Thursday, October 11, 2012

Re-Conceptualizing Rizal in Munich

Dr. José Rizal was in  Munich, but not on the first week of October which is the big Beer Festival called Oktoberfest!  He missed witnessing this mother of all  beer festivals.  He and his pal Viola went to the local brewery,  the  Löwenbräukeller. They announced that the best beer they had ever tasted so far was produced in this brau (brewery) kellar (cellar).

Luckily, my hotel was just two short blocks from Löwenbräukeller.  I recognized the name and facade as shown in one of Sir Lucien's email attachment to me.

Now, I can savor the atmosphere and ambiance of being able to say, "Ich bin hier mit José Rizal."

Rizal and Viola entered this very same door.  I took pictures of the oldest window.  The waiter showed me the table near that colored leaden glass.   I took a picture of the original building and what it looked like a hundred fifty years ago.  The picture is displayed on the wall.  I took pictures of the beer tap with gleaming brass spouts.  Did Rizal and Viola enjoy the atmosphere here, I wondered. (The pictures are coming, I promise).

It was here in 1886 that Rizal and Viola noted something new and innovative.  They were served beer and given paper napkins!  Viola said the idea was very hygienic.  Rizal agreed and admired the practical nature of German entrepreneurs.  Viola was so sparse in his "Memoirs." Rizal also said very little about the biergarten.  But entering the place, it was cosy and the wooden long tables were just the right one to socialize with the locals. I scanned the tables for any knife etches left by carousers.

Keine.  No knife marks left by Rizal. Keine left by Viola either. Drat it!  I could have sworn they did.

The fest at this place was scheduled at 20.00 hours. I purchased a ticket.  15 EU if I came in at 8.00 pm, but only 8 EU if I came  in at 10:00 pm.  The idea perhaps is to extend the night into a brave drunken brawl.

A large crowd pressed by the entrance door dressed in funny peaked hats, lederhosen britches attached to suspenders, leg warmers instead of socks and armed with a carousing attitude.  Several clowned for my camera. A person by the impossible name of Eamus struggled to clear my path.  Nice guy, tall skinny.  I impatiently exclaimed, "when will they ever open the door?"  Eamus leaned into my ear and said, "Me mother, she tells me --a watched pot never boils."   So, my lesson learned is "Be patient."

The women around me wore black tight frilly tops and green swirly skirts with a skimpy apron.  Their full bosoms were spilling out from their tight drindl tops like the Niagara falls.  These Bavarian girls were the first to invent the "push-up" bras." Several declined my picture shots.

Rizal and Viola missed this rowdy scene at Löwenbräukeller.  I wonder how Rizal would have described this scene in his journal had he participated in the October fest in Munich. Would he have compared it to a Philippine village fiesta with "tuba" drinking farmers, simple dainty girls in sheer  loose kimonas and without the ever present religious processions?


Tomorrow I'll meet with my friends, the Webers, who'll drive me through the "Romantic Road" straight to the fairy tale palace of Neuschwanstein of King Ludwig.

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