Munich is known for its beautiful sights and scenes, one of the most popular cities in Germany. What makes it more famous to over six million people across the globe is its yearly beer festival called the Oktoberfest. I was lucky to visit Munich Last September 2018 with a close friend who had German relatives. As the event was fast-approaching, I could not explain the growing anxiety inside me. I had a lot of expectations about the festival and at the same time, I was afraid I’d be so drunk that I won’t even last a day!
Then when the first day came, I just could not contain my excitement and my fear. As I saw women in white dresses and aprons all made up, and groovy men wearing suspenders with a beer in hand, I knew I had to survive. This was the biggest fair that I was yet to attend. The first day actually became several days and a taste of the best flavors of Germany. And as the festival was ending, I realized that not all of my expectations turned out to be a match to what really happens at Oktoberfest.
Expectation Vs. Reality
If you’re a lover of beers who has dreamt of the Oktoberfest even before you were permitted to drink, you would have also imagined what would happen when you attend something like one of the biggest beer festivals in the world. But news flash – there are some things you thought that you wouldn’t know unless you were actually there. Here’s my own list of what I thought the beer festival would entail versus what it really was.
Expectation 1. Of course, Oktoberfest begins in the month of October.
Nope! It starts in September and ends in the early weeks of October. The beer fest is a representation of a royal matrimony that happened in October of 1810. However, as the event was celebrated, it progressed into a two-week affair with the city customs and traditions beginning earlier so that the locals and the tourists can witness the changing of the weather.
Expectation 2. It’s going to be a dry season so it’ll all be tank tops for me.
Nope! Despite the festival happening in fall where the weather is expected to be dry and warm, temperatures in Germany drop low at times with a few rain showers after the summer months. So you better bring along your jacket or coat.
Expectation 3. It’s okay to ‘dress down’ all the time.
Nope! Munich knows a lot about fashion, and the adults make sure their kids will rock their dresses. You have got to get your traditional Bavarian costume ready, dress up, or don’t go to the festival at all.
Expectation 4. There’s No Call Time So You Can Get In Anytime.
Nope! The festival has prepared several tents that open at 10 in the morning – so there is a call time. Plus, the lines are long and they start at 7 AM. If you’re planning to visit the most popular tents for that day, you’ll need to wake up earlier than usual to save you an hour or two of waiting rather than drinking already.
Expectation 5. You’ll be the last man standing because you can party all night.
Nope! First, it is so difficult to drink successive glasses of beer while walking around the tents all day. You’ll be drained physically and mentally (I was!). Second, and the most obvious reason why you can’t do it all night long, is because all the days of the two-week event always end at midnight! So you don’t have to consume a lot of energy drinks. Take a rest, please. Tomorrow is another day.
Expectation 6. There’s nothing else you’ll do but drink beer.
Nope! Much as you want to believe that the beer fest is just all about beer, it’s not. There’s a range of delectable German cuisine served around the different tents, and you’ll see waitresses bringing oversized bratwurst and pretzels on their trays. In the evening, you can check out the exciting festival rides that are decorated with beautiful lights. But perhaps you can do that when you’re not drunk!
Expectation 7. You’re used to beer and you can manage your beer drinking.
Nope! Don’t be so sure, because the fact is that German beer is a lot stronger than our usual Bud Light. Also, the beers served during Oktoberfest are made extra special – or stronger – just for the festival. So if you think you can handle it because you are a beer drinker, think again. Or else anxiety and panic attacks will just visit you in the morning and you can’t finish the whole event!
Expectation 8. It’ll be the grandest time of your life.
Hmm. Perhaps you might lose your watch in one of your drunken days, or spoil your best shirt with your own puke, or maybe spend more cash than you planned, but this I will agree – you’ll have the grandest time of your life.