Getting lost - and found - at the world's top beer fest
MUNICH, Germany 2012 (AFP) - With about eight million beers downed each year at the Oktoberfest, you might expect a few items to go awry, but the lost-and-found office at the world's top beer fest really has seen it all.
A total of 4,900 items were lost at last year's festival, with the objects missing ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous. Alongside 1,220 items of clothing, 420 mobile phones, 380 pairs of glasses and 70 umbrellas, presumably well-refreshed party-goers also mislaid a megaphone, a dog, a viking helmet and five wedding rings.
Four out of five items that wash up in the office are never claimed, explained the head of the lost-and-found bureau, Mr Mike Mueller, 40. "The problem is that people get drunk and only realise they've lost stuff the day after," he explained.
"As a lot of the people are tourists, they have already left and they can't get back to reclaim their things." On the opening days of the festival, the intake is always meagre, he said, taking down the details of a dirndl-clad woman who had lost her mobile. Only a few dozen items were lost so far, but he expected the pace to pick up later. "We've seen everything. People have lost wallets with thousands of euros (dollars), diamond engagement rings, all sorts of valuable stuff," said Mr Mueller.