It was quite a big honour. My parents were going to make their first international journey and not only my older sister but even I could go along! I was 12 years old and very excited. The journey by train seemed endless; we had to transfer three times. And we had to sleep on it. That was something new too. Of course I didn’t sleep at all. I kept peeping out of the window. Especially the last part of the trip really made my eyes pop out. The mountains in this part of Germany were really immense! But finally we were there. We were picked up from the station by a car and brought to the hotel that really fitted perfectly into this fairy landscape.
After we were settled in our rooms it was already time for dinner. My father had noticed a nice restaurant near the hotel, so we walked over and chose a table at the terrace. It gave us a magnificent view on the mountains that seemed to be all around us. The waitresses were all dressed in authentic Bavarian dirndl outfits. These consist of a wide skirt with an attached body, almost like a corset, and a white low top.
While we studied the menu we could order a drink. My father had decided that we men should have a beer. And he gave me a big wink. I had never had a beer before! Wow! My mother was quite thirsty so she thought a brown beer could be nice. In the Netherlands this is a beer with a very low alcohol percentage. So my father ordered ” Zwei grosse Helle und ein Braune fuer mein Weib, bitte”. My sister wanted to order for herself: she had enjoyed a few years of German lessons and wanted to show this. So really perfectly she ordered a cola.
The drinks were brought quite quickly by the waitress and when she put the drinks on the table she had to bow a bit. By doing this she gave a wonderful view of her top. I was amazed. I had seen cleavages before in a magazine we had in the Netherlands. It was called “De Lach” (the Laughter) and it contained of jokes about blondes who had to go to the doctor and such. It was filled up with pictures of so called stars and starlets. I can’t recall ever have seen a film of any of them. But now I could see it in real life.
I had more eyes for the beer. It was a really big vase! The only normal glass was my sisters cola.
“Zum wohl” my father said and he gulped quite some down. My mother followed suit and my sister sipped from her glass. I put the glass to my lips and got some of the froth in my mouth. It was quite bitter and tasted like nothing I had ever tasted before. “Come on!” said my father. He showed how to really drink. Another big part of his glass disappeared. I tried to copy this and my mouth was filled with this cool bitter stuff. There was a faint trace of sweet in it, but the bitterness really ruled it.
During the meal I had trouble to show that I loved this beer. It really gave me the shivers, but I fully agreed with my father that this was great beer. When the meal arrived my parents decided to have another glass. He offered me another one too. I told him I was enjoying this nice beer in a slow manner. My parents were having a good time and were really showing this. He started to talk about Fraulein Annie, meaning the waitress. He said that he hoped that her boobs wouldn’t fall out when she was going to bring the next glass. His tone of voice told me he was hoping for the opposite. My mother had to laugh, my sister hissed “Shhhh”. She told my parents that they put us to shame.
Everything stayed in place in the dirndl dress, even when she brought back the change and had to put the saucer with change on our table. When we walked back my father started to sing songs about Fraulein Annie and my mother walked in a peculiar way. My sister grabbed my hand and whispered: “Let’s walk a bit behind them. They are really behaving shamelessly!” I thought everything was okay with me but stayed with her.
I only had thoughts about this beer. I thought I should be feeling different now, should be feeling intoxicated or such. But I didn’t feel different at all. I only had this awful bitter taste in my mouth.
I decided that this had been my last beer, it really wasn’t my cup of tea!