In a move that surprised everyone who knows me, I was somehow coordinated enough to buy a plane ticket, book a hotel, and get myself to Munich, Germany for Oktoberfest.
And what was even weirder was that everything was going so well! I arrived in the airport, found Annie within minutes, got my suitcase, went to the airport supermarket where 6 euro bought us two wine bottles of questionable Australian quality and microwaveable spaetzle (regret), then got onto a bus that dropped us off right in front of our hotel. As if that wasn’t enough to raise suspicion, we were greeted with free cookies, the soothing melodies of Justin Timberlake circa 2004, and the promise of something called flambé being available 24/7. It all seemed perfect.
Too perfect, it turns out. We got to our room and decided it was time to make the spaetzle; however, due to a lack of a kitchen, we tried to make it in the water heater. This resulted in the water heater exploding spaetzle everywhere. Then we spilled half a bottle of wine into (yes, into) the sofa. Then we ordered bacon flambé, which sounded promising but really turned out to be a glorified tart composed of 5% bacon and 95% questionable cheese/onion sauce.
However, the hotel was beautiful and probably the only place in all of Europe with decent wifi, so I can’t really complain. Plus the receptionist was nice enough not to kick us out after my fourth phone call to the lobby inquiring about the availability of spaetzle at 11:30 at night.
The next day was OKTOBERFEST aka the gathering of all things German and gingham. So much lederhosen. I had no idea the market for traditional German attire was thriving so much; there were hundreds of different patterns and cuts and styles. The entire freaking tent looked like a Little Bo Peep convention.
We started off with a pretzel and a stein each, then began to wander, which is where it really went downhill. Somehow, a few steins later, we ended up sat at a table with complete strangers eating leftovers of something called a “half chicken” (note: this is legitimately just half a chicken. no idea why it was considered such a delicacy.. do the German not have poultry?) and demanding spaetzle.
Here are a couple (only two- I restrained myself from posting the rest) photos of the Godsend that is spaetzle because I miss it and it’s wonderful:
If nothing else, Oktoberfest did wonders for my social skills. I looked back on my camera roll (another unsolved mystery: how my massive DSLR camera not only survived Oktoberfest completely intact but also had actual footage on it of things other than spaetzle) and found like 7 pictures with these guys:
Nary a clue who he is, but we look pretty close.
Eventually, Annie and I decided to cut our losses and go for a bit of drunk sightseeing. Not before stealing steins though. I didn’t pay $400 and almost burn down a hotel room to leave Oktoberfest without some kind of memorabilia.
We didn’t really make it far and in fact ended up returning to Oktoberfest, where I bought yet another Kinder crepe. Once we did make it out of the festival for good, I took some photos of Munich that turned up surprisingly decent:
I’m glad I went- if only to experience spaetzle- but I can safely say that I don’t feel the need to return to Oktoberfest or Germany in general for that matter. The rudeness I received from people after accidentally repeatedly referring to Munich as “Munchkin” (an innocent mistake due to the fact that it’s literally called Munchen in German and as far as I’m concerned that isn’t much of a difference and it still sounds like you live in a scene from the Wizard of Oz) and the fact that even a friendly greeting sounds like a battle command in German makes me a little less than keen to return, but in all honesty I probably will. I’m not sure how long I can go without spaetzle.