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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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

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4. He taught me how to be brave.

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My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

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Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

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Sweet Potatoes Are The Most Underrated Vegetable Of All Time

Everything you need to know about the pieces of edible gold we call "sweet potatoes" and why they will always perish over any plain old potato.

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The potato. The heart of the American food industry. A versatile vegetable crop soaked in grease that brings us some of our favorite appetizers and sides. From french fries, to curly fries, to tater tots, to baked potatoes, to hash browns, this hallowed vegetable has become the Johnny Depp of the vegetable family. Now, we are all aware that the configurations of potatoes are limitless, but we commonly disregard the potato's delicious and neglected brother: the sweet potato. I, a credible food connoisseur and highly experienced eater, am here to tell you why you are missing out on a world of flavor if you choose to dismiss the beloved sweet potato and its many entities.

Let me first start this tirade by proving to you my credibility...I, too, once believed that regular french fries were better than sweet potato fries. I scoffed at the idea of choosing those ridiculous orange sticks over my tried-and-true plain boys. I could not be convinced that any sweetness should impede on my savory snacks.

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I am well aware that my fry experience cannot be simulated again by any average food-goer, but I challenge you, the reader of this article, to get out there and enjoy a sweet potato in any form. Stray from your basic fries or tater tots and dabble in a sweet treat which will undoubtedly bring you flavorful satisfaction.

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