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Johnnies at Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest

I won’t lie, Oktoberfest was the time of my life. Apart from having to camp and two 12 hour bus rides … It was well worth it. 

I don’t think I’ll ever be in an atmosphere like that again in my entire life. Just basically tens of thousands of people getting together with one common interest… getting hammered… let’s all drink out of these big ass glasses, call them steins, and sing. Oh and let’s dress up in old fashioned German outfits. Honestly, someone tell me a better idea. That’s just fucking hilarious. Pure Comedy. Probably the best conditions to get drunk under. Everyone looks ridiculous, there’s a band above everyone playing absolute bangers all day, that everyone gets behind, you can get up on tables and chug… and when you do everyone celebrates… and why? Because you’re all getting drunk. Excellent. Oh and to go hand in hand… each beer hall sells German food, but in all honesty whatever you get is perfect to get you to keep drinking. I think the whole reasoning behind all the things they sell there is just for the purpose of soaking up alcohol. 

The first bus ride wasn’t terrible, we left at around 8:00 from Rome, was able to take some melatonin and another sleeping pill thing which helped, but that was before my other medicating. We stopped at a rest stop about 2 hours into the trip and me and two of my other friends made the responsible choice to do none other than buy a bottle of chianti each. After drinking that fairly quickly, it made the movie they were playing a whole lot better. I hadn’t seen Madagascar in years but holy shit I had no idea how funny it was. That might be the chianti still talking. Also the references to New york are all so accurate it made me miss the city immensely. Too bad they don’t actually have any good animals at the Central Park Zoo. 

Anyways, after the drinking it made the ride go much quicker, I woke up pretty close to Munich in the morning and was able to enjoy a nice ride through the German countryside. Pretty cool but all I could think of was wow this is where the Inglorious Basterds was supposed to take place. 

Anyways, after driving through Munich, we reached our campsite. I can’t say I saw a ton of Munich, I was more focused on guzzling beers, but from what I saw I did like it. The few monuments and what seemed like government buildings were really nice. Germany overall was a really nice place, with lots of newer architecture, and really clean, but in general the people really didn’t fuck with Americans, treated us like fucking idiots which is, well, not ideal. 

The first day once we got off the bus we all needed to sleep for a bit which is just what we did, then got on a bus to the center of the city to get lederhosens. My plan all along was to get one but in the end I couldn’t bring myself to pull the trigger and spend the $100 for something I’d really only wear once, plus I already have to pack the one my cousin gave me that i found it didn’t fit right before I left so i wasn’t sure I’d have the space for it. 

Anyways, once the lederhosens had been bought, we decided to go into Oktoberfest and get the festivities started. Of course after we had the first of what was many bratwursts, my first ever. I gotta say it was fucking delicious, gives every italian sausgae a run for its money and blows basically any hotdog out of the water. So, after that deliciousness, we made it inside one of the beer halls, the Hofbrauhaus which is known to be the best one, one of the most historic. My parents that Hitler actually held one of his most famous speeches there back in the day, so kind of fucked up but still pretty impressive if you ask me. Anyways, we didn’t really know how it worked and just wanted a beer, little did we know you had to be sitting to order and it was cash only. So me, not having any cash, got boned pretty hard by the ATM withdrawal fees there. Oh well. Once we finally got our steins, everything obviously got better, the beer was pretty good, I must say after going on a bit of a hiatus from stews and basically just drinking wine and mixed drinks in Italy it was a nice change of pace, not to mention they say the german beer companies make the beer stronger for Oktoberfest, something i was really able to get behind. Not sure if they really did or it was just basically chugging the four per stein that made me arrive abruptly at a very strong buzz, but the next few steins went down a lot easier, I’ll say that. 

To our surprise, the lovely beer maidens? I guess that’s what they call them, the ladies who miraculously can carry like 8 steins at once, came around offering us this stuff they called “sugar” it literally looked exactly like cocaine, apparently it was cocaine and mint and when you snort it it wakes you up, gets you a bit sober. So yeah we decided to buy a little of that and it helped us out a bit to say the least. Based off how much I liked it, I’m even more afraid to try the real stuff. But, I’ve gotta say the sugar helped us focus better on achieving the task at hand (to get fucking hammered)

So, we kept at it, having a few more steins, until it was time for us to go to the Bayern Munich game that night which we had tickets to. The only thing was the rest of our group had gone back to the campsite leaving four of us, one of which had had a bit too many steins. It felt only right to carry someone out of Oktoberfest… It really did feel right. One of the kids had to go to the front desk to pick up a bag he had checked so we got separated from him too, and me also having quite a few times was not being the most helpful when it came time for him to find us. He asked where we were and I actually sent him a picture of my friend passed out on the stairs and said here. Not the most helpful. Anyways, we called an Uber and the driver, seeing my friend was in rough shape, made the smart decision to get some towels from his trunk. The only thing is my friend didn’t realize the reason he opened the trunk was to put the towels down for him in the actual car. So yeah the kid jumped in the fucking trunk. Then, the driver pleading with my friend said “please be good boy” and me, being drunk, throught that was the funniest thing in the goddamn world. I truly forget most of the ride home from there on because I’m pretty sure I fell asleep but I remember clearly when getting out the driver threatening to call the cops unless we forked over 200 euros which we unfortunately did. 

