i had a really difficult time finding much on the internet to guide us to the festivities, but finally i discovered a pretty unhelpful site that made it look like there just might be something going on after all. there were no directions, no map, and no telephone number, but we went for it anyway in the hopes that we'd be able to figure it out when we got there.
well, we got to the train station just fine, and got to the neighborhood of the festivities alright, but spent the next 30 minutes getting turned around, walking into dead ends, and backtracking. the problem was that this event was set up in a temporary beer tent, contained within a parking garage/exhibition hall, down by some wharf or harbor or industrial drainage ditch or something. needless to say, i was not happy to be doing all that walking, especially because i had this enormous baby head pressing down on my bladder the whole time. and i was hungry, and i could hear the music and see the building it was in, but we just couldn't find the door! how frustrating!
anyway, we finally figured it out, and there was a bag inspection at the door and they almost stole my favorite nalgene water bottle. i explained to them that i'm pregnant and need to drink a lot of water, and the guy looked at me with a totally straight face and was all, "do you have your pregnancy pass with you?" and because adam and i were not in the mood for jokes after taking so long to get there, we immediately started imagining the SS or gestapo or whatever they were and panicked a little bit that he just might steal my bottle from me. so i unzipped my jacket, pulled up my shirt to show him my belly, grabbed my water bottle out of his hands, and walked away in search of a toilet. aaargh! only later did i realize how he was just messing with us and that i totally looked like the impatient and rude american that i try so hard not to be. oh, well.
BUT when we finally got there, it was TOTALLY worth it! the tent was set up to resemble an authentic bavarian beer hall -- the high ceiling, one giant room, lots of long picnic tables to share with your best drinking buddies that you've never met before that night... and right in the center was an oompah band, complete with lederhosen. too fun!
we got there early (about 6:00 pm) and sat to the side of the oompah band, near several tables of young german college-age kids, wearing fun hats and with their socks pulled up over their pants all the way to their knees to make it look like they were wearing lederhosen. they would stand on the benches and sing and stomp their feet, and had entirely too much fun.
we ordered some food when we got there: something called leberkas i think, with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. we didn't like it too much because it tasted like spam, but i was so hungry i ate as much as i could. adam had one bite and decided to just eat a pretzel that the cute pretzel lady was selling. she had them all stacked up on this stick and when she came to our table adam asked if we could get our pic taken with her. i just looked at her and apologized, but she seemed happy to oblige us.
but the best part of all was what i got to drink! initially i thought i'd have to spend the entire evening drinking fanta or bottled water and clinking my tiny glass against adam's giant mass of beer. but behold! non-alcoholic beer! and, unlike the n/a beer i tried in belgium (which, for lack of a better word, tasted weak), this beer actually tasted like beer. had she not told me it was alkoholfrei, and had my mass not had a special tag on it to indicate it was such, i seriously would have sent it back. it was that good. so, i got to yell "PROST!" and crash my stein against adam's and pound it on the table in time to the music just like everyone else. it was so fun!
there was an oompah band playing some great german drinking songs, but we didn't know the words to any of them. so we just made them up as we went along. one song i thought they were playing "bubblegum fruity flavor drops" so that's what i sang. but you have to check this video out to hear us at our best: we call it, "eins, zwei, something!" because that's what they were singing... one, two, something! (i apologize for the shakiness of the video. we took it on our little digital camera, and adam had ahold of the camera for the last bit, and his beer was not non-alcoholic.)
we left around 8:30 and caught the 9:00 train home and we were back by 11:00, with just enough energy left to have a snack and go to bed by midnight. how cool is that that we can just go to oktoberfest for an evening and still be home in time for bed? uberawesome.