ARTICLES

A Beer Drinker’s Guide to Oktoberfest

Puddingstone Post, September 2014

An anecdote about attending Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. (Puddingstone Post, September 2014).

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ENTRIES FROM THE GLOBAL TRIP BLOG CHRONICLES

Overcoming Dysfunctions

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted July 25, 2004

DAY 276:  Germany, like most countries, is not without its historical dysfunctions.  However, Germany’s dysfunctions of the past may be just a tad more obvious, you know with that whole Hitler/Nazi/Holocaust thing.  That’s not to say Germany doesn’t have its good things in history — the classical music of Bach and Beethoven, the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, beer — but upon my approach via overnight train into Munich, the German Bavarian city in the south, there was a bit of a snag.

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History On Wheels

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted July 29, 2004

DAY 277:  Berlin might have been a less overwhelming place to tour around in the 1980s because back then only the sights of West Berlin were open to American tourists like myself.  But after the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, marking the end of the Cold War between the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R., the east side of the wall was open, making “New Berlin” a bigger and much more overwhelming place of historical sights to tour around.

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House of Superheroes

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted July 31, 2004

DAY 278:  Design is a much more important part of society that the average person may think.  For example, what would society be without graphic design?  Every magazine layout, advertisement poster or web page that is effective to its viewer is like that because of graphic design.  Passports, airline tickets and even money looks official because of graphic design.  A diploma or certificate of authenticity just looks fake and illegitimate without graphic design.  And really, which would you trust more: a company that has an established logo and corporate identity design scheme, or one that uses clip art from Microsoft Word?

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Perfect Strangers

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted July 31, 2004

DAY 279:  There was an American sitcom in the 1980s called Perfect Strangers about the mishaps of an American in Chicago named Larry who took in his estranged Mediterranean sheep-herding cousin named Balki who suddenly appeared on his doorstep one day.  In 1989, Perfect Strangers went into daytime syndication so that teens on their summer vacation like me had something to watch in between morning game shows and afternoon cartoons.

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What’s A Motto With You?

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted August 02, 2004

DAY 280:  Luxembourg is not French, not German, not Belgian, but Luxembourgish, a national identity its citizens strived to keep for centuries despite the country’s small size.  Although Luxembourg may have lost territories to its bordering countries throughout history, its core has been strived in the center of Western Europe since it was founded in 963 A.D.  Over a thousand years later, its proud Luxembourgish motto says, “Mir welle bleiwe wat mir sin” which translates to “We want to remain who we are” (or in layman’s terms, “We ain’t sellin’ out to The Man!”)

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Searching For Einstein

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted August 02, 2004

DAY 281:  In 1879, one of the most influential scientists in history was born.  Known for his famous Theory of Relativity and his out-of-control, just-got-out-of-bed hair, Albert Einstein was born in the southwestern German city of Ulm on the Danube River.  Although Einstein left Ulm and moved to Munich and then Switzerland and ultimately to the United States where he died in Princeton, New Jersey, his hometown had no qualms in celebrating its claims that the genius was born within their city limits.  If not for the birth of Einstein in Ulm, sarcastic people around the world might not have had the expression, “Smooth move, Einstein.”

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Palace Pictures

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted August 07, 2004

DAY 282:  There is a saying that goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”  With that adage in mind, I often shoot quick photos of ordinary things with my little digital camera in lieu of jotting down notes when I’m lazy, so my memory is jogged when writing Blog entries — particularly when I’m a week behind. 

“You’re taking a picture of the sign?” my cousin Hans-Georg questioned when I took a picture of the sign to the Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart. 

“Yeah, so I don’t have to write the name down,” I replied. 

Hans-Georg had taken the day off from work to show me the nearby palaces and castles in and around Stuttgart.  His retired parents, Tony and Ursula, tagged along.  It was a nice sunny day for a stroll anyway.

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Beer Team, Assemble!

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip: Tomatoes, Grease & Beer"
Posted September 18, 2006

DAY 21:  On my first night in Athens, I had learned that I wasn’t the only one with the same idea: to throw tomatoes at the Tomatina festival in Valencia, Spain, then travel somewhere for two weeks — in my case, the Greek Islands — and then head over to Munich, Germany for the ultimate beer festival, Oktoberfest.  Not surprisingly, most of these like-minded planners were fun lovin’ Australians — so many that I came to believe that I’d seen nothing but Aussies in Munich.  A young backpacking German couple from Hamburg that I’d met that first night in Athens concurred, telling me that Oktoberfest was a big annual festival for tourists and no Germans actually ever go there — sort of like how hardly any New Yorkers go to Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

I figured that people would travel from afar to celebrate in Oktoberfest — I mean, who wouldn’t? — and like Tomatina, they’d come in groups of non-competitive teams with matching outfits.  My suspicions were confirmed when I landed in Munich’s Strauss airport and immediately saw another Team Canada at the baggage claim:  a group of guys in matching red hockey jerseys, with a logo on each — half maple leaf, half beer stein.  Inspired, I picked up my bag and ventured off to gather some guys for my own team.

