Imagine a huge tent with five thousand people in motorbike gear. All of them sit on slim wooden benches and tables, shouting at each other to drown out the loud (and incredibly silly) folk music and calling for beer, beer and more beer. This was the biker event in Bavaria, where I worked for one weekend during my summer job. It was the most exhausting job I’ve ever done, and now I can’t help but empathise with the women who work at the Oktoberfest. Although smaller than the most famous beer festival in the world, the biker event was similar, and still big enough to give me blisters on my feet and hands.
Over the course of only two nights I carried a total weight of about 890kg. Maybe 60 chickens at 1kg each, 15kg potato salad, and the same amount in coleslaw. The heaviest load, though, was made up of at least 400 Mass (the Bavarian word for one litre) of beer. Add to that the weight of the mugs themselves, at another kilogram each – I’m still amazed I managed it. I definitely needed the money. And although I enjoyed the experience of so many people going crazy in such a weird but funny way, I can safely say: I am not Bavarian.
Catharina Rudschies, student of European Studies