Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fruhlingsfest

Alot of people are of the opinon that the German language is ugly. I've heard people describe it as brutal, grotesque, hard, ugly, husky, you name it. I disagree. You see, the most beautiful word in the world is a German word, and if a langauge can boast having the Helen of all words, its got to be far shy of ugly. The word is: Fruhlingsfest. You've probably never heard of this word; I didn't. Munich is famous for alot of things, but its shining achievement happens in September during the Oktoberfest. (I know, why not have Oktoberfest in October? Don't ask me, ask the Germans). Oktoberfest is huge; thousands flock to Munich to celebrate beer, drinking beer, making beer, everything beer. Its a beautiful holiday. Its famous for rambunctious drunk singing and sloshing beersteins around. People come from all over the world for the Oktoberfest which makes Oktoberfest more for the tourists than for the Munchen locals. In the springtime Munich decided to take back their holiday, celebrating beer again during the Fruhlingsfest, sans toursits. It is the exact same thing as Oktoberfest just without the overflow of people. The experience is that much more enjoyable for it. Fruhlingsfest is the most incredible place in the world. If there is a heaven, its probably alot like Fruhlingsfest. Okay, I'm exaggerating. Heaven probably has alot more angels eating grapes and strumming harps, but please understand that I loved this place so much I could have never left and been perfectly happy for the rest of my existence.

It disguises itself as a carnival. There are rides, theres cotton candy, you can throw balls at milk bottles and win plush animals. There are stands that sell pretzels the size of my face, fresh roasted nuts, and bricks of chocolate. You could buy all these things and spend two euro. I didn't, though, figuring I was going to be consuming massive amounts of beer. Which I did. Caah and I walked into the beertent and then music hit me. Loud, German music which everyone was singing to. Those of us who didn't know the words, pretended. Then we noticed all the lederhosen. Its the traditional German beer-drinking attire and pretty much everyone was decked out in it. The female lederhosen consists of knee socks, a poofy dress, an apron with lace running up the middle, and poofy white shoulders. The male lederhosen are brown leather over-all shorts with leader shoes and tall white socks, a white shirt (sometimes plaid) and a hat with a feather in it. It was like a Germany-themed costume party. I found myself wanting lederhosen maybe ten minutes after walking inside. Halloween costume for the rest of my life, accept they cost at least 100 Euro and there wasn't a shot in hell of me buying something for that much money when I could spend it on beersteins. Which is the very first action I took after orienting myself to Beerfest. Caah and I realized that the only way we were going to find somewhere to stand (since you don't sit on the beer-soaked benches) was to just jump up and join a group. We found a fun looking group of fellows and asked if we could join them. They had no clue what we were saying because they only spoke German but gestured for us to stand on their benches and so we did. They summoned the waitress for us, ordered us two beersteins, and we prosted, looking each of our six new friends directly in the eye. They knew the stare-down-to-avoid-bad-sex rule; must have grown up with it. This video doesn't do the craziness of beerfest any justice whatsoever, but listen to the music and look at the steins and please try to comprehend how completely wild things really were:

video

By the middle of this night I'd made my way through two full steins and I was definitely pretty drunk. You try drinking six beers as quickly as I did and you'll be drunk, too. The six guys whose table I was standing at wound up being the most fun Germans in the world. I didn't understand any of the German songs, but they taught me how to sing along. They told me when to shout, to jump, to fist-pump, to do-si-do (because at one point that happened). We never stopped dancing, we never stopped singing, we prosted to every single song that came on. We prosted every time we took a drink, really. After a while, who should I see but Benny Lava and Sway! We somehow managed to meet up in Munich and they joined our small table. We were crowed, hot and sticky, and all of us were swinging steins around. I was covered in sweat and covered in beer and probably looked like a glorious hot-mess.

video

The night started to come to a close around 12. Beerfest ends at 11, but we stayed a little late! I'd made a ton of new German friends, danced my heart out, and I'm pretty sure that by the end of the night my body was 90% beer, 5% water, and 5% anything else. I woke up the next morning 100% hung over, for the first time since I've been in Europe, surprisingly.
Fruhlingsfest is my new favorite place in the world.
Arrivederci, for now.
Love, Gabby

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