Using the trains here is normally a not unpleasant experience. The coaches are reasonable new and still in good shape, the ride is not bumpy, the conducteurs are friendly or at least not openly hostile. The crowd is mixed as always. When I travel to the bookmines in the Monday damndarkmorning (coined by Savannah) for two or three stations the waggon is filled with young people who go to their working place or vocational school (Berufsschule), and from their destination Ochsenfurt (Ger., Eng.) onwards its quiet and relaxed (20 minutes). These youngsters are basically tired from their weekend follies and do not talk too much, most of them look into some papers and try to remember what kind of profession they try to learn. There is the optional silent drinker, but again, the emphasis is on silent.
I spent the holiday (Wednesday, 3rd of October, day of unification, oh yeah … Ger., Eng.) at home and used the train this morning as usual. Less youngsters than usual, but to my utter astonishment groups of young men, with the obligatory occasional young lady among them, poured in wearing a kind of uniform: Blue or red chequered shirts, kind of short leather trouser ending under the knee, woolish jumper; the young ladies wore skirts from the same pattern as the men’s shirts, with aprons (!); all of them, even the ladies, carried with them at least two bottles of beer, some small groups even a crate of beer (that is 20 bottles á 0,5 liter); and they cracked open their bottles and started more or less heavy drinking.
An especially nasty group settled near me and made me leave when one of the pissheads sprayed himself and a part of the waggon with beer, because he was too dumb or drunk to crack open a Kronkorken (Ger., Eng.). Besides they were blubbering out loudly and stupidly, and from Marktbreit (Ger., Eng.) onwards (30 minutes, first beer finished) it became subterranean, unacceptable and unbearable. I found a silent place at the very end of the train – in company of another angry-looking man (a silent drinker), and we must have been impressive, because until Ansbach (Ger., Eng.) (where I left) nobody came near us. I greeted him on exit, he nodded: Cheers, unknown fellow traveller! Ansbach station saw even more of the Halbaffen boarding the train.
I had no idea where these uniformed idiots were heading to until I spoke about it with the bus driver: All these people go to München (no links to the Hauptstadt der Bewegung!) and visit the Oktoberfest (Ger., Eng.). They don their uniform, swig their booze, and behave like arses, in masses. Acting “Bavarian”, like “Bauern”, on the “Volksfest”.
Sometimes this night all these drunkards are transported back to their stables, where ever this may be, also via train; thankfully I do not have to use a night train in the coming days – said orgy ends coming Sunday.
I do not care if someone wants to get drunk in the early morning or wants to visit said infernal pandemonium in Munich. But why do these people feel the need to wear a uniform? I seriously do not understand it: Maybe the leather trousers are pee- and vomit-friendly?!
They masquerade themselves as “Bavarians” with a “national costume” (Tracht, Ger., Eng.), invented in the 19th century – as are so many other things, the late great Eric HOBSBAWM (1917-1912) (Ger., Eng.) showed some in The Invention of tradition (1983) (Ger., Eng.). I know about the power of costume, I act differently when in full regalia (three-piece suit with Schlips, Querbinder or foulard; good shoes – they are so important! The right accessories, men carry few, but they must be well worth it – ah vanitas rises its ugly head …); people acted different towards me when I was wearing the “security”-costume, but I will never again wear such a kind of Clownerie, GOtt sei mir gnädig! It is fun to disguise, and of course the mask gives freedom – but the people I saw today used the mask to act just uncivilized and unworthily.
But who am I to criticize, it’s all in the eye of the beholder. Nevertheless, the next time I see one of these cheap ugly chequered shirts I stand up and leave, immediately.
What the hell is so difficult about getting drunk in style?