Auf der Wiesn with Democrats Abroad

Democrats Abroad raised funds again this year by hosting a visit to the Wiesn, as it’s known. We had a swell time with the Zurikas last year, and were immediately keen to reserve some spots for us this time around too…and we had the pleasure of the company of some pals from Heidelberg, too.

We departed Regensburg bright and early on Sunday morning to beautiful weather. Our reservation was not guaranteed for arrival after 11:00, and we had to pick up our tickets between 09:00 and 10:00 in the Munich Hauptbahnhof — which meant a departure from Regensburg at 07:44. Ugh — but it’s all in the name of a party, and proved to be worth it in the end.

When we arrived at the Theresienwiese around 10:00, we found the main thoroughfares not quite hopping yet with people. But when we made our way to the Schottenhamel tent closer to 11:00, we found out why — they were all getting their sunny outdoor beer tent patio buzz on, or else queued up a hundred yards long. Lots of excellent flanking maneuvers for position in typical German crowd style. If you’ve ever waited in line for anything in Germany with locals present, you know what I mean.

After we got our fill (and believe me, we were voll), our local expert Scott led us to the Teufelsrad tent. Lots of Oktoberfest carnival stuff makes kind of a weird impression on me (did you spot the Mack Truck / Geordi LaForge / windsurfing montage on the bumper cars display above?), but it’s usually a concept not completely foreign to me. The Teufelsrad was something completely new for us. Here’s the gist:

  1. The announcer calls groups of kids, teens, adults, families, whatever to pile on to a disc-shaped platform.
  2. The effects of inertia are applied, and augmented as necessary by the staff.
  3. Merriment ensues.

With the Damen und Herren gemischt, a slightly saucier sense of humor began to emerge. First some hulahooping (reminiscent of the old Wheel-of-Fortune prize carousel) to “Mambo No. 5.” And then after instructing the men to lay prone, heads toward the middle, the advice to the women was (loosely translated)

Ladies, pick out an available butt and have a seat. Don’t worry — in this position, men are completely harmless.

A final word of caution for the men:

Gentlemen, please do not turn over; this is not the company picnic.

Man Butt Rodeo from Cliff 1976 on Vimeo.

And then the announcer chose a couple of scrappy little guys to bob and weave while we cheered them on.

It was a nice way to spend a sunny afternoon with friends. I am looking forward to next year already.

8 thoughts on “Auf der Wiesn with Democrats Abroad”

  1. Carrie B

    That is… wow. I would’ve enjoyed that, methinks. Except the Man Butt Rodeo. (There’s money in that somewhere.) Though watching was entertaining.

  2. Jen

    Wow wow wow, spiffy new look around here on ye old blog!

    Next year I think we might have to finally make it to Wiesn! :-)

  3. cliff1976

    Carrie B: And thus the previously untitled video is christened…thanks!

    Ol’ Narg visited during Oktoberfest one year, but he was totally distracted by a certain someone in Ohio and couldn’t concentrate on anything else. Perhaps y’all could come give it a whirl next year?

    Jen: Thanks; I’ve had this theme in the hopper for like 9 months, waiting for fall to finally roll around. I can recommend the folks behind as expert expat wiesn guides.

  4. Harvey Morrell

    I think this post wins the award for making me the most homesick u. neidisch. :)
    Looked like an awesome time, with awesome companions.

  5. Hezamarie

    Sorry we missed you guys! You definitely captured the essence of Wiesn’ fun.

  6. cliff1976

    Thanks Hezamarie and Harvey!

    Harvey: No chance for a last-minute WEBMU appearance for you in Köln? I know it’s no wiesn, but the company will be just as good and the beer equally plentiful — just served in Stangen instead of Maßen.

    Heza: We were exhausted after a day of drinking and eating and a whole lot of standing around (in my Haferlschuhe my dogs were howling by 18:00), especially having gotten started so early that morning. It was all I could do to limp back to the U4 and hop a (n overcrowded) train back to Regensburg. Otherwise it would have been great hooking up with you!

  7. Harvey Morrell

    Wish I could come to WEBMU and meet everyone. I guess I’ll have to settle for listening to BAP that weekend while drinking an Ami version of Kölsch. Have fun!

    1. cliff1976

      It’s been verdamp lang her since I thought about BAP. We’ll raise a Stange in your Ehre.

      Vielleicht nächstes Jahr!

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