Oktoberfest. Munich, Germany.
Four gals walk into a beer tent. Only three walk out.
The Oktoberfest fairgrounds are already packed. Carnival rides are in motion, food vendors are already handing out turkey legs, bratwurst and pretzels, souvenir shops are bagging up gifts, and beer is abound. Best way to describe Oktoberfest – Adult Disney (rides and all). There are beer tents galore. Too many to count. We head into the Hofbrauhaus tent. The plan is to have a beer or two here and then move on to the Paulaner tent.
Already a stein deep. Gums are getting numb. Smile is wide. Oom-pah music is loud. We’ve made friends with the four American guys next to us.
Stein count = 2
Someone asks “Where is Kathy?”
Reply “Went to the bathroom with Josh.
Stein count = somewhere between two and four.
Someone at the table asks “Where is Kathy?”
Reply “Still in the bathroom. Josh is back though.”
Stein count = at least 4, plus a large pretzel and some chicken
Someone asks “Guessing Kathy is still in the bathroom?”
Reply “Yup, I think so.”
The party continues.
Stein count = getting up there
Someone states “Kathy has been in the bathroom for a while now, you should go look for her” (pointing at Alex). Why Alex? Because Alex is deemed the most responsible at this point.
Alex and Josh head to the bathrooms to find Kathy.
The party continues.
Stein count = unknown
Someone askes “Couldn’t find Kathy?”
Alex “Nope, not in the bathroom. We looked in other tents too.”
Here is where the panic sets in.
It took an entire eight hours to realize Kathy hadn’t come back from the bathroom. Not because we didn’t love Kathy, but because Oktoberfest is a time warp. Seriously. I remember entering the Hofbrauhaus tent at 9:30 AM. Finding a table. Making friends. Singing “Hey! Hey Baby!” to no end. Dancing on said table. Watching people get their underwear ripped off and thrown up onto a giant naked baby in the Pig Pen. The Oompah band. Frauleins carrying fists full of beer. Lots of lederhosen. However, I do not remember Kathy being gone for as long as she was gone or the fact that we were in the tent from 9:30 in the morning to 10:00 at night. It seemed as though we had been drinking for mere hours. Not the entire day.
I’ve never sobered up so fast in my life.
We bid our new friends farewell with talks of connecting on Facebook.
Then we strategized. A few thoughts that were thrown out included: calling Kathy’s parents. Let them know their daughter is missing…in Germany. Calling the United Nations, they will surely be able to find Kathy. Call the German polizei, they could help. (Okay, when I said I sobered up fast…probably not too fast if these were our grand ideas for finding Kathy). After arguing about this for several minutes and grabbing a brat because well I was hungry. We decided to head back to our hotel in hopes that Kathy had enough sense to go there.
We had to take the metro to get back to our hotel, and then grab a bus. While waiting for the bus we had another breakdown. Alex was freaking out, Tara was being a dumb ass, and I think I was the mediator between the two (BTW, that is generally not my role). Finally the bus pulls up. Guess who walks off? Fucking Kathy.
Kathy’s Side of the Story
She goes to the bathroom. Drops her stein. It breaks. She gets yelled by a crotchety German woman. Feels too drunk. Decides to go to the hotel. Gets on the metro. Passes out. The metro hits the end of the line. The driver leaves her…in the empty metro train….by herself. She is still passed out. At some point she wakes up. Realization hits. She is alone. In the metro. Somehow…not sure how, she exits the metro and finds the bus line that will lead her to the hotel. Rides the bus route over and over because she doesn’t know where to get off. Miraculously, our paths meet.
After the natural questions of “where the fuck were you? And how the hell did that happen?” we decide we need food (and I need more food because well…I’m hungry…again). At this time McDonalds is the only food joint open. Large fry it is.
*Side note: this tale takes place in a time when we didn’t have international calling plans, wifi is dodgy and texting wasn’t big.
So, my advice to you: Go to Oktoberfest, it is a grand fucking time. Get to the beer tents early. Don’t stand in the Pig Pen if you want to keep your underwear. Sing. Dance. Drink the day away. Meet new friends. And lastly, if you leave…tell someone.