Elke and I decided to go to Oktoberfest just for a short bit despite bomb threats.
Once there, it was overwhelming. When we got to a place with the heads of famous Bavarian generals and "Miss Bavaria" (in Bavarian proportions) we watched as emergency vehicles drove through the crowd and border patrol people gathered watching intently. It freaked me out a little bit, and with no plans to drink beer or buy trinkets, we walked back to downtown Munchen around the outskirts, avoiding the thickest part of the crowd.
Elke and I were discussing dirndls. First I asked, "So... Elke, are all Deutsch fraus busty, or are dirndls just very flattering to THAT area?" German women aren't all busty. I told her that I wanted my own dirndl, and not the kind that button up to the neck. I want one where boobs that you don't even have are just talking to the crowd. I then taught her the English phrase, "To make mountains of molehills." She laughed, and asked when I would ever wear my dirndl. "Oh... on dates, when I'm baking or depressed or both, drinking beer at home, and job interviews." I guess most good Bavarians own a dirndl or lederhosen. When some of us would pull out our cowboy hats or boots, Bavarians pull out their lederhosen or dirndls for Bavarian events, including weddings. I thought that young women were paid extra to wear revealing dirndls to get college frat boys on vacation in Munich to buy more beer, but I'm happy to hear that these traditional vestments are alive and well without any help from tourists.
It was a lot like the Alaska State Fair, except for the following:
“Not very crowded today” = Worse than the most populated day at the fair.
Instead of temp. buildings with crafts, food, art, and livestock, it’s brewer’s tents.
People wearing dirndls and lederhosen, and many more drunk
But still, there were rides (rollercoasters and bungees and all sorts of things the Fair won’t have for another 20 years), and stalls with kitschy stupid trinkets like Spongebob Squarepants balloons on sticks, and fried tasty food (but whole rotisserie chickens and pretzels the size of my torso still made up the bulk of solid calorie consumption).
In other news, according to the Riesenkonig family, I still look very very American. All my attempts to be fashionable on a budget apparently just make me look like an American trying to be fashionable on a budget. Okay. My aunt lent me a bulky-knit orange sweater with humongous buttons to wear, and the family declared me partially cured. Maybe black and dark and muted things are for France, here it's all about big knits, bright colors, and spandex in bright colors.
Screw learning by immersion. Next time I try to learn a language (including this one) I’m going to make flashcards and practice. No use hearing something if I don’t know what it is except for “sounds familiar."