Monday, September 29, 2008

The Road to Oktoberfest

In the months leading up to my time here in Italy I've been talking about Oktoberfest. It was the one trip that I had to do, not just for the beer. I could drink beer anywhere. Oktoberfest isn't about the beer, but the mobilization of thousands of people of all colors and nations converging in one place to have a good time.

Upon arrival in Italy, it seemed like everyone was a skeptic about making the trip to Munich for Oktoberfest. Everyone had an alarmist mentality. They would warn me of extremely expensive hotels, airfare and train tickets. With all the skeptics you might have thought that a trip to Munich was impossible. Yet, it seemed like everyone around me was going. They were getting there by bus, train and plane. They found transportation and some even found accommodations as late as a week in advance.

Maybe it was the fear of missing out on something I had anticipated for so long, or the frustration of letting the skeptics and alarmists rob me of my hope. But as I sat at dinner with friends on Wednesday night I made the final decision that I was going to find a way to Oktoberfest.

It turns out by that point (Wednesday night) the trains and planes were completely booked. About 20 hours later I was in a parking lot learning how to drive stick shift in a Fiat Panda. And just hours after that a friend and I were on the road to Munich-- windows rolled down, "Hotel California" blaring from the little blue Panda as we raced down the Autobahn.

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