Home > Germany, Personal > Fruhlingsfest, DJ Action, Sleepless Nights

Fruhlingsfest, DJ Action, Sleepless Nights

Writing can be cathartic and energizing. Putting experiences into solid words makes them (to me at least) more tangible, more durable, and easier to understand than my flawed and fickle memory, which is capable of astonishing leaps in imagination to the point where mere days after an event I can no longer necessarily trust that what I remember is fact. At the same time, stretching my imagination in the direction of writing both clearly and creatively gives me an enormous amount of energy, especially when I pursue a new idea in style or format or content. Even writing in a so-called “standard” way, I still find subtle ways to try new things, whether or not others notice. Sometimes it’s just massaging the text for public versus private consumption, but more and more that is a task of Olympian mental gymnastics.

Normally my “weekend” in the sense of fun and crazy activities only starts on Saturday, but with Fruhlingsfest in full swing and ending soon, the usual suspects decided it would be fun to go Friday evening, especially with Fraser and Jamie’s friends Ally and Laura in town for the weekend. And so after work and getting ready at the apartment, I headed out. Almost immediately things started to go wrong. First I got confused between Theresienstrasse and Theresienweise, the actual stop I needed to go to, so I was behind what I had originally hoped my schedule would be. Then, due to an erroneous assumption, I went to the Augustiner tent, where we had been the week before for Kristyn’s birthday. After a few phone calls I worked out that in fact everyone was at the other beer tent, the Hippodrom. I left the Augustiner tent just in time to walk into a torrential thunderstorm. Not only that, but with the weather so nice, I had for the first time not brought my waterproof jacket. I was almost instantly soaked to the skin, not to mention startled half to death when a bolt of lightning struck the nearby open field not a quarter of a mile from where I was standing, with a flash bright enough to blind me briefly, and a sound like the end of the world. But I persevered and shivering, half-blind and in a pool of water, made it to the correct beer tent, walking to the back area where the group: Mauritz, Eva, Klaus, Morgan, Fraser, Jamie, Ally, and Barbara were sitting. I had barely sat down before I received a text message from Casey saying she was on her way, so I ordered beer for the both of us, passing hers over a few minutes later when she arrived. Another new arrival was Aleksandra; a Polish Au Pair recently arrived from England. Blonde, like nearly every other girl I’ve met in Munich (it sometimes feels), Aleks had met Eva and Morgan shortly after moving to Germany. She was interesting to talk to, full of stories of Poland and its similarities and differences compared to the rest of Europe, along with the (to me) new fact that apparently Polish citizens still require an extra effort to visit the U.S. a very different process than that for visitors from Germany or Britain.

We drank, we chatted, we toasted. We stood up on benches and sang our hearts out to New York New York and more traditional, repetitive really songs that I’ve now heard at beer festivals. Still fun to sing along to for the most part though, especially after a Mass or two. There were some bits that caught my eye during the evening, from Mauritz in lederhosen, to seeing him, Eva and Morgan not only smoking but using honest to goodness stick it up your nose snuff, a bizarre habit, but frankly to me far more preferable than the endless stink of cigarettes that sometimes seems to be a part of my sweat during exercise the next few days after being around smokers. Other fun moments included Barbara’s make out session with a guy she deemed “cute but a bad kisser,” and Aleks getting hit on, a lot, and Casey’s attempt to help by offering to pretend to be her girlfriend and thus not worth pursuing (an offer she gracefully declined much as she decline d her many suitors. The place shut down around eleven though, too early to call it a night we decided, so after frequent stalls and confusion (and Jamie wearing Casey’s scarf to protect his hair), most of us headed off to Fraser’s apartment. Fraser, Aleks and I shared a cab, wherein Fraser used our Russian/German driver and Aleks’ Russian skills to learn how to say dirty things in foreign tongues. At the apartment, we met up with Sven and Alana and decided to go to a bar across the street, Harper and Queen. The bar was nice enough, though filled with over made up girls and guys with overused cologne. The bathrooms had a strange feature where instead of a mirror at the sinks, you could actually look into the other genders sink area. Good for guilting those who don’t wash but otherwise awkward for any grooming. Though at the apartment earlier it wasn’t until the bar that I was introduced to Scottish Laura who had only just arrived. The accent I’ve so much come to associate with Fraser and Jamie seemed odd coming out of a pretty girl’s mouth instead at first but not unpleasant by any means. I was concerned about catching the last train so I left at the usual last train time. Instead though, I ended up meeting a nice young lady and going to a different bar with her followed by McDonald’s and a night sleeping in town after all. I only made it back to my apartment (once again braving the rain) a little after noon Saturday.

