Sunday, October 5, 2008

Oktoberfest, part 2

After our reluctant attendance at a Democrats Abroad meeting a few months ago, it became inevitable that Ryan and I would end up volunteering to "support Obama in Munich." Its in my nature to volunteer for things, while Ryan is violently opposed to "joining" things and is always worrying that I am turning him into a "joiner." But the call came and I responded, despite our fear that this Munich for Obama campaign was an exercise in futility.

It was freezing and rainy, but we kept to our commitment and headed out to sell Obama buttons at Goetheplatz yesterday; in an attempt to catch Oktoberfesters on their way in and out. And boy did we! The normally reserved Germans were as drunk as any Geordie yesterday afternoon, clinging to phone booths and friends to keep upright.

Drunk people are not best known for their reasoning skills, but they were enthusiastic. The whole day I felt like a beauty queen on a parade float, with people of all nationalities cheering "Obama!" When they saw my patriotic sandwich board. We sold a fair number of buttons as well.

Along with the cheers we did have some interesting conversations with old and young Germans about the state of global politics. And a racist British guy talked to me at length about our "Muslim problem." Probably best line of the day:
British guy "All Muslims care about is violence. What have the Muslims ever
me: "The number 0, also our numerical system, to name a few..."

There were a few "McCain" cheers as well, but no Bush supporters. Most of the McCain people were just drunk antagonists, I dare say. Some people asked us where the Republicans abroad were located, but there aren't any, not in Munich anyway.

We nearly froze our toes off, but I think even Ryan enjoyed our volunteer stint. We saw the wilder side of Oktoberfest without being vomited on, got to meet a lot of people, and did our good deed for the day. Who knows, maybe Ryan will have a change of heart about volunteering...well, probably not, but maybe it will be easier to drag him to the next one.

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