Alissa’s company reserved tables at a Frülingsfest beer tent last night. We debated going, but ended up deciding it would be important to make an appearance. We’d be home by 9:30.
For those of you that don’t know (or can’t tell from the photo I posted earlier), these beer tents are one giant, silly party. Several of Alissa’s coworkers explained the event to me. “Ahhh, it’s just a stupid thing! The songs make no sense, it’s just… yeah. It’s silly. But it’s so fun!” Everyone stands on the seats and dances around as much as possible within the constraints required from standing on a rickety wooden bench. This is perfect for people who can’t dance. My theory is that this is primarily the reason these festivals are so popular. Some things are just not possible:
- move your feet outside a 2 foot width
- show off your dancing skills for longer than 3 to 5 seconds
- engage in small talk
This is perfect for awkward people! I analyzed my dancing style several times throughout the night, and came to the conclusion that I was doing a better job than most of the people around me. This is highly unusual. Normally, bending your knees 12 degrees, repeatedly, is not sufficient. At Frülingsfest, simply combine knee-bending, hand-waving or clapping, and the occasional beer sip, and you’re good to go!
And you have to sing. Singing is required because absolutely everyone does it. Everyone screams at the top of their lungs. Those that can’t hold a tune are drowned out by everyone that can. Americans don’t have to know they lyrics to anything. They can just blab.
“Oder bund der aaaaaaaannnn yeah! eeeeye suu doooof!!” I sang. “Das bakieoooooni! spaaaagheeeeeetti!”
But there are a surprising number of songs sung in English. Oldies are popular. So is classic rock. Sometimes they are modified in strange ways; for example, Aretha Franklin’s Respect had several refrains of “la la la” inserted. Whatever is fun to sing, is sung.
The other fun thing to do at these events is to make sure you dance carefully as to not break the benches. Ha ha! Just kidding! Nobody seems to recognize the danger. Large German guys will jump up and down right beside you, ignoring the 4 inch deflection the poorly reinforced benches give under the load. Luckily, they don’t ever break.
Ha ha ha! Just kidding again. The crack, as the bench beside us broke, sounded like someone was going to die. This must happen every now and then, because they brought a spare bench and had it replaced in about three minutes. Everyone okay? Good! EVERYONE START JUMPING AGAIN!
The night ended after we were too tired to keep standing up.
They like to sing so much when they’re in the tents, but somehow this doesn’t translate to awesome karaoke outside the tents. It is a mystery!