Friday, October 1, 2010

Day 25: LozJoelberJess (Oktoberfest dedicated to the people's birthdays I am missing back home)

After a good sleep and brekkie (both provided by Jacob and Tanya, and through Jacob’s folks. Yeah, another thanks needs to go out to them, Jaimi, and just to luck), we were in town early to see if we could beat the masses and more easily find a place to sit and enjoy the third beer festival on this trip.

So, we only had one day to celebrate this day, and while we could have joined the masses at the actual tents, the locals and Jaimi’s local knowledge got us to the Hofbrau beer hall just away from the festival for an experience which I think would give us the good things of Oktoberfest without the queues and idiots everywhere. So we were able to get a seat straight away after doing a hot lap, next to a couple of other mates having a couple of beers. We did the first ‘Proust’ with them and got into our first beers, which were the same as our last, and all inbetween. Jaimi went the standard Hofbrau pislner where as I went for the dunkel (tasted like beer, but not a lot of flavour to appreciate. Yes, I do realise I am at Oktberfest). As I have said previously, there is something about a situation that changes a beer, and the way you drink a beer. With the atmosphere being so big and everyone there to have fun and enjoy themselves, the approach we had going into the day was soon lost. We had both contemplated just having one or two and just sitting back to soak up the atmosphere, but seeing this many people enjoying their beer, and as it is probably a once in a lifetime experience, we soon got into the act and found the beer going down pretty quick.

By the time our second stein came two darts players (father and son) from the N/E of Germany sat down next to us. So between Jaimi’s broken german (nah, you did well mate) and the son’s broken English, we were able to communicate enough. And in the end, we both know why we are there, so we just enjoyed each other’s company and the father and I could just drink, say something to each other, then look across at Jaimi and his son to translate for us. At this time it we were also ready for some food, so I went a Spanfekel and Jaimi went the pork knuckle. I have to say that mine tasted pretty good with good juicy meat, crackling and a sauce that was great (too bad it didn't all stay in my stomach. Yes, my first spew since starting this blog, and at Oktoberfest! Classic.). I would have thought with the amount of food they were making the standards may not have been that good, but it tasted great, and allowed us to keep drinking. I took the opportunity when I saw some girls behind us dressed in some of the traditional garb to get them to pose for me, and found one of them was from Melbourne (what is going on?).

From there it gets pretty blurry. I remember Jaimi pulling out and heading back to where we were staying, and me continuing to try and talk with the German darts players. Next thing, after I would guess 5 hours drinking (and possibly a stein for each hour), having toasted to probably anyone I have ever met (especially Loz, Joel and Jess), I hit the wall and like Jaimi, felt the need to get back to the abode (I think I may have even left about 100-200ml of beer in the bottom of my stein [bad beefy!]). I don’t recall getting to the train. I remember having to change trains and waiting 25 mins for another train to come, then walking back from the station, meeting up with Jaimi, before packing up my gear, just to head back to the train station and make my way to the airport. As my flight to Istanbul was leaving at 7:30am and I wouldn’t be able to get a train in the morning to get me there in time, I had to get there tonight and just sleep at the terminal (not the first time, probably not the last). Still, had the advantage (is it an advantage?) of being drunk and so just being able to lie down on the bench and get a few hours sleep. So at least we can say, we have done Oktoberfest in a way it should be done, and lived to tell the story. Now just to get through the next day…


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