For those that went to Oktoberfest before, wow.
A few days ago we decided to go to the Wiesen. I never went before, though I've been seeing drunk people all over the city since then. So last night was the night. We met up at 5pm and made our way down.
Firstly, it wasn't what I expected. Secondly, at all. I know that many things changed from the traditional Bavarian festival..but I forgot just how many. The first is the most obvious. What do people do nowadays for important festivals, celebrations and wel known-events (that last longer than a day)? They make a fair. With a fair come rides. Which means that we crossed a street to walk with crowds of people, many of them dressed in dirndls (traditional women's dress) or lederhosen (traditional men's sexypants), toward what looked like in the distance - a village made of candy. Light blue, white, pink, and brown colours and weird designs and
big structures...Something a child would gladly pick up in its' hand and eat. As we got closer and into it, I realized it was an amusement park. (??) There were food stands, game stands, and rides that would make your head spin around twice all around us. I immediately wanted to go on three rides but was not allowed. We were going to the tents. And the tents fill up quick, so we had to be on time if we wanted to get in.
As for the tents. They're not tents at all! They are big buildings that look like a cross between the Haida longhouse, a barn, a warehouse, and something Bavarian. There were many of them - at the top over the roof part, each had a different name on it. Ours was something heavenly, I forgot the name. As it stands, the line up was too big to go into the tent (ahem) so we sat at one of the picnic tables near the entrance and bathrooms ( ) and had a mass and some food. We received some vouchers earlier, so did not spend a lot on it, although everything is pretty expensive otherwise. I thought we were going to be sitting inside (where it's supposed tobe pretty warm), so I didn't bother with bringing a jacket, but a (pretty flimsy, I suppose) sweater. I immediately started freezing my butt off, which I mastered in my mind by remembering that it's not raining and that I should stop being a wiener. We all ordered, and I got a mass and some food. I had Ox Goulash with Knoedl (spelling probably very off)! It was very good and I was very full, very quick. I felt a little warmer after it. I couldn't hear what the people around me were saying (or pick it up, anyway, as it's German) so I started looking around me at the people.
I heard all sorts of people come to Oktoberfest, many foreigners looking for a good time, and many locals, as well. You could distinctly notice who was from where by what they were wearing. The traditional garb is a dirndl
for women and lederhosen for men. The foreigners seemed to want to wear anything resembling said dirndl/lederhosen and did so with gusto. Some even included gray, pointy hats which they bought in touristy stands in the centre, which I'm convinced are not even close to the actual hat they're supposed to be impersonating. I don't know much about the lederhosen, how they're supposed to look like, which are real, etc, etc - except that I think the shirt is supposed to be white, I think. But as for the dirndl, I heard the traditional ones are long. Anything shorter is for fashion, mainly. And there were so few long ones. Most I saw were girls wearing short "do me" dirndls, where you just really wanted to squeeze the boobs sitting on top of it. Or at least I did. I saw a chick wearing pointy-tipped high heels with a short dirndl...it looked like she wasn't sure if she wanted to go to the Wiesen or to a club, and got confused and put on everything. One of the girls in our group was wearing a dirndl that was made for her - it was a traditional, long one, and I'm certain if you took her out of our time and placed her eons back, she would have fit in perfectly. It looked so natural and normal. To me, a grimy outsider, she seemed like the only one that was dressed naturally - dirndl-wise. I could also be very wrong, but that was my impression.
After a while, everyone decided to go into the tent. I still had half a mass - and I can't drink in two minutes. We thought you could go in with it, but were wrong. Half of us got in, and the other half ended up waiting outside for the bouncer to let us in - in the meanwhile, finishing off the beers. Finally, we could go in. If I said the outside was a cross of a Haida longhouse, a barn, a warehouse, and something Bavarian, then I can tell you that the inside was a cross of a Haida longhouse, a giant pub, a small wooden mall, and a petting zoo. The petting zoo part was the middle, where all the tables were. There was a sort of wooden divider that circled all the tables - so you could walk down the path and go through the wooden part entrances to your table. I quickly learned that the waiters and waitresses only walked along the wall away from the petting zoo area (ok, it's the easiest way for me to describe what it looked like, I'm not trying to put anyone down by calling it a petting zoo). One rather angry waitress checked her head in a 'get the hell out of my way' sort of way...which I quickly obliged. It must be really hard for the employees to ger around. The path was full of people friends/family yelling for each other...It was a fast-moving train made of flesh. I felt like I arrived at Hogwarts and the plates started filling themselves up - suddenly, there would be a giant, silver platter of (delicious) food that would whiz by you magically (only after you realize it was being supported by people). Not to mention the masses that were being grudgingly pushed through the crowd towards said customer. But the petting zoo area was what amazed me. About three quarters of the people in it were standing on the tables and singing and/or dancing. Almost everyone (if not everyone?) was drunk. A friend asked me what I learned over facebook. My answer was "the end of civilization put in a tent". I was thinking about it, as the chaos was so aweing, that this must be what the fall of civilization would look like, when society breaks apart and people go back to their true animal-instinct natures. Although, I also added that if I had another mass or two before coming in - I would have learned a few songs.
As it stands, we pretty much went through the tent and back out on another side, where there was a beergarden. The first half of our group couldn't find seating in the tent (I don't think superman would have been able to, either, it was so full), so they found seats in the beergarden outside. It had heaters above the tables, so it was warmer, and a bit quieter. There were still many people around singing and such, but it was easier to hear each other. So we spent the rest of our time there. At one point, I was sitting at the edge of the table (next to the walkway) and I felt something very hot on my arm. When I looked down, I noticed embers on my bag. I'm assuming it was some sort of firework or something small chucked at me.. I blew it out..but no one saw anything happen. At the same time, some guy got taken out by security for fighting on the other side of the beergarden (it was a small one). What peed me off was that the bag was one my mom got me. I can only hope that the arrested guy was the one that did it and that they kicked him in the gonads for being a bastard. Or maybe I just started burning randomly, from my fiery nature. That's always a possibility, as well. Agh. I also met a guy from Toronto, who hoped I wouldn't hold it against him. I said I didn't.
Michael and I left to go home and on the way went on two rides. As a rule, it's not the best to go on rides after food/drink...well that went in the water. We went on the bumper cars, where he let me drive (ahaha, bad
idea). By Canadian rule, I made us both put on their dinky seat belts (I don't think anyone else was wearing it). And I drove like a madman, bumping the bleep out of everyone. That's the whole point, no? During mid-bump a stranger gave me a rose. When we left the ride, the guy that worked there took it from me, thinking I was giving to him (weird), so I let him have it. We also went on this twirly ride, like the octopus ride at playland.
We shared our row with two guys from Dublin. When it started it was fun, but then we both started feeling like we were going to die (drinking beforehand part, bad). In the distance, you could hear the Irish guy yelling out something along the lines of "I feel awful!". It was awesome. We didn't go on any more rides, though. However, I played the balloon tacking game and won Michael a prize (he had several to choose from), which ended up to be a yoyo, which he broke as soon as he used it once, because the thing touched the ground and exploded. Freaking carnies. He also bought sweet peanuts, which I didn't like much but he does, and which can't be such a good idea technically, as he's allergic to them. No pleasure without pain.
Then we headed to the U4 U-Bahn line and headed back home with a hundred other strangers.
And that was Katarina's adventure time in Oktoberfest.