I have no idea why the ornery, old beer server did not want us in his tent. Perhaps he was having a bad day. Perhaps he doesn’t like foreigners (we were American, Irish, Mexican, & Brazilian). Perhaps his heart was two sizes too small.
Whatever the reason, he definitely did not want us there.
Here’s the situation:
At Frühlingsfest, as with Oktoberfest, tables are often reserved at specific times. The table we first sat at was reserved starting at 5pm, so at 4:45, when the reservation holders arrived, we moved for them. Luckily for us (we thought), there was a table with a reservation beginning at 6pm not too far away, so we sat down.
Immediately, the server for this area swooped in and told us to leave. Our friends, speaking in German, politely pointed out that the reservation didn’t start for over an hour, but the man insisted we leave. This being Germany, where rules usually trump all, we told him that we would not leave until 6, and the man left to take the next table’s order.
But he wasn’t done with us, not even a little. After taking drink orders from the next table, he came back and told us to leave again. Incredibly, he used a tone of voice that would normally be reserved for the first time you tell someone something, as though we hadn’t just had this discussion! We said no, so he left again, this time to actually retrieve the beer for the next table.
And when he was done with that, he came back once more, and tried physically pulling on our arms to get us out of the table. We asked him why, and he simply demanded we leave. We asked him who else was trying to sit there (there was no one), and he simply demanded we leave. No matter how we tried to reason with this troll, he would simply demand that we leave. Finally, we just ignored him.
He really didn’t like that.
To counter our move, he went and got security. He actually told Frühlingsfest security that we needed to be removed for no reason! When we asked security why we had to leave, they shrugged apologetically and said, “because he says so, and when he says so, you must leave.”
So we did what any reasonable person would do, and got up from the table, but stood firmly next to it so that the man couldn’t even get to it to clean or accept other guests. To which he responded by trying to push us out of the way. Finally, I sarcastically told him I hope he has just the very best day possible, and we left his area.
We met so many people from Germany and all over the world who are accepting at the least, and graciously welcoming at the most, of foreigners with poor German skills, especially when it’s clear we are trying. But this guy was the worst, and the picture included in this post perfectly captures the personality he displayed (and that was taken while he was talking to a local arguing on our behalf!). He didn’t ruin our day at all; in fact, it was funnier than it was upsetting, and we did end up staying in the beer tent for more than an hour after this incident. Considering how much fun the rest of it was, I’d definitely go back to the festival or others like it.
Have you been to Frühlingsfest? Or maybe Oktoberfest? What did you think of the beer tents?
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