Those are the moments we remember.
Think about that one trip that you really remember and something sticks out in your mind. Whether it is a funny or embarrassing moment For me it happened while living in Germany several years ago.
I took advantage of being there by traveling as much as I could. Day trips, overnight trips, adjacent countries I traveled every chance I had. One of the best things about Germany is the beer fests. It seemed every town had a beer fest and there was one every weekend somewhere. I knew I was home.
I managed to get to the Grand Daddy of all beer fests, The Mecca, The Holy Grail, the best in the world. That’s right Oktoberfest. Held since 1810, in Munich Germany, the one of a kind party has gone strong for 200 years. Well it has been cancelled 24 times due to war, emergency or some other calamity. Other than that the Festival has been going strong.
Oktoberfest consists of massive tents and long tables where everyone sits, drinks, listens to music and has fun. Someone told me there were rides, exhibits, and other things there but I don’t seem to remember that. I do remember having to choose between one of seven tents that held several thousand people each and had big steins of beer delivered by waitresses resembling the St Pauli Girl.
Having been in Germany for awhile I could speak a little German and usually could get my message across and understand enough to get by.
Somewhere during the course of the night I found myself sitting next to a rather large German guy about my age. For about 4 hours we had exchanged toasts and acknowledged each other but had not really spoken. The tents are loud, very loud, somewhere between standing on the tarmac when a jet takes off and the front row of a heavy metal concert loud. You pretty much have to be right next to someone and talking directly to them to hear and be heard.
Image via WikipediaAt one point the German turns to me and begins to strike up a conversation. He he asks in broken English if I was from Munich. I said no and in my best broken German told him the town I was living in. He indicated he did not understand. I was shocked, I wasn’t drunk yet, well not quit sober, but not drunk. I try again, twisting the pronunciation, and again, and yet again.
Each time he says in broken English he doesn’t understand and looks at me like a monkey trying to do a math problem.
About this time I get frustrated and take a long swallow of beer. That’s when I hear him say to his friend, in perfect English mind you, “I don’t understand a damn thing this guy is saying”.
After trying my best to swallow and not spit the beer all over the place I finally manage to ask him, in English, where he was from. He looks at me and says “San Jose” then tells me he and his friend came to Germany for two weeks to party at Oktoberfest and see the sights. Then he gets that look again and it dawns on him.
So both of us thought the other was German and spent at least 10 minutes trying to communicate. Turns out he was a nice guy and we had a good talk after that. The worst part was the old German guy sitting across from us laughing and calling us stupid.
And that hasn’t been the only memorable, funny or embarrassing moment I have had. So tell me, what are some of yours?