw away if true, otherwise just stay dry
- Also decide which tent to go to, have a game plan set and stick to it, don’t stand in random queues
- If possible don’t go the first day at all, too much hype and people
- or go the first day to see the parade, the festival area and just walk around, if there is room in a tent – goody have a beer!
- Don’t buy your drindl the day before, all tourists coming in that day are all in desperate need of one and the lines in the shops are excruciating
- Equip your drindl like a pro, or local – wear the warm cardigan (so worth the extra €80), the woolen knee socks and the complementary purse – that purse will be aloud in the area so no need to wear say like a wrist purse…
- Leave all important stuff at home, bring cash only, glue the key into your bra or something and keep identification out, no one asked to see it anyways
- If you hate beer 1) either don’t go to a beer festival 2) drink anyway 3) drink wine? 4) just drink ok?!
- It’s Oktoberfest, in September, just have fun!
End note, M got her passport and housekey back but lost her cash and purse, I still say that’s a happy ending!