Outside of Munich is a small town that boasts all the Bavarian quaintness you could hope for. We met Irene here. Her home is large, she has several children, all adopted from Southeast Asia. We sat with her for hours exchanging stories about Thailand and Myanmar. She told us about her favorite tents and that the lightweight should order a Radler- what she prefers, half lemonade and half festival beer. She sent us away urging us to have a good time.
In the Haufbrau tent, we found some familiar faces and entered the craziness that is Oktoberfest. A live band and a sea of drunken (but happy) faces swayed on top of benches. Chanting, cheering, and beer filled the tent. Outside was a scene from Pinocchio; carnival rides with lights and animatronics moved about in the night sky. Lederhosen and dirndl adorned the characters who wandered from tent to tent, music blaring from each one. During the day, people would bring their children for the rides, the pretzels, and cotton candy but at night it was like every college party combined, but everyone was dressed up in bavarian style- and everyone has a liter of beer.
Liters are the only size they sell at Oktoberfest; this is why Irene told me about Radlers. On the local train, nearly everyone was in dirndl or lederhosen (German or not) this is what people wear to Oktoberfest. There are many things to eat too, but probably the most scrumptious are rotisserie chickens that have been brined to a level of saltiness that might be too much if it weren’t for the beer.