wiesnAlthough we live more than 200 miles from Munich, we are Bavarians, so this year, we did what all Bavarians (in my husband’s opinion it’s an act of patriotic duty) should do: we visited the Oktoberfest. In order to avoid the sad crush of the weekends, we scheduled our work so we had an afternoon off, jumped on the train, and off we were.

The weather in Munich was just lovely: warm, sunny, with that certain nip in the air that tells you that autumn is just around the corner. The Theresienwiese (the huge venue) was crowded enough to provide an exciting mood, but not so squeezed that it became scary. My husband showed me several rides he’d been going on when he was a child or teenager, and we would have visited the haunted house if the queue hadn’t been that long. So we went to one of the beer tents and had some Weißbier and Brezn instead.

I most thoroughly enjoyed watching the other visitors. Many men wore Lederhosen, and even more women wore a Dirndl. It seems de rigeur to have a Dirndl in one’s wardrobe, even if one only wears it during two weeks a year to the Oktoberfest! Even little girls wear one. The grown-up Dirndls came in three variations, I found: The traditional Dirndl with fairly long skirts, the more modern ones with knee-length skirts and more dramatic coloring, and the rather slutty ones (sorry!) that mostly consisted of net and lace. The Dirndl I liked best, by the way, was a Goth one, all black with red highlights, worn with a black leather coat. Don’t ask me why, it was just stunning.

I’d only been to the Oktoberfest once before and decidedly not enjoyed it, partly because I had almost been gotten hit by a dead drunk Italian. This year, it’s been so enjoyable, however, that I’m planning to go back very soon. I might even consider getting a Dirndl …

– Rike Horstmann

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High school teacher. Soccer fan (Werder Bremen, yeah!). Knitter and book-binder. Devotee of mathematical puzzles. German.