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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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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10 Summer Vibes You Need To Bump To In The Car

The type of songs that will make you wish summer never had to end.

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There is truly nothing worse than being handed the AUX cord and not knowing what to do with it. In that moment, the spotlight is on you. You, the chosen one, has the opportunity to completely amp up the mood and get people in their feels.

For me, this is the moment in which I thrive the most and I am going to make sure that anyone that reads this article does to.

Now without further ado, here are 10 songs that will for sure boost your summer music cred.

1.  "Truth Hurts" by Lizzo 

If you haven't heard this one yet, I am sorry. This up and coming artist paved her way in the music world by introducing one of the most catchy girl anthems I have heard in a while. If you ever need a little reminder that you're a bad b*tch, listen to this song. The catchy beat and independent lyrics won't let you down.

2. "The London (feat. J Cole & Travis Scott)" by Young Thug 

If you want a song that pleases absolutely everyone, this is your go-to. Three of the biggest names of rap music in one song- it does not get much better. With a vibey beat and catchy chorus, you will be singing this song in no time.

3. "I Don't Care" by Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber 

I'll tell you what, I do care about this song. After quite some time without music from Bieber or Sheeran, they have come back to bless us once again. Please don't go ghost on us again boys, we missed you.

4. "You Little Beauty" by Fisher 

Now this one is for my house people. Whether you like him for his insane personality or the electric beats he produces, Fisher is one of a kind. With his new single "You Little Beauty," you will be bopping your head and waving your hands the entire time.

5. "Electric Feel" by MGMT

An oldie, but a goodie. I don't know about you, but this song makes me wanna drive down the coast with my windows down, blasting the music. You can't beat alternative songs in the summer and this one is at the top of my playlist.

6. "GRoCERIES" by Chance the Rapper 

Chance. Is. Back. That's all I need to say.

7. "Whatever You Need" by Meek Mill and Nicki Minaj

Who doesn't love a good throwback to get them amped? You can't forget the Nicki/Meek era for many reasons, but one of the main ones being the unreal collaborations we got out of it. "Whatever You Need" will always be one to remember, so don't forget to keep it in your mind this summer.

8. "Jungle" by Tash Sultana

If you love the sound of guitar, this is the song for you. Being over five minutes, this song shows the musical talent within Tash Sultana. With guitar solos sprinkled so effortless throughout and the uniqueness of her voice, you are able to teleport into a musical phenomenon with this song.

9. "Baila Baila Baila (Remix)" by Ozuna, Daddy Yankee, & J Balvin

The song literally means "Dance Dance Dance," which automatically means it's going to be a crowd pleaser. And, come on, it's summer, you can't not listen to a little Spanish music.

10. "Undrunk" by Fletcher 

Representing an artist from my very own hometown, this one is constantly blasting in my car. Fletcher is the new artist to look out for, and she's making her way up the charts quickly with this banger. It is the perfect song to belt out after a night of bad decisions and calls to your ex.

I have now blessed you all with 10 songs that will make even the biggest of music snobs get in the mood. Use them wisely.

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