A quick note to the readers:
I am constantly receiving boat loads of feedback from my loyal fans (by loyal fans, I, of course, mean myself). Most of it is very positive, but there is occasionally a snarky remark and sometimes even a suggestion on how my blog could better improve someone's life. I take this responsibility very seriously. One piece of feedback I have received lately is that there is too much time between my posts and then the posts are actually too long and dense and filled with so much useful information that it's hard for any one person to digest in even several sittings. Well my loyal readers, I am listening and I am going to try to post smaller portions of my trip, but more often.
And here is the first of said smaller posts...
Almost 4 months ago, I went to Oktoberfest. It was in September (because there is no month named Oktober...the spell check doesn't recognize it).
|I'm wearing the blue shirt 25th row from the front, 6th from the left side|
Something like 600,000 (pronounced 600,000 when you say it in German) people per day go through Oktoberfest. This means that lodging is really, really expensive and sells out way in advance. With the lack of foresight and planning that we put in, we were forced to stay in tents....tents in a park....tents in a park setup by a bunch of Belgian guys in their mid twenties looking to make some money from high prices and do a little partying themselves. Webster's dictionary defines this situation as: "shit show".
|Our five-star hotel in Munich|
These lovely accommodations actually ended up feeling appropriate, though, given the scene and atmosphere of the festival. It was just complete, no holding back drunkenness.
|Warning: Graphic image above (or was I suppose to warn you before the picture?)|
|Hi Brecht and beers|
|Good night Abe!|
The Oktoberfest grounds is 100 acres of carnival rides, food stalls and of course giant beer tents. There's about 15 of these beer tents on the grounds that are actually more like warehouse size open areas with picnic table style seating and up to 10,000 person capacities.
|Hard to get a feel of the scale...but its big|
There's a brass band at the center of each of these tents and they play such German hits as Sweet Caroline and The Time of my Life. Yes, you're basically at a giant super drunk wedding without having to remain in control because nobody's grandparents are watching. Every 10 minutes or so, the band plays this song (which everyone sings along to) "Ein Prosit, ein Prosit", and then a bunch of other words in German that I don't understand. I'm told it is to pay homage to the late great German Chancellor......
|I may have had a pint or two|
|Remote Year bonding time|
In between songs the general action in the tents is when someone stands up on the top of their table, pumps up the crowd and then chugs a full liter of beer. Everyone cheers and pounds on the table in support. This process moves around the room as different people stand up on their table for their ten seconds of glory. I saw one guy chug three liters in a row; OMG (I think he's dead now). And to answer your next question, no this activity is not sexist. I saw several women stand up and chug a whole liter, as well. I, of course, did not partake because I have a bad back (or something). But I can definitely chug a liter of beer....I swear.
|Chug! Chug! Chug!|
|Ich bein Deutsche|
And the female equivalent outfit is called the dirndl, which of course translate to "show off your boobs".
|Lovely dresses ladies|
Next month (which was actually almost three months ago now as I'm writing this), we head to Croatia and on a trip to Spain with Mr. Levin (my father...you can call him Sid).
Total countries visited on my trip: 14 (Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Peru, England, Belgium, Italy, Czech Republic, Ireland, Portugal, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Germany).