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Sam Gilbert is a journalism junior and Mustang News study abroad columnist.
Every now and then, you have to look back and reflect on some of the greatest moments that influenced the person you are today.
When this time comes, I’m sure you’ll think of getting your braces off, receiving your driver’s license, being handed the keys to your first apartment, getting married and even holding your first child.
However, I know that when I look back on the best day of my life, I will picture two things: dirndls and steins.
Yes; these two objects will forever symbolize the most sacred timeline event in history: Oktoberfest 2013 in Munich, Germany.
I’m not going to lie, right when I stepped off the plane in Germany, I felt immediately at ease. Maybe it’s because the airport staff spoke English; maybe it’s because I saw a Starbucks within the first two minutes. Most likely, though, it was because the buildings were all concrete and and there wasn’t a cobblestone street in sight.
If you’re catching my drift, it was much more comparable to America than Spain will ever be.
After the initial excitement of arriving in another country, it was time for day one to commence.
Let’s start off with the outfits. Sure, from afar, it looks like a bunch of guys and girls who are too intoxicated to care that they’re wearing what appears to be cheap Halloween costumes. Wrong. Those bad boys are works of art.
Traditionally, girls wear dirndls — otherwise known as beer maiden dresses — and boys wear lederhosen.
Obviously, my friends and I went all out when it came to attire.
I think the best part about this weekend was the fact that approximately 30 Cal Poly students studying abroad from Florence, Italy to Seville, Spain were all reunited.
Although it was a bit rough sneaking 10 sorority girls into one hotel room, we made it happen. Believe it or not, we didn’t receive a single noise complaint.
With our Cal Poly posse in tow, we were ready to take on a particular tent at the event — the infamous Hofbräuhaus.
I don’t think I will ever forget the sprinting, falling and screaming that took place once the whistles were blown to get to the front of the line. Dirndls were flying, and that’s no lie.
By some kind of miracle, we got a huge table for our crew. Then the magic happened — magic which came in the form of a stein.
I don’t know what’s up with that beer, but what I do know is I will never be able to look at a good old Heineken ever again.
We have some suspicions as to whether or not the drinks were drugged, because by the time each person was about halfway done with theirs, I’d never seen so many happy people in one room at once.
It was, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful celebrations of life I have ever personally witnessed.
This event not only taught me the importance of appreciating and enjoying time with those who you love, but it also taught me one of life’s most important lessons: Don’t mess with the workers at Oktoberfest.
These people have absolutely no filter.
As the steins began flowing, so did dance moves on the table.
I witnessed employees shouting really aggressive German at everyone who stood on the tables. I also saw pulling, shoving and angry insults being thrown left and right.
I even witnessed a man yell at a girl, “Get off the table, you fat lard!” So there’s that.
At the time, I was wondering why Germans hate Americans so much. The reason suddenly became clear once I looked back at the videos on my phone from that weekend and watched one of my friends lead a group of Oktoberfest attendees in a sing-a-long to the National Anthem.
Well, at least we had fun.
Cheers to an unforgettable weekend.