2010 Journal – Chapter 5

Everyone remembers their first beet fest. Or you remember a lot of it until you are several beers deep.

Everyone also remembers random encounters with people when they’re single. Mario was mine. Really the only one that holds a mystical sense for me. He was the only one that wasn’t around long enough to get to know. As these stories go, our chance meeting was more romantic in that he disappeared as quickly as he arrived. 10 years on, I hold onto a fondness for that night. The kind of freedom that only youth, alcohol, and foreign travel can give a 19 year old.

I would love to hear your stories, share in the comments!

*note – I was totally cheating on my celiac diagnosis to drink, I do not advise doing this, no matter how delicious the beer is.

April 18th 2010
Stuttgart, Germany

The last few days have been a little slow after getting back from Paris. Fallon, Carol and McKenna all were feeling a little under the weather so we spent Thursday and Friday lounging around the house. Which, actually turned into a nice way to relax and prepare for the next leg of my journey. We did however go back to the tasty Italian restaurant on base with the BEST tarimasu!

Yesterday was the start of Stuttgart’s spring beer festival and it was already set that I had to go experience what all of Stuttgart was out for! As tradition goes women wear dirndls which I made one for myself to wear and men wear lederhosen. Of course only about 15% of everyone there wore such outfits but it was a ton of fun to wear them and be part of this giant event!

We met with Fallon’s friends Javier and Paul, who go to school with her on the base. The others went on a spinny doohickey while I took in the sights around me. We soon met up with another friend of Fallon’s, Zach. By 6 we were ready for our first beer and headed out to find which tent was best. Most were PACKED full without any indication of a speedy entrance. So we decided on what everyone was calling the Bavarian area of the fair. We then got our half liter glasses of “Stuttgarter Haufbrau”. We then joined the huge crowd of people with the singing, dancing, jumping, hollering, laughing, happy group of about 200 Germans. It was a blast, Germans love and know very well how to party! After our first beer we went out of the tent t find sweet almonds and then french fries. We walked around some more and then went to the go-karts and finally ended up at bumper cars and from there for the next hour or so we wandered, talked and had a really great time. Really one could have sat and watched everyone else and had a great show of drunks singing and whatever else was going on.

About 9 we decided to maybe try our luck at “the chicken tent” were to my eventual delight the line wasn’t moving at all and we had a group of young 20-something German’s in front and behind us, both groups of which were friends. Now many people I’ve run into on my recent adventures learn English at a young age and wish to practice anytime they get the chance. So one of them a very sweet 20-year-old boy at the police academy, Mario, started the conversation and his friends joined in where they could. After standing around the “chicken tent” for about ten minutes both groups decided not to worry about getting in the tent and to walk around some more.

This group was a hoot and a half, much like my friends at home only add about 2 liters of beer to each person! It was a lot of fun for my group and I to talk and laugh and get more of a German experience that I was hoping for all along. They joked and sang, laughed and drank and all around we had a great time! They liked the nutty Americans and we liked the funny Germans!

After some time the two groups sort of disbanded but Mario stayed with us until he had to absolutely leave to go home with his friends. I really enjoyed talking to him and we had a very fun evening, I hope to see him again one day and stay in touch via the miracles of the internet.

After we all split up it was around 11 and the fest was closing down for the day. We walked back the train station and through the hoards of about 600 people we got on our train back to meet Carol and headed home for the night. Where after discussing our evenings, Fallon and I with Carol and then Fallon and I we crashed.

Today, I was scheduled to leave for London, but being the volcano is how it is I am here at least until Tuesday or Wednesday if not later. I’ll keep everyone informed.

Peace and Love,
Rebecca

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