Doing The Alstadt


Octoberfest in Dusseldorf’s Alstadt does not mean much. Because in the Alstadt, every night is Octoberfest. Of the many happy, drunk Germans, some made aviator glasses by placing upside down thumb-and-forefingers around their eyes and they swayed from side to side. Evidently, they were “flying”.

“You come from Bangalore…Bang Galore?!!” they screamed together with high-pitched laughter in the manner of a people not given to daily wit and repartee. Fred Padilla was not luckier. “Miami…Mi Ameeeee?!!!” More screaming laughter, but we didn’t get the joke.

Several steins later and too drunk to read signs in German, Fred and I could not find a loo. We staggered into a public park instead, to help a tree. But there were no trees, so we stood side by side and fertilized the flower beds.

Delirious from the bliss that accompanies relief, I believed that Fred was getting shorter. He was no taller than my shoulder. He shrank like Alice. A few seconds later, Fred had reached stasis, but now, I was sinking. Fred got taller.

The flower bed had been recently sprinkled and we had sunk to our ankles. Damn Archimedean displacement.

There was nothing left for Fred and I do to but be German.

“Eureka!” we yelled, “Eu-reekaaa!!!” and laughed in a high pitch.

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