Drinking with the locals


A discussion on a Travel Bulletin Board led to my meeting with Karin, a native Municher. I had never met her before, so when I arrived in the city, I phoned and arranged to meet her where Rosenheimstrasse meets the bridge over the River Isar. I parked and phoned her again to say I was at our rendez-vous point. “Where are you exactly?” she enquired? I scanned for a landmark or street sign. “Einbahnstraße” I replied. She laughed, “That means One Way Street!”. I walked towards the bridge and saw Karin dressed in a fetching dirndl. We hugged hello and headed for Theresienwiese via the U-Bahn.
The large tents and insane fun fair surprised me, but there was more to come.  Karin suggested the Augustiner-Festhalle, because she preferred their brew, a great reason at a beer festival!  As we walked there she explained that the Hofbräu-Festzelt attracted the most tourists but revellers often got too rowdy. We squeezed onto a table full of locals, most dressed in lederhosen or dirndls and soon the whole table chatted as if we had known each other years. The oom-pah band played traditional German songs, the beer flowed, we ate pretzels, the singing got louder, more people stood up and raised their glasses. My highlight was 8,000 people singing “Smoke on the Water” accompanied by the Brass Band while we stood precariously on trestle stools holding our litres of beer. A memorable night, thanks to Karin’s local insight.

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