Celebrating Oktoberfest

Honestly, going to Germany for Oktoberfest has never been on my bucket list. As I don’t drink or eat meat, my celebration of Oktoberfest turned out to be much different from the typical experience (but perhaps just as carb-heavy).

According to my family tree, I should be about a quarter German. According to a DNA test I took, I am 0% German. So I did my best to get the spirit of the event and not make my ancestors ashamed. I got some recommendations and inspiration from TrekSimple’s Travel From Home Oktoberfest post.

My Choices

Meal & Sweets: It’s a good thing I didn’t completely hate the spaetzle I bought, because there are a total of 6 servings in the package (looks like I’m set for lunches for the rest of this week). I ended up eating spaetzle (tiny dumplings, imported from Germany), vegetarian sausage, and a soft pretzel. But I found a box of “Limited Edition” Oktoberfest hard pretzels on sale the other day and bought those two, for an after dinner movie snack (at one a day, they’re going to last me a couple weeks). For dessert, I had three Bahlsen deloba puff pastries (made in Germany), because any pastry/cookie with fruit in it is my go-to over anything with chocolate in it. My apologies once again to my German immigrant ancestors who worked in the Hershey Chocolate plant.

Movie: I really wanted to watch Run, Lola, Run because I’ve never seen it. But I couldn’t find it available anywhere, not even Netflix DVD. I wanted to avoid WWII if at all possible, because this was supposed to be a celebration. From many lists of good German movies, I narrowed it down to ones I had not seen and ones I could get ahold of. That let me with only a few choices. The closest non-WWII from that short list was a biopic about the great philosopher Hannah Arendt, who sparked controversy when she wrote a piece for The New Yorker about a Nazi war criminal’s trial. A movie about thinking is a tough thing to pull off, but they did it beautifully, and I really enjoyed all the deep thinking it made me do about the nature of humanity, good and evil, etc. It turned out to be a good choice.

Book: I earread Portuguese Irregular Verbs by Alexander McCall Smith. I could relate well to the desperation to be correct socially. So even though I knew I should be laughing at some of the terrible choices the main character makes, I felt that I might make those same choices because of rules and appearances.

Music: I started with an Amazon Music Oktoberfest playlist, but when it hit “The Chicken Dance” for its second song, I was regretting the choice immensely. I ended up watching several different videos attendees filmed of the Munich Oktoberfest parades from 2013 and 2018. I do love a parade, and these were fun to watch while gathering things together and stirring spaetzle.