Thursday, September 27, 2012

Beer is Proof that God Wants Us Happy.

Hey all,

That paraphrased quote by Benjamin Franklin pretty much says it all.  Beer is what's important in life.  Especially when it comes to Octoberfest!  And that's what today's blog is all about.

First off, let me say everything you've heard about Octoberfest is pretty much dead on truth.  It is a crazy time. 

We arrived in Munich on Sunday afternoon, and after we checked into our hotel, we headed straight for the festival. It was the second evening of the celebration, so it was pretty busy, and the difference between Sunday night and when we went back on Monday morning was amazing. 

 We fast realized it's 5 o'clock somewhere, EVERYWHERE at Octoberfest. The tents open around 10:30am, and people start drinking (if they haven't already) immediately. So by the time we got there about 4:00pm, there were people already flat on their faces. 

It's a trip to experience. You walk up to the "entrance" and all you see is a sea of people. Weekend nights are very crowded, and we didn't expect to get into a tent (we had no reservation). So we decided to wander and absorb. You can't walk around with a beer--you have to sit at a beer garden--so we thought we'd walk and gawk, and then find a place to sit down. 

The tents are beyond amazing. You've got to understand, they build them from scratch each and every year, and they are bloody HUGE. They decorate them differently.  Each of the breweries has it's own tent, and the outside decorations are outstanding. Every place you looked there was another creative building front.   There are dozens of smaller tents with beer, food, drinks, souvenirs and other Octoberfest stuff mixed in between.  It's like a fair on steroids.  Everywhere you look there is something new and eye catching.

We got about 1/2 way through, and to our surprise, found a tent (HB) with the doors still open. So in we went, thanking our lucky stars. And I knew the night was going to go well when the first person I met, a six-four muscular college guy, raced up to me, took my hand, and sang, "Will you be my girl?


In the back of my mind, the practical part of me thought, "Hell, I'm old enough to be your mom!" But I'm not stupid. Here's a cute, built guy standing in front of me. So, duh...I went with it. 

I glanced back at Jonathon, shrugged and said, "Sure." Gave the dude a big, sloppy kiss on the cheek, and he slavered my hand with kisses. Then he shook Jon's hand, very seriously, and thanked him for lending me out.  I was in stitches, laughing so hard, I had to lean on the wall. The guy kissed me again, then wandered off, probably to find another girl.  Typical. 

Men can be so fickle.  LOL

We squeezed in and found a place to stand.  Ordered a couple of beers and settled in to have some fun.  And fun we had.

It's an amazing time.  People just let all their inhibitions go.  No matter who you old or young you are, if you even are a party animal or a stay-at-home type of person, this is a spectacle you can't miss.

I can't count the amount of times we raised our glasses to the traditional, Ein Prost toast...

Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
Der Gemütlichkeit
Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
Der Gemütlichkeit.

Which roughly translates to...

A toast, a toast
To cheer and good times
A toast, a toast
To cheer and good times.

People jumped up on the benches (not the tables, that's a no-no) to sing and clink their glasses together.  It's important to meet the gaze of the person you're toasting.  German custom states if you don't, you're condemned to seven years of unsatisfying sex!  You know I stared good and long at everyone!  Just in case.  LOL

Anyway, we stayed in the tent singing, drinking and nibbling on pretzels for several hours.  We made new friends--somehow we found a table with a bunch of other expats--and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  We learned new songs, Jon leered at the scantily clad ladies in their Bavarian dresses, and I gawked at the hunky guys in their tight leather lederhosen.  Yum!

Once we had our fill of noise, bright lights, music and drink, we said goodbye to our table buddies and headed out to wander the rest of Ocoberfest.

It's even more interesting after dark.  More people, more drinking and more people lying on the ground passed out.  The lights are vivid, colorful and EVERYWHERE!!!!

And by the time we headed home, giggling and singing songs, we'd experienced all of the fun a night at Octoberfest could give us.  And it wasn't over.

The next day we went back in the morning when the crowds weren't so bad and we were able to go into most of the breweries.  Take a look at these...  Tents, inside and out.

Anyway, it was an awesome time, and I highly recommend if you have a chance to go to a Munich Octoberfest, do it.  Even if you don't drink, just going to the festival and people watching, is totally worth it.  But of course, drinking is the real reason most people go.  As the famous philosopher Plato said,

"He was a wise man who invented beer."

Until Sunday!


CJ England
Follow Your Dreams


D. Musgrave said...

What an amazing experience. I'm so glad you shared this adventure with us.

Phylis said...

Oh wow! What fun. I would have fun watching people. A definite fun experience to keep as a great memory. Thanks for sharing!

CJ England said...

It was, Derek. I just wish I could have tried more of the beers. That wasn't possible since the houses where so full.

Maybe next time.

CJ England said...

Next time we want to go with a group, Phylis. Maybe I'll make my first million and invite all my online friends. That would be awesome!!!

Ray said...

I wish I could have been there. We have a local celebration, but nothing can match the real thing.

On PBS on Sunday I heard something interesting about beer. When England needed money they came up with crazy taxes. The tea party was mostly about beer. In the colonies the water was not fit to drink so everyone including children drank beer. Beer was made locally and tea was there for the dumping as it was shipped in.

Florida has a funny tax on bottled water. It is considered a luxury even in portions of the state where the water tastes like sulfur.

CJ England said...

Ray, one of the things I learned at Octoberfest was when beer was first brewed there was no quality control. There were pig guts, acorns, grass, eggs--everything but the kitchen sink in it. LOL But when the royals took over, they forced brewers to use only the ingredients hops, water and barley. And that was the beginning of the true beer we know today. Thank God. LOL

Ray said...

CJ, have you read Upton Sinclair's The Jungle? It took a lot longer to pass laws to regulate food quality. It took excerpts in the papers to regulate meat packing and canning industries in Chicago. If meat was putrid or if a worker lost a body part it was used for corned beef. I talked to a man who worked in a place that made corned beef in the 1980s and he said he never ate any after seeing how it is made and that was a long time after 1906.

So beer was safe before food.

Unknown said...

Oh, I want to go! I'm a beer fan from a young age... maybe 12 yrs old? LOL

Thanks for the pics and the stories. Looks like you had a blast!

CJ England said...

Ray...I'm not going to eat today because of that. LOL Ick, ick, ick!

CJ England said...

Connie, I knew you were precocious. But I had no idea. LOL