Homage to Bavaria

9 10 2018

Munich

Oktoberfest, yes, it was a whole hell of a lot of fun.

But on the other hand, I’m glad it’s over.

Because I don’t think I could have taken any more fun.

***

A few observations:

(1) I look at Oktoberfest on two levels.  On one level, it has to be the world’s greatest annual festival whose reputation is indicative of a country.  The only competition I can think of off hand is Carnival in Rio, but its pleasures are way more carnal than alcoholic.

On the other hand, I get a feeling of deja vu, because it’s just like the county fairs and the Missouri State Fair I schlepped to during my lobbying days, in that it’s a big center for political networking and gossip trading.  It and Salzburg before that were a really good opportunities for me to fatten by German and European ‘Dex, because it’s not like I exactly came here with an extensive one.

Because learning German for me is going to be way more of an immersive experience than a theoretical experience, Oktoberfest was also a good classroom.

(2)  During the summer voyage, Munich was going away my favorite big city.  If I didn’t have to live in Cologne or anywhere in the 3R for strategic and logistical reasons, and I could live anywhere I wanted in Germany as long as it was a big city, it would definitely be Munich.  By the time I get to leave here a week from today, I’ll practically have every nook and cranny and back alley in the city memorized.  But before I go back to Cologne, I have stops to make in Hechingen, Basel, Freiburg, and the Uhrenstraße.

(3)  I used the word “homage” in the title of this post.  On one day during the first week here, someone that looked really familiar to me walked past me along with someone else, he got as close to me by maybe three yards, while going in the opposite direction of where I was sitting still.  I couldn’t figure it out at first, but later that night, the word “homage” came to my mind for some reason, then it all fell in place — “Homage to Catalonia,” by Orwell.  Catalonia.  Carles Puigdemont.

I still wonder what he was doing here in Munich, and as it so happens, during that same week, it was the one year anniversary of the referendum in Catalonia, and exuberant supporters of independents and the cops mixed it up.  I wonder if that has anything to do with his being here.

As you know, I have mixed feelings about the current question of Catalonian independence.

Also there were rumors going around on Sunday, the final day, that Bill and Hillary Clinton were hanging around this scene over the final weekend.  I can’t confirm that with my eyeballs, but I let myself go in terms of knocking ’em back over the final weekend, in contrast to before when I did mind my Ps and Qs because I was trying to schmooze and network, so they could have been ten feet in front of me, but I was so far gone that I would have been none the wiser.

(4)  I never had a collection of fine beer mugs before now, but I’ve just started one.

(5)  A lot more mystery meat here than I would have thought, and more than I was comfortable with.  I put my life in the hands of the BKA and the Bavarian Police, hoping they’d prevent any of those trucks of peace or 72 virgin seekers.  While there was nothing that major, there were plenty of minor incidents involving mystery meat, a Pakistani woman tried to finger rape another woman, a Somalian dindu kept it real with a cop, a few stabby Afghanis, a few bite-y Afghanis, a father was charged with assault because he saved his daughter from a potentially rape-y Ethiopian.  Other than that, nothing unusual happened, considering there were masses and throngs of people, most of them were a bit tipsy and some were three sheets to the wind, and you always have to expect some level of stupidity and lame-brainedness from people that far gone.

(6)  Oktoberfest would for me have been a lot more fun around 2004.  This is part of the travelogue I’ll never get to write, but in spite of what people might guess, the big problem with modern day Berlin is that it’s flopping around like a fish out of water trying to find an identity.  But, from reunification to the financial crash in 2008, Berlin was one of the world’s great party towns, indicative of the young adults of Germany’s equivalent of Generation X squatting in abandoned East Berlin holes in the wall right after reunification, and eventually developing one of the world’s great party music scenes.  A disproportionate percentage of the club and party music in the circa 1992 to 2008 time frame, some of which I spun during my amateur DJing days, came from Berlin, and in fact, in my own collection, one can find three different artist-group names alone with “Berlin” in the title, and many more individual songs by others with “Berlin” in the title, not to mention the many others from Berlin without “Berlin” in the title.  During the 1992-2008 time frame, I understand, the best spinners from the Berlin party scene would come down to Munich for Oktoberfest and show off their new warez for the occasion just as the breweries show off their new special occasion Oktoberfest beers.

But, the thing about hot parties is that eventually, they don’t jump like they used to, then they end.  Which means I’m in a wheelchair, and Berlin is trying to find an identity.

(7) In case you’re wondering, while I wore casual-formal attire for most days, I did take the plunge and wear lederhosen for the final weekend, including the feathered hat.  I hope I have possession and control over every photo of myself wearing them, because if anyone else has any, I know they’ll make for very good blackmail fodder.

***

Now I’m turning my attention to the real reason I’m here, and that’s this coming Sunday, though it’s not as if I wasn’t focused on that day for the last two weeks and change.  My next post here, which I will write after I hit the big red button on this one, will be my handicapping Sunday’s vote.

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