Before any of you start thinking that I am one of those self-loathing Americans, let me set the record straight.
Sometimes, I am.
And before you think this is some sort of political statement, this has nothing to do with George Bush, Afghanistan, Iraq or any other political act that the United States has unilaterally acted upon. This is something much more personal.
It’s about Americans and Beer, and specifically, their jack-ass behavior whenever they drink it.
Case in point: tonight at Augustiner Keller. Augustiner Keller is the home to the Augustiner Biergarten, a 5000+ person beer garden which is one of Munich’s favorite places to go for a beer. It’s also home to a small bierstuberl, an indoor hall where locals go to have a beer. Because of its close proximity to the Hauptbahnhof (main train station), it also has a penchant for attracting tourists stopping for a quick beer.
We got to the bräustuberl around 8:00 this evening for a quick snack and a beer before retiring home for the evening. We sat down, ordered our beers and started looking at the Speisekarte (menu) for a quick bite. Then we heard it.
“Beer beer beer, we’re here because we drink beer, beer beer…”
Yep. Three college aged Americans at a table drunkenly shouting the above phrase… shouting it so loud that every person in the beer hall turned around – most of the people in the beer hall being 50 years old or older and most certainly Müncheners. They were so bad, that the manager came over and told them to be quiet.
And the third time, he asked them to take their beers outside so they wouldn’t bother the rest of the patrons any more.
My problem? These three assholes just made my life 10 times harder. The next time any of the patrons of the bräustuberl hear English, they’ll think of these assholes, and judge them to be the sort of people who come to Germany, are obnoxious and oblivious of the local culture, and treat it like their playground. As someone who more often than not is speaking American accented German, they just made it harder for me to order my lunch, buy a beer or transact business with the local shop owners.
Here is my open message to all Americans hell-bent on getting drunk and acting like childish little pricks: Go home. Leave Munich. Head back to your local bar and act like an asshole there. Stop making life here for the English-Speaking Ex-Pats just because you think “Hell, I don’t live here, so who cares how I act?” Get some self respect, act like an adult, learn how to behave and handle your liquor.
And remember, you’re one of reasons why they think we’re all ugly Americans.