Friday, September 30, 2011

Annual German Traditions

Can you hear it, everyone? The slight up and down rhythm of German Oompah music?

I sure do.

It's that time of year again where K and I load up our things, load off our dog and hit the road up to San Francisco to celebrate Oktoberfest with our amazing college friends.

It's a tradition harken back to 2007 when K was living in the Bay Area for work and I was in Laguna. We racked up a lot of Southwest credits that year, let me tell ya. We tried to make the most of our weekends together since they were usually a couple weeks in between, and decided to head into the city to experience Oktoberfest.

Please note we did no research ahead of time.

We arrived at 4 o'clock, sans tickets, only to discover loads upon loads of inebriated youngsters filing out of the Fort Mason facility it used to be housed in. Apparently, they had an "afternoon family fun" portion and a "for adults only" evening. It was clear a LOT of "family fun" had been achieved with mass quantities of beer by young and old alike. In attempting to look for the ticket booth, we questioned a couple people that appeared to be our age only to be met with blank, bloodshot stares.

When we finally did find the ticket booth, we were told the event was completely sold out.

I wanted to head down to North Beach for some Italian and call it a day, but if there's two things I know about my husband, it's this: he is resourceful and loves bucking authority.

In comparison, breaking the rules causes me anxiety.

Eventually, he convinced a pair of girls leaving Oktoberfest to rip off their wrist bands. Then, he had us each chew a piece of gum and re-affix the bands to our own wrists; this was only half of the challenge, however. Since SF's Oktoberfest is broken into "two segments" due to available space and their desire to suck every possible attendee dry of any money they might possibly have, we still weren't supposed to reenter the building. They were in the process of emptying the afternoon guests, which meant our wristbands were about to become invalid.

So what did we do?

We pretended we'd lost a friend who was "worse for wear" inside the facility and "would we be able to go get him?"

They said yes, and we ended up partying the night away, sausages and beers and jump roping girls in dirndles, oh my!

For the record, I do not recommend this act of frivolity. It appears so fun and full of joy, right? Wrong if you are anyone but the girls in the dirndles. They did it around 11pm so, as I'm sure you can imagine, the floor was covered in beer and dirt, and every time they'd whip that garland around, it would spatter sludge all over the people who look so jolly and entertained.

By the time the next year rolled around, our friend Fantastic J (a nickname I've recently discovered her husband hates, so naturally one I'll be trying to use more often) was living in the city and we decided to make a group go-of-it. Small group, but still loads of fun.

More of our friends came the next year and so on, and now it is an annual tradition. This year, there will be 15 of us.

Watch out San Francisco. I hope you're wearing your party leiderhosen.

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