Oktoberfest Impressions

I’m racking my brain for something halfway original to say about the Oktoberfest. But how can you be original about a cliché? When you talk about the Oktoberfest, everyone immediately associates beer, lederhosen and Heidi dresses called dirndls. Throw in a few pretzels and you have the picture. That pretty well describes the Oktoberfest, a cliché of Bavaria. What I saw today was indeed lederhosen, lederhosen and again lederhosen, dirndls, dirndls and again dirndls, brewery wagons with beer kegs … and so on.

But wait a minute – I’m not finished. Cliché or no, the Bavarian Oktoberfest is  beautiful! I love the pageantry, the hyped joviality in the beer tents, the exaggerated décolletés of the waitresses (and not just the waitresses and not just the young), the one-liter beer mugs and one isn’t enough, the playful phony Bavarian costumes, the merry-go-rounds and ferris wheels.

I can’t take too much of it, mind you. Janos and I go around noon on a week-day, share a beer, have the obligatory barbeque chicken and roam the fair grounds. I’m ready to collapse from the tumult after a few hours. Okay, I’m a wimp about crowds. I wouldn’t even consider going in the evening when the serious drinking starts and there’s no room in the beer tents anyway. And forget week-ends, especially if the sun is shining. Then it’s hard to even set a foot on the Theresienwiese. I’ll leave that to the younger crowd.

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