A Trip To The Police Station During Oktoberfest

“Let’s grab some food.” My brother in law, R, said as we walked out of Augustiner Brau tent. After a long day snacking on pretzels, drinking maß (mass) of beer, enjoying the festivity known as Oktoberfest in Munich, I sure am hungry and longing for proper hot food.


Happier times during Oktoberfest

We walked towards the chiliwurst stand opposite and ordered 3 chiliwurst to go. R paid with a 50 Euro and we stood at the counter patiently awaiting our food. The lady behind the counter was on the phone and told us that the Chef would like to speak to us.

Why would the Chef wants to speak to us? I wondered but did not give it much thought and merely attributed it to the fact that Germans are a friendly lot and perhaps the chef do say hi to customers patronising the chiliwurst stand.

After more than 15 minutes, we were still waiting for our food. My brother in law muttered to my husband “Wonder what is taking so long, it is not as if we paid with a counterfeit note!” No sooner did R finish his sentence, I saw a hand tapping his shoulder.

We turned and standing in front of us, were 8 big, burly German policemen, in their police suit and all, fully equipped with batons, walkie talkie, and guns.

“We need you to come to the police station with us,” one of them said to R. “They can come together but they will have to wait outside,” one of the policemen continued while pointing to my husband and I. I had fear written all over my face but at that moment, I knew I had to stay calm. After all, I drank the least and if there is one person amidst us that could think properly, it may be me.

R started politely discussing with the policemen in German and was showing his residential identification card (my brother in law and his wife are expats, working in Munich). After a few polite exchange of words, R turned to my husband and I and said,

“We need to follow them to the police station. Apparently, we did paid with a counterfeit 50 Euro note.”

Oh.. crap..

Did he just mentioned counterfeit notes? How did that happen? It can’t be!

“Let’s go, now.” the same policeman said.

What happened next were absolutely surreal. It felt almost like a scene out of a crime movie. Two policemen were leading the way. R was following behind them, and he was flanked by two policemen by his side, and two behind him. We were next in line and followed by two more policemen behind us. We have had to walk from one end of the Oktoberfest ground to the other end, and needless to say, all eyes were on us. They were probably thinking along the lines of us being some hotshot criminals and I wouldn’t blame them – our entire police entourage do look like that!

After a while, we arrived at the police station within the grounds of the Oktoberfest.

“You two, wait here,” one of the policemen said, and they entered the police station through a wooden gate at the side, with R in tow.

“What should we do now?” My husband asked me. “Let’s just wait for a bit,” I responded. So we waited… and waited.. and waited. After close to 30 minutes, my husband panicked and picked up his phone. He dialled R’s number, but there was no answer. He started pacing back and forth. I was freaked out by the sight of people in handcuffs, bloodied and entering the police station through the same wooden gate that R did.

“I’m going in, I need to see my brother!” my husband said and walked towards the main entrance of the police station. After listening to my husband’s story, the policemen were sympathetic and they were nice, but entry was still forbidden. “You have to wait,” the fierce looking policemen at the front door said gently. “Don’t worry, he is okay,” he reassured us.

Then, my husband’s phone rang. It was R! Oh, how we rejoiced! My husband answered the call and spoke to R for a few seconds. He hung up, turned to me and said, “R will be out shortly, he is giving a statement.”

The waiting resumes. After another 30 minutes, R walked out of the same wooden gate and relief flooded my face. My husband ran and gave his brother a big tight hug. The scene was exactly like how it is in a movie, except this was reality for us!

“Let’s get out of here!” R said, and my husband and I nodded in agreement. Along the way home, R told us about what took place within the police station.

Apparently, we did pay using a counterfeit note, and this happens all the time, especially during Oktoberfest. They have had to follow procedures and take R’s statement and did assure him that he was a victim, and not a suspect in anyway. It was just pure bad luck that we paid for the beers with 200Euro and change was given back to us, with one of it being the counterfeit note.

In hindsight, we should have been more careful with getting change back after paying for our drinks and if there is one single advice I would hand out after this experience, it is to pay with small change so you avoid being given change back in return.

Oktoberfest Beer Tent

Inside an Oktoberfest beer tent.

Would I Return For Another Oktoberfest Experience?

….and now, to answer that lingering question in your mind, would I go for another Oktoberfest experience after this – ABSOLUTELY. In fact, we did return the following day, after the whole police station drama, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves in the wine tent, listening to awesome German music, watching people singing along and dancing on the tables. So much of merriment and the ambience is amazing! That was a perfect Oktoberfest experience.

Oktoberfest Wine Tent

Wine Tent in the Oktoberfest grounds. Love the ambience!

How about you? Have you been to Oktoberfest in Germany? Did you like it? Share your experience in the comments below!

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  • Leo T. Ly

    I haven’t been to an Oktoberfest in Germany, but I have been to one in Canada. It’s quite rowdy and there are hundreds of beer to try. Not to mention their Oktoberfest sausage was amazing.

  • Shivani Balraj

    Oh dear I am so sorry to hear about the counterfeit experience with the note but its good to know that it didn’t dampen your spirits to experience Oktoberfest. Looks like it was a great one too.

  • Emily Lowe

    Have not been to Oktoberfest because I don’t drink. But oh my, what a memorable experience you had.

  • OMG!!! That’s one terrible experience! Atleast glad that you guys are ok finally, esp your BIL! So thanks for the tip to carry enough change!!!

  • what an experience! Glad he is fine. Gonna be extra careful

  • carinayeoh

    What an experience!!!! Oh my, I really looking forward going Germany some time in future

  • let’s go for Oktoberfest in Germany ….

  • Aliza Sara

    Wow thats so happening! Looks like you know how to enjoy you Oktoberfest πŸ˜€

  • Miera Nadhirah Rashidi

    oh gosh… what an experience but sometimes you cannot tell that it is counterfeit… glad you still manage to have a great time…

  • Ivy Kam

    Lucky you get to experience the real Oktoberfest event, but ya… like in many places, travelers need to be careful about counterfeit note >.<

  • We didn’t expect that, because my brother in law is an expat and have been living there for the last 4 years. haha.. was kind of a surprise happening!

  • We did, and returning again this year. LOL. With plenty of small change to pay!

  • It was fun, especially when you’re with a big group! πŸ™‚ Even if it’s not for the drinks, the entire place is like a carnival, with plenty of rides, games and food for everyone.

  • Heading there again, this year! πŸ™‚

  • Germany is a wonderful country. A lot to see! πŸ™‚

  • Yes – for sure. This year, we will be sure to return with a lot of change to pay! πŸ˜‰

  • We were all visibly shaken after the incident, but we’re all right. The police officers were nice and polite, so that makes things a little better! πŸ™‚

  • An experience I will always remember! πŸ™‚

  • It was fun! We loved the atmosphere. Everyone was happy and dancing on the tables.. lol.

  • Yes to the sausage, but frankly, after a week or two, I was craving for something else – totally ‘wurst’-out! πŸ˜›