Looking back: The only thing more disastrous than drinking heavily and running around is drinking heavily and running around in a city you’ve never been to before with zero knowledge of the local language. Apparently, you’re not supposed to partake for more than one day of festivities.
But of course.
Conveniently, Oktoberfest gave me the chance to reunite with several college friends who happened to be studying or working elsewhere in Europe. This is when I discovered the true meaning of bierleichen… German for “beer corpse.”
We rented a (ridiculously overpriced) apartment in Munich for the weekend, complete with one bed, a blow up mattress, and a couch. For ten people. So the cow skin and the ottoman came in handy too, thanks Wimdu!! This was booked three months in advance so- if you’re looking to go to Oktoberfest 2013 and feel like too much of a diva to camp, figure it out now.
On the first day, we found a table in the Hofbrauhaus tent, aka where all the Americans ended up. It was dirty, because obviously, tables were meant to be stood on, stomped on, and spilled on, right?
This was our first day all together at Oktoberfest- where we got too excited, kept the massive, 10 euro, 1L steins coming, belted along to Sweet Caroline toooo many times (??), and then woke up on the grass outside. Bierleichen.
The second day, we got our shit (more) together and lasted past the early afternoon. After watching Ian chug too many beers and being booted out of Spatenhaus when they changed up the seating, Avery, Ryan, and I headed downtown to explore the area of Munich that wasn’t (as) over-crowded with belligerent tourists in lederhosen.
The result was each of us drinking more than we should have and getting separated in the rain, leaving each of us to run alone, haphazardly, around Munich. Maybe worse than bierleichen. Pretty sure there was hat-throwing and bleeding and Ryan partying by himself on his birthday. Lesson learned.
Things we did right:
- People line up on the outside of each tent at Oktoberfest until that golden minute when everyone gets to pour on in. Since we were towards the back of the line, the ten of us immediately split up to run up and down the rows inside for an unclaimed table, finally bullying a lone German guy off of a table that subsequently became ours. It was a survival of the fittest.
- Refrained from chugging beer on the tables. Drunk me definitely considered standing up and chugging an entire liter of beer to the cheers of hundreds, but there is no way that would have ended well.
- Ate chicken and pretzels (together of course, with lemon juice). It made the difference between waking up on a hill at 2pm and making it to dinnertime with energy to burn.
Things to do differently:
- Consider camping. You still get all the hot showers, and after a day like that, who needs more than just a flat surface to themselves anyway?
- Don’t go on the weekend all the Italians are there. Unless you enjoy molestation.
- Invest in a dirndl!! Everything is more fun in costume.