Unless you are at the grounds for Oktoberfest, the rest of the city seems relatively normal, although there are a lot of people walking around in a dirndl or lederhosen. We stayed in an apartment that was only a 15 minute walk from the city center and our neighborhood was calm and quiet. I guess, in my head, I had always imagined the city just erupting with craziness. But, it was actually quite nice to walk around sunny Munich. There were many marching bands in a whole variety of traditional Bavarian clothing marching around the city. But, I'd also seen this same thing when I was in Munich during the summer- so I wasn't quite sure what was Oktoberfest related and what was just Bavaria.
Beer is not served, even one drop, until 12 noon on the opening day of the fest. All of the waiters and waitresses lined up waiting for the 12 o'clock signal. The tent opened quite early in the morning so people were playing cards or just hanging out (and some people were chugging apple juice to practice for the real thing!).
I must say that the beer waiters/waitresses are just incredibly impressive- super human you might say. Those beers are HEAVY. Even just one to drink out of was heavy and I had to always hold it with two hands. I cannot even imagine doing what this guy is doing. I believe he's got SIX in each hand.
Below is a video I found on YouTube from someone who had also been in the Hacker-Pschorr tent. The band started playing right when the noon bell rang and this was one of the more popular songs.
A dirndl is a flattering shape to ALL women and I can see why corsets were perpetuated for so long- they really hold one together nicely. However, you really cannot eat/drink/breathe too much. And, I definitely would not have been able to go to any carnival rides after four hours in a beer tent.
We definitely saw some people who had had way too much fun as we were leaving our tent around 4 in the afternoon. The police seemed very nice and supportive to the "passed out on the sidewalk" people and I was really glad not to be among them- not that I was worried about that for myself, to be sure.