It was a quick turnaround after that to the Bayern Munich game which was really fucking cool. I was talking to the guy next to me who was from Greece but moved to Germany and became a Bayern fan. My only previous pro soccer game was AS Roma, and he was telling me how the atmospheres were going to be a lot different. Roma fans will cheer all game and it’s more of a pary. But Allianz arena, where Bayern plays, he called the “Theater” because the fans don’t really cheer during the game, they’re more focused on watching what’s going on. He really was right. The fans were very reserved for the most part, even when the game became a blowout. Every fan was locked into every pass, giving proper applause when they cleared possession from their end. But did they celebrate like crazy when the team scored? Hell yes. As soon as a goal was scored, everyone on their feet, screaming, and going even crazier when the Polka music came over the speakers. A really electric atmosphere that I wasn’t used to. Being from New York and having my other soccer experience be at the Roma game, I was used to cheering the whole game, celebrating heavily on the little wins, but not at Bayern. Even standing up during play I could feel some dirty looks come onto me. Nonetheless, had I been in the ultra section behind the goal I’m sure it would have been different. Those fans were really going crazy all game as is with most teams, waving flags, etc. i got a really good video of each of the entire rows jumping all together towards the end of the game. All in all, I’ve got to say the game was a great experience. They play a great brand of football too, every pass so exact with some sort of meaning behind it, trying to create as much as possible. Also, Alphonso Davies is one fast motherfucker, and the same goes for Sadio Mane. Those two have some ridiculous talent. And so does Robert Muller, although the people around me say he doesn’t want the ball enough and would rather the other players do the work for him. But I see why he’s been known to be such a quality player for so many years. It was really just crazy to see so many players whose names I’ve heard and have played against on FIFA for years in person doing their thing.

The way home from the game was another adventure. Me, not knowing how to read fucking German and thinking every word in the language looks exactly the same, went to ask tone of the workers in the train station for help with directions, only for my friends to get on the train that was leaving the station as I came down the stairs, so that wasn’t perfect. Then, as I got off the train and went to the bus, I called one of my friends to see where they were compared to me. He said he had actually gotten separated and was about to get on the same bus, with a stop named campingplatz, the same as our campsite… or so we thought. 

So, as we get off the bus at the campsite stop we look at snapmaps and realize we were on the other side of the city from our friends at a different campsite. So that was an unexpected $100 Uber that had to be done, but hey, guess that’s just the way it goes. 

The next day, we tried to get an early start, but not the 7:30 AM one you were supposed to when you get into the beer tents and get a table. We got there at about 10 oclock and of course started drinking beer.

We met some friends of ours who had gotten a table and were able to sit, but they had stopped selling beer in that section so we had to find elsewhere. Lucky for me my friend from school’s friend from home was at Oktoberfest too, in the same hall, and it took me like 10 minutes to find her and all her friends. Pretty impressive I’ve gotta say. 

Also, another convenience, after talking to her friends for just a little, one of them was going to Paris the next weekend, we were going to London and she offered her room to me. Hell yeah I took it. Anyways, after a few more steins, my friends got hungry and left the tent to get food, but little did they know they would have a real tough time getting back in. So, after a bit of time just hanging out in the same tent, Hofbrauhaus, we decided to go see what the other tents were like and try to find the rest of the group. THat didn’t go so well. The lines of the other tents were just as long. We decided to go to the Paulaner tent, but it really was tough and the pouring rain didn’t help at all. 

There were four of us trying to get in, two snuck in right away in the beginning but me and another girl got stuck in the big line, but still in the front row. I had to take the worst piss of my life, and I made sure to let the security guard in front of me know. WE were probably there for an hour, getting pushed back like a pack of farm animals. I finally said to one security guard trying to push us back “I help you, you help me” and tried to push the group back a bit, that and my overwhelming need to take a piss I think got a laugh out of him. So, another half hour passes and they try the same thing. This time I couldn’t take it anymore, I was pretty sure my bladder was going to explode. So I get out in front of the group and start literally pushing them back, not the same as before when I was just backing up, I literally got in front and started pushing these people back. I was pretty sure I was getting kicked when I felt the hand on my shoulder pulling me back, but that was met with the biggest sense of relief I had felt all day, alright well second after the piss, but they just alright you’re good and I dragged my friend from the crowd and we both marched in. Absolutely electric. And yes the piss was arguably the best of my life. I hadn’t ranked my best before that but I’m just gonna put that at the top of the list because it’s pretty fucking epic if you ask me. 

Anyways, we got into the tent, found a table, with met Americans, some that went to Northeastern and kept the party going. The music in the Paulaner tent was different form Haufbrauhaus where it was mostly German folk songs and things played out by the band. The Paulaner band was honestly a bit more exciting, playing legit bangers, words can’t accurately describe how hype it is seeing a guy in a full lederhosen put one leg on the railing of the Gazeebo in the middle and rip the electric guitar. Not to mention they played New York, New York by Frank Sinatra, holy shit the FOMO of not seeing a Yankee playoff game could not have hit me harder in that instant. But hey, I’m in fucking Europe. 

The rest of that day we spent in the Paulaner, and our friends finally met up with us later on… they bribed the security. The rest was still really fun, just drinking beer and jamming out to the songs with everyone in the crowd. I think that was eventually when I realized I didn’t think I’d experience anything like that again. The world’s biggest drinking fest, with people from around the world, all there for the same reason, to get drunk and drink a ton of beer. Truly a beautiful thing. Just a month long party. 

The bus ride home and nights of camping were awful i won’t lie but I’d rather not ruin this with all that drama, however I will say the tent was small as fuck, the campsite bathrooms were disgusting, only one kid of like the ten I knew that went showered, and the bathroom on the bus fucked up on the way home and the whole fucking thing smelled like shit for most of the ride. Other than that though great trip. 

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