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The (Drunken) Man Show

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip: Tomatoes, Grease & Beer"
Posted September 20, 2006

DAY 22:  On October 12, 1810, Bavarian Prince-turned-King Ludwig the First got hitched to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen in a huge fairy tale wedding that would make any Bridezilla green with envy.  The reception was such a blast that the king decreed it be celebrated again the following year — it’s good to be the king — with another huge festival of dancing, singing, horse races, good food, and above all, good beer — a beverage Bavaria prided itself on.  Over the centuries, this October festival, this Oktoberfest was celebrated annually, minus a couple of times lost to war.

Nowadays, Oktoberfest actually takes place the three weeks before the first Sunday of October, meaning it always starts in mid-September — for no real significant reason other than that the weather is better — and therefore it is, for the most part, a Septemberfest.  But seriously, with a festival dedicated to celebrate the Bavarian cultures of dancing, music, cuisine, beer consumption, and hot German chicks prancing around in corsets that accentuate their cleavage, why wait for October?

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Team Crossbow

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip: Tomatoes, Grease & Beer"
Posted September 21, 2006

DAY 23:  “Happy Birthday, man,” I greeted Terence.

“Oh yeah, I almost forgot,” Jack said.  “Happy Birthday.”

“Thanks.”

If there’s anyway to really celebrate a guy’s 32nd birthday, it’s at Oktoberfest, although it was actually debatable for months if Terence the Birthday Boy would even come; he was wishy-washy about spending the cash to travel all the way to Germany for only three days, but ultimately figured what the hell, it was more than just regular weekend trip and more than just a birthday.  With me already planning on being at Oktoberfest and Jack wanting one last big hurrah in Europe before relocating back to the USA, it just made sense to go this year — and so he maxed out his credit card and got on plane.  In the end, I think he had no regrets and came to believe in one law that I do:

Every man must make the pilgrimage to Oktoberfest at least once in his lifetime, the way a Muslim must make the pilgrimage to Mecca.

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No Sleep ‘Til Berklyn

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip: Gone Europin'"
Posted August 22, 2012

PART 1 (DAYS 1-2): Everything was going exactly as I’d been informed. I was following the detailed email directions from my friend Dani, who had explained in the simplest terms, how to get from Berlin’s Tegel airport, in the northwest part of the city, to her and her husband’s home in the Neukölln neighborhood in the southeast. It was an easy affair — even after being on a sleep-deprived redeye from New York via Brussels — except for the last part: the key she said she’d leave under the doormat in front of the apartment door wasn’t there. So I rang the bell, hoping someone was home.

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Ich Bin Eine Brooklyner

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip: Gone Europin'"
Posted September 03, 2012

PART 6 (DAYS 8-11): “Can you believe Erik is making us have another party?” Phil noted to Dani, as the three of us tidied up before company was to arrive in their Berlin flat. He was referring to the fact that, for the second time this year, I had suggested they have a social gathering — by already inviting some of their friends. (The first shindig was their going away party when they left Brooklyn a few months prior.) Dani was excited about the idea of a party — she set up the Facebook invite for it after all — for it would be their first as residents of Berlin, a sort of housewarming.

Soon, the buzzer rang and rang and guests arrived. And my last night in Berlin was about to go out on a high note.

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ABOUT ERIK R. TRINIDAD

When he’s not making a living as an interactive/motion designer or playing with fast food, Erik R. Trinidad is a travel writer, blogger, video host and producer focusing on adventure and culinary content. His work has been featured on National Geographic Intelligent Travel, Adventure.com, Discovery.com, Saveur, Condé Nast Traveler, and Hyenas Laughed at Me and Now I Know Why, which also includes the work of Tim Cahill, Doug Lansky, Jennifer Leo and Rolf Potts. He has also referenced his travel experiences in his solo book, Fancy Fast Food: Ironic Recipes with No Bun Intended.

For over ten years, Erik has traveled to the seven continents of the world — from Timbuktu to Kalamazoo — with a curiosity for exotic foods and a thirst for adventure (and writing material).  In his travels, he has been mugged at knifepoint in Cape Town, extorted by corrupt Russian police on the Trans-Siberian Railway, stranded in tornadic storms in the American midwest, and air-lifted off the Everest Trail by a helicopter that was thankfully paid for by his travel insurance.  But it hasn’t been all fun; he has also donned a tuxedo amidst the penguins of Antarctica, paraded with Carnival-winning samba school Beija Flor in Rio, run for his life at Pamplona’s “Running of the Bulls,” cage-dived with great white sharks, gotten shot point-blank in the stomach in Colombia (while wearing a bulletproof jacket), and above all, encountered many people around the world, including some Peruvian musicians in Cuzco who learned and played “Y.M.C.A.” at his request. He loves the irony that, after everywhere he’s been, he has never been to Mexico.

Erik writes stories and news articles when he’s at his base camp in New York City, and continues his blog when he is on the road — provided he’s not occupied tracking down lost luggage.

Additional news/article clippings at ErikTrinidad.com.



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Read about Erik in this feature article from Filipinas magazine by National Geographic Traveler Associate Editor Amy Alipio.



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