I spent the afternoon chatting with various folks (Lydia, Barbara, Casey, Kristyn, and others) online while I tried to prepare myself for going out again despite already feeling a bit tired. I don’t like coffee but I made an exception before I left and got a double-shot of espresso to fortify me, heading off to the party palace (as I affectionately think of it) and arriving a little before nine. Along with the actual people who live there, and the visiting Scots, Jamie was there taking a shower, Eva was hanging out, and Roel was asleep on an air mattress next to Laura, waking up and swigging from a huge stein of tea as I walked in. I chatted with the group as people got ready and others (Casey, Katherine, Kristyn, Ida, Mauritz’s sister Jelena and her boyfriend) arrived. Jamie made me try to take pictures of him semi-naked and posing but I refrained.  Ally explained how Laura is just one of the boys despite her rather evident girlishness (in her mind she’s a guy, only her “bodily functions” as he put it are female). Sitting in the living room and drinking, I caught up with Ida, who told me about Anni leaving and her tears at MAH bar the night before as she proceeded to split a bottle of vodka with a few others, including Casey who was determined to get drunk because she had locked herself out of her apartment and wouldn’t be able to get back in until the weekend was over. Happily she could stay at Fraser’s though I privately wondered whether it would be on the couch or not. I also had a fascinating talk with Laura where I learned she is a doctor in Britain, while still only 23. Considering what I know of the American system of becoming a doctor from friends and television shows, this frankly blew my mind, and both impressed and intimidated the heck out of me.

There was some debate over where to go that night, between a DJ exhibition recommended by the Germans in attendance and a more standard club with music with actual words in it. After switching back and forth in figuring it out, we ultimately went with the DJ thing, which I was leery of, but willing to give a fair shot. We left the apartment a little after eleven, taking the train to a few stops away and walking over to a large warehouse-looking building where a large crowd stood in line to get in. Some of our group were on the guest lists but the rest of us had to pay (what still seems outrageous to me) eighteen Euros to get in, but we all paid and went in to the building, passing through a courtyard to get into a sort of theatre lobby area where the bass pumping from the main dance floor still made my shoes vibrate. Some of the group bought a bottle of vodka but I stuck to beer, with a Jaeger bomb toast with Casey for variety. I don’t know the reasons but we spent a while out there drinking before braving the inner area. Inside, amid strobe lights, weird “artsy images and videos on giant screens above a stage where the DJ’s and some privileged dances gyrated, and a heavy, damp heat, hundreds of people danced to the repetitive, voiceless electronic music.

It felt like a really gross steam bath to me, but some of the group seemed really into it, dancing up a storm, mainly the Germans. The rest of us did our best to adapt our usual routine to the environment, Fraser and Jamie with their sweet dance moves for instance. A lot of that may have been more accurately called drunken stumbling rather than dancing, judging from the way Kristyn, Ida, and some of the others nearly fell over several times. Of course we were all so warm that the usual flushed look of the intoxicated didn’t work as a test of how drunken people were becoming. Still, I had fun both dancing and chatting with people, teasing Casey about things she couldn’t recall and Ida about her attempts to contact her (also very drunk) boyfriend at Fruhlingsfest (where I later learned shenanigans of epic proportions went down).  Everyone else looked like they enjoyed themselves, whether it was Kristyn, Katherine and Ida dancing in a line together, Fraser and Kristyn making out, or Laura and Ally learning the new party and dance techniques perfected by Jamie and Fraser in Germany. I wished Barbara (who was studying and working on her thesis) and Aleks (who was working) could have made it but we made it work. I was caught unawares when people seemed to suddenly leave the dance floor. Perhaps it was the depressing effect of the electronic music (minus the awesome part where they played a bit of the A-Team theme song) but several people seemed to be in bad moods, exacerbated I think by the steamy conditions in the club, shortening tempers.

Kristyn got annoyed at Fraser as per usual after they make out in public. I think they fight just so they can make up at this point, since they don’t actually fight about anything really, they just argue, look into each other’s eyes and proceed to play tonsil hockey. I was particularly amused by the commentary of people around me on them, not just people in our group either. I overheard a couple of people say something about how alcohol makes fighting and kissing basically the same thing, and someone told me there was German comment or two as well. I was too busy at that point trouncing Eva in several rounds of no-laughing contests to notice. My intense gaze inevitably provoked giggles and cracked her attempted solemnity. But the couple wasn’t exactly quiet or subtle so that may also be related to her laughing so much.

