GERMANY – Munich
Venice is still sleeping when I board the train for Munich. I share a compartment with a couple of German guys, who pop open two cans of beer from their backpacks for breakfast. They’re pre-gaming for the Oktoberfest, which is where I’m headed, too! Oktoberfest is actually in September, generally beginning the third Saturday in September and lasting a little over two weeks until the first Monday in October. The train to München is beautiful, meandering through the enormous Alps along thin strips of neon green pasture, rows of chalets, and small farms.
Oktoberfest is essentially a giant fair with rides, lots of beer, and hundreds of thousands of people. I don’t think I can properly describe the scale of this place. The beer steins, the pretzels, the tents…everything is enormous. When Meta’s German roommates told me about the beer “tents,” I was picturing the metal poles and white fabric you see at most events in America. But these are full on decorated pavilions stuffed with people looking for tables and dressed in lederhosen. If there are 1,000,000 people here, 900,000 are dressed up. I feel like the minority wearing jeans.
The party doesn’t stop when we board the train home as people continue to drink and belt out drinking songs. Also, I hate to tell you, guy-sitting-across-from-me, but I don’t think the girl you’re hitting on is interested. You realize that was hand sanitizer she applied to her face after you tried to kiss her cheek, right?