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:
- The announcer calls groups of kids, teens, adults, families, whatever to pile on to a disc-shaped platform.
- The effects of inertia are applied, and augmented as necessary by the staff.
- 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) toAnd 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.
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.