It was raining again as well, which annoyed Jamie of course, sensitive as he is about his hair. I wasn’t sure what happened to everyone, all I knew at the time was that Jamie, Roel, Katherine, Mauritz, Eva and I were leaving and no one else from our crew seemed to be around, although I assumed Fraser and his house guests had gone back to his place. I learned later that Sven, Casey and some others had gone to another club though at the time I just felt bad that we might be abandoning her again, luckily not a valid concern. It was five in the morning though so my thought processes weren’t very efficient anyway

Mauritz, Eva, and I split off from the other at the train, riding together to get McDonald’s for them. By the time we reached the apartment building the trains were running again so I declined the offer of a couch to sleep on and just went home, arriving around half-past six, and deciding that I didn’t want to sleep. I was too keyed up to read or write, so I walked around in the rain (with a coat this time) for a while until I felt able to relax a bit more and process the night. I hung out in my apartment all morning (not actually sleeping) and worked on the blog a little bit, more editing than writing to be honest, then received an invitation to have lunch at Fruhlingsfest. I was very fatigued but as it was the last day for the festival I decided to “man up” as the Brits and Aussies say and head over. Alas I made the same mistake as Friday. Since it wasn’t raining when I left, I didn’t take my jacket, but of course by the time I got there it was raining again. I sighed and hurried into the Augustiner tent, coming up near where a band played for the sparse afternoon crowd and sitting at a table with Lydia and Mike. Others apparently invited to come had not made it so the three of us sat and ate and drank (just Coke for Mike after his rather wild weekend) and bantered back and forth for a while. The two of them were attempting to organize a group for Cirque du Soleil but between costs and sold-out shows it didn’t work out. Despite the rain, we all wanted to ride on the carnival rides around the beer tent (although they were both too wimpy to handle any upside-down rides) so we rode a roller coaster (very painful on the legs) and a teacup type ride, which was fun minus the German girl next to me who didn’t enjoy the motion much. Jon had called Lydia to meet up with us so caught up with him on the fairway alas just in time for Mike to say goodbye as he was going to smoke hookah with some others but promised to let us know if anything developed afterward that would be fun. The three of us who were in no real rush to go anywhere went back to the tent for beer. We had fun drinking and singing and dancing. I learned about Jon’s crush on a band member and heard stories about the previous couple of nights. The band did cool things like playing trumpets into actual rings of fire during the appropriate song. In a nice change of pace we also discussed books and reading, a far too rare occurrence in my opinion. My original plan to leave by five quickly fell by the wayside thanks to their persuasive arguments (basically stay and have fun you wuss) and I stayed as it got later, the crowd got younger, the music seemed better and Lydia started stumbling more.

Jon spotted a couple of people he knew whom I had seen at Toytown though never actually spoken to, named Jana and Christine, both from American and interning in Gemrany as part of their studies at the University of Pittsburgh, a student body I know well from my Semester at Sea trip. They were there as part of a group of English-speakers practicing German but after that ended they came and joined us with a trip to get money (that lasted so long we decided they were actually starting a bank) in between. When a table opened up right in front of the stage we shifted to it, partly to get closer to the music, partly because Jon wanted to be close to his crush, and partly because the guys behind us weren’t standing but sitting and looked annoyed at our dancing even though everyone around them was dancing on the benches too.

Dancing on a bench amid spilled beer and crazy people was funny. Moments I remember well include the many guys attempting to flirt with the girls in our group, especially Christine (always rebuffed, not always politely). Lydia falling off the bench, frequently, and Jana getting rained on through a whole in the roof and acting a lot like Charlie Brown, then some guy surreptitiously taking pictures of her chest (admittedly the dirndl drew the eye) and her comment that she wouldn’t have minded if he just asked, followed by a rendition of the hot tub scene from Eurotrip that made me laugh aloud. I took a lot of great photos and videos I must say.

After one last round of Disco Pogo, the festival ended, the tent was plunged into darkness, and it was time to leave. We took the train away, with Lydia and Jon getting off so she could stay at his place but Christine, Jana and I all took the same train although I live father on it than they. Jana shared her seemingly limitless supply of candy with us as we chatted our way through the stops until they got off and I rode back to Garching utterly wiped out and crawled into bed.

And today is once again Monday at work. Wonderful weekend, here’s to more fun.

Categories: Germany, Personal
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