Terry Traveler here, getting ready to travel, once again.
This time of year is my favorite time of year as I pack my antique beer stein and Idiot’s Guide to German as I head off to Munich for Oktoberfest!
Ah, Oktoberfest. I remember my first visit like it was the 70s. At least I think it was the 70s. I seem to recall wearing an avocado-green parka with harvest gold buttons, so it must have been the 70s.
The city was bustling! Millions of people had joined in celebration of the anniversary of Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese, though most revelers seemed to have forgotten this merry tale of 1800’s love for which Oktoberfest originates. Always the true historian, I made sure to share this beautiful story with all whom surrounded me like sardines.
Packed in tight, we wandered our way towards the great casks of Oktoberfest and I continued my conversation with all those around me. I had just entered into my doctoral thesis about sauerkraut traditions when several nearby gents started a row.
Gent #1: My mother always served sauerkraut hot, are you calling my mother a liar?
Gent #2: No, I’m just saying that I like it better cold.
Gent #3: And I suppose I know where you stand on caraway seeds then, don’t I?!
Gent #4: I can take them or leave them.
Gent #5: My mother was a saint!
And a punch was thrown.
I learned in the hospital that the brawl lasted for hours until the local fire department hosed down hundreds of participants who had subdivided and were last heard chanting one slogan or another, “Best Served Hot!”, “Best Served Cold!”, “Yes We Say To Caraways!”
Ah, how I look forward to the dignity and refined social graces of another Oktoberfest.
This is Terry Traveler saying, it may not be true, but the debate about sauerkraut certainly is!