From Jer: "What I’ve learned in Germany (this time)"

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Europe » Germany
September 25th 2010
Published: September 25th 2010
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As we are about to finish up our honeymoon trip here in Munich and Austria, I have found myself with new revelations about our Bavarian Brothers and Sisters that I would like to share with you now:

Oktoberfest is about the three B’s: Bier, Brats, and Boobs.

This place is amazing where else can you get your fill of all three at once? …okay I’m sure you’ll think of a few places, but we’re talking an unlimited supply of each… on tap… on demand! First of all, the bier. German Bier is easily my favorite hands down. And I drink it primarily at home and abroad if at all possible. That said I accidently ordered a Budweiser on the train today coming back from Vienna, and didn’t realize it until I had already returned to my seat and opened it. Darn it all. It was gross. Anyhow, I digress. German bier is amazing for one reason. The purity law of 1516. Simply put they can only have three (later changed to 4 for wheat) ingredients in their bier, water, hops, and barley… yeast hadn’t been discovered yet. Anyhow, if you ever find yourself in Munich be sure to try out the Andechs bier. You can get it from a rather expensive restaurant at the foot of the twin onion domes in Marienplatze or take a 45 minute train ride South West of Munich to the Monastery that makes the stuff. That’s my preferred way. The doublebock dunkles is the best. Secondly Brats. I’m using the word brats simply for alliteration. What I really mean is all the meat you could possibly think of is at Oktoberfest. You want half a chicken? Done. A pork knuckle as big as your head? Done. Oxen? Sure. A giant plate of dried and cured meats? Not a problem. Numerous fish on sticks? Ok. Brats? Duh. Wienersnitzle? Do you have to ask? My favorites include the half of duck, and the pork knuckle. Be sure to order these separately or your stomach might explode. And third of all boobs. Who doesn’t like boobs? Sure we all like them for different reasons… (THE LIST OF REASONS HAS BEEN REMOVED UNDER ADVICEMENT BY THE KEEPER OF MY FAVORITE PAIR) Anyhow, boobs at Oktoberfest… Most of the local females from very young to the very old will wear their dirndls to Oktoberfest. If you’ve never seen this wonderful dress you really must. They come in different lengths from mini to full length skirt. And that is nice and all, but the serious attention should be paid to the upper part of the dress. I have been told that there is a lot structure and strength in a dirndl. I don’t know about that, all I know is they all push the boobs up and together. And it looks wonderful. To make things easier for the single guys out there, there is even a secret code to find out if you can hit on the girl with the nice boobs or not. If the tie for here dirndl is tied on the right side of her body it means she’s married. If it’s tied on the left side of her body, you should hook up with her. I would suggest on the hillside that the giant statue of Bavaria overlooks. Its on the Oktoberfest Fairgrounds, and it seems to be where everyone else hooks up and has sex.

I have come to realize that the shorter the Italian the greater chance that they will want to start a fight.

Sure this might be a giant generalization on my part, having not yet made it to Italy to test this theory out… Not that I’m planning on it. I like short people. My favorite sister is much shorter than me, and she’s great, but not Italian… Anyhow, on more than one occasion I noticed short Italian men either in fights, or trying to start them. This isn’t cool. I do love their pizza though.

I want to move to Hallstatt!

If you’ve never been, you really need to go. It’s a tiny little village of some 1000 residents squished up between the Alps and a crystal clear lake aptly named Hallstatt. It was here, they say, the oldest salt mine in the world was started. It is still under use today too. You can take a tour through two levels of the mine, ride of the slides they have in them, wear jumpsuits that look like a combination of a karate gi and something Devo used to wear circa 1984. At the end of the tour they also give you a bunch of raw salt straight off the floor to take home. I think the most amusing part of this was watching almost everyone pick up the block of dirty salt off the ground and put it straight to their tongues. Yum, tastes like salty dirt. I waited until no one was around, cracked mine in half and tasted the inside. Trying to convince myself that this dirt was cleaner. It still tasted like salty dirt. Regardless, I would like to spend my winters in this little village. But not Summers. There are simply too many tourists. Sure call me a hypocrite on this one, I was there as a tourist. But after experiencing Munich and Rotenburg in der Tauber five years ago (check out previous bagelmonkey posts) in the winter and seeing how beautiful these cities can be without the gaggle of Hawaiian shirts and loud American speech. I can only assume that Hallstatt is pretty much the same. We had to take 3 trains from Munich and a boat to get to there. That’s pretty remote. For my summers I plan to live in Takayama (again see bagelmonkey entries in japan).

Austria has two faces, and sometimes they are both looking at you.

When we got off the train from Hallstatt in Vienna, we were greeted with a panhandler who spoke three languages. I was impressed. Back home I think some are struggling with one. Who am I kidding, I have trouble with one. I’m sure you’ve realized this if you’ve made it this far into my entry. Vienna much like many of the larger cities in Germany was bombed flat in WWII. When the city planners were… well… planning, they upon a vote by the people decided to build up the city with new architecture and designs. (keeping important buildings such as churches and libraries as close to original as possible) When they decided to rebuild the city, it helped in traffic flow and infrastructure. But at first I thought this would have taken all the culture that they had experienced away. I was wrong. Sure when you get dropped of at the train station it looks nothing like any other European city I have been to. Where were the large stone buildings with gargoyles looking down at me? They aren’t there. You have to actually go to old town for this. That said, you’ll still find your H&M’s and McDonalds there too, but it’s not as bad. If its history you want be sure to check out the Hapsburg’s summer home. It’s big. 1,400 plus rooms in one building… that is only 3 or 4 stories high. You can tour up to 40 of them with a very well presented audio program. All of the other rooms are actually apartments now for civil workers. I’m guessing at least 200 of them are for gardeners alone. The backyard to this castle (?) is insane. If you’re so inclined take a look at it on Google earth or something. It’s crazy big.

Whether you’re royalty, a celebrity, German or American, a celebration such as Oktoberfest makes everyone equal.

A few days ago I witnessed a 20 something girl peeing on the side of a medieval catholic church, assumedly because the bathrooms at Oktoberfest were full. Just last night I saw online that one of America’s famous celebutards, Kim Kardashian was at Oktoberfest… not that I care, but she’s an example. And then there’s me. On the first day of the festivals I found myself in the VIP section of the main tent (for the day) drinking bier with some of the VIP’s from Spaten, and the owner of my favorite bar back home. Neither of which I had ever met before. I guess what I’m saying is this. I have met a lot of people and seen a lot of things in my travels throughout the world, and when it all comes down to it. We’re all the same. We have bad days, we have good days, sometimes you’re the dirndl, sometimes you’re just a boob.

“The more I see, the less I know”- Michael Franti


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