What It Was Like To Be A Tour Guide During Oktoberfest

What It Was Like To Be A Tour Guide During Oktoberfest

The reasons why I believe beer and bicycles are all you need to survive.
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There is an obnoxious ringing I can’t seem to get rid of. I swat around aimlessly until finally realize that my alarm is going off. It’s 6 a.m. on a Friday in Munich, Germany. I am six hours ahead of my friends and family. Right now, knowing them, they are in my hometown slamming shots and drinking brewskis living for the weekend while I am struggling to get off a thin twin mattress that is next to my friend's bed. The sun is finally peeking through the clouds and I am still struggling to wake up, find my keys, and get ready, You would think after backpacking Europe this whole get up and move on a moments notice would be routine for me, but trust me it’s not. I jump in the shower and head out the door soon after.

I am about five miles away from my job. What do I do? Well, I am a tour guide. Somehow some way I managed to land myself a job as a tour guide in a city where I only spent three days in a few months back. Now every morning I unlock my bike, hop on and ride five miles through the world’s largest beer garden. What makes this even cooler is the fact that it is Oktoberfest. The Oktoberfest.

Munich just hit the milestone of roughly 1.5 million people. This is Germany’s third largest city followed by Berlin and Hamburg. But this is nothing compared to the amount of people the visit the 16-day festival. I just want you to really take this in. There are roughly 1.5 million people living in this wonderful city. Within the 16 days that is Oktoberfest roughly 7.2 million people visit. That means nearly five times the amount of people living in Munich, Germany’s third biggest city, visit during the festival. If that isn’t insane then I don’t think you really understand. It’s like taking the population of NYC and having EVERYONE visit Oktoberfest.

My job as a tour guide was to ride around on a bicycle describing the all of the history in Munich. This ranged from Marienplatz where the famous Glockenspiel building is, to the Nymphenburg Palace, and Olympiapark where the 1972 Olympic Massacre occurred. When I wasn’t renting out bikes to tourists I was bringing them through the world’s largest beer garden. One of the many perks of this job was free food and a free liter every time I rode through it. Even the language barrier wasn’t an issue. Nearly everyone under the age of 30 spoke perfect English. Although not everyone was pleased to speak it. I usually got around it with this one magical sentence “Ich lerne Deutsch aber können wir Englisch sprechen bitte” which means “I am learning German, but can we speak English please”. After that it was all “ja ja, it goes quicker dis vey” followed by a nice chuckle.

I can’t say that I have worked a job that was more fun than this one. My sole purpose was to lead a group of people by bicycle through two beer gardens, around national monuments and through the second largest city party in Europe. My job was to show them how beautiful Munich is. I met people from all over the world every day. I worked with people from Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Ireland, and Argentina.

The mornings were spent teaching tourists while the nights were spent drinking liters with them. To experience Oktoberfest in action is nearly indescribable. There are about 14 tents with of upwards of 10,000 people in each. To order drinks you must be sat and they only come in a liter (aka LARGE), and if you don’t sing along with the drunken German madness then you will be shunned! I have seen people stand on the table. Raise their glass in the air. Be cheered on by thousands of people. Raise their full liter to their mouth and chug. Those who are successful bask in the roar of the crowd. Those who fail to chug it all in one go are shamed with garbage and food being thrown at them.

Oktoberfest is the highest form of organized chaos that I have ever seen—now bare with me on this. Nearly 7 million liters of beer were finished, 550,000 chickens were eaten, 111,000 attempts to steal a mug, 950 IDs, 570 wallets, 2 french horns, a walking stick, a clown costume, several wheelchairs, and my personal favorite, a prosthetic limb was found abandoned in the aftermath. Each one of these items has a story. Probably a beer-soaked nearly blacked out encounter, but a story nevertheless.

I spent several months working in a city I never thought I’d see again. I was able to check off a bucket list event and be paid to do it. This was one of the best experiences I’ve had and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Now to leave you with the most important thing I learned during Oktoberfest.

Prost!


Cover Image Credit: WTOP

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There are all kinds of alcohol stereotypes out there but the one associated with tequila is probably the worst: tequila makes you crazy. But if there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that women who drink tequila are one-of-a-kind.

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A girl who drinks tequila is probably the same girl who has absolutely no problem telling it like it is. She knows what she wants and goes after it.

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3. Always dancing

Tequila is an 'upper' so instead of sitting at the bar doing nothing, let's dance! Let's get moving!

4. There is never a dull moment

Speaking of dancing, a girl who drinks tequila is always down for a good time. Whether it's going on an adventure or seeing who can take the most shots, a tequila girl is always down to party.

5. While everyone else is starting to get sleepy, she has all the energy

Like I said, tequila is an 'upper' so while the other girls at the bar are starting to feel groggy and sad, she's all over the place having fun and partying on the dancefloor.

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10 Reasons To Start Vaping In 2019 If You Haven't Yet

"It's safer than cigarettes"

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Vaping is the rage these days among adolescents and college students. Here are some great reasons to start!

1. It's what all the cool kids do

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I wish that I could be like the cool kids

2. It damages your lungs

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It's not like you need these to breathe or anything

3. It pollutes the air

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Let's pollute the air even more!

4. Nicotine addiction

Just the thing I want to be addicted to

5. "Delicious" flavors

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Would you prefer mango flavor or the cancer flavor?

6. The Juul looks like a USB

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Your parents won't suspect a thing

7. Inhale metals like nickel and lead

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Yummmmmm. Lead poisoning isn't a thing.

8. More likely to get infections

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9. You'll eventually want cigarettes

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And you'll make your lungs worse

10. Lung and mouth cancer

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Who doesn't want cancer

In case you couldn't tell, this was very sarcastic. If you want all of these things, then go ahead, start vaping. But you should know what you're getting yourself into and be prepared for the consequences.

If you already vape, I mean no disrespect and I'm not trying to hate on you, but you should seriously stop. Whatever you think is a good reason for vaping really is not a good enough reason to damage your body.

Stop vaping. And if you don't vape, don't start. Just don't.

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