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Well after getting home in one piece from the castle we proceded to get ready for our first night at Oktoberfest. This entailed a lot of time in the bathroom for both Lisa and I. But then again when I think about it, Kimmo spent a lot of time in there as well.

After the mandatory changing of outfits and asking “is this ok?” Lisa and I decided that it didn’t matter what we looked like because there were only going to be drunken yobbos there anyway that cared more about the drink than anything else. But then again so did we, so it didn’t matter either way.

We made our way across the road to the Oktoberfest site to be confronted with varying degrees of drunken revelry. There were men relieving themselves along the outside of the tents, drunks staggering home, drunks passed out on the wet ground (only a few but a lot more when it’s dry), people and drunks trying to get back into the various tents and security guards valiantly trying to do their job.

We decided to try our luck on the side door at the Hofbrauhaus because the front door was packed with people trying to get in. We waited and waited but with no luck. We were behind approximately 10 guys who were trying their hardest to get in but with no avail. Kimmo decided to go for a walk to see what the other doors were like and with luck we went to the back entrance to find no one waiting.

We walked straight in to be confronted with the largest party I have ever seen. Inside the tent the temperature rose to a comfy 22 degrees due to the of body heat 10,000 people. We made our way through various groups of people that were in different levels of intoxication. The first area we went through was standing areas where people were gathered around small round tables at chest height that contained dozens of Stein glasses with various levels of amber fluid in them.

We made our way along the walkways that separate the various areas including the reserved areas to the table section. This was where there was long picnic tables in a lovely shade of bright yellow that had people standing and sitting on them. We decided to settle in this section so that we could stand up and see the whole tent, the band, dance, and meet other party goers. It was also an area with a lot of empty glasses so everyone was definitely in the party spirit.

We found some space and settled down to get our cameras and videos out to record the momentous occasion. Kimmo went to get the beers but they were a long time coming because our waitress seemed to have done a walkabout and was not to be found. This was bad news for us because the rule is that you must be seated at a table to order a beer or two and one waitress is responsible for every three or four tables. This means that you can’t ask another waitress who looks after another table to get you a beer. You either have to move tables or wait until your waitress arrives. Moving was no options for us because space was at a premium on a Friday night. Kimmo finally found a seat on the corner of a table and convinced some waitress to bring him three beers that he then delivered to us after a good 30 minute wait.

The band was belting out tunes that everyone was singing along to. This included Beatle’s and Rolling Stone’s hits, traditional German drinking songs, and other one hit wonders that everyone knows. We were starting to sing, dance and drink the night away. After each set, the band would launch into some German salute to drinking and we would raise our glasses, toast each other and then drink. After a while I thought they were playing this song every five minutes because my one litre Stein seemed to be disappearing awfully quick.

The Hofbrauhaus is quite famous for its overseas visitors so that meant that everyone spoke English or some form of it. Well that was if they could speak at all. Apart from myself that was suffering from the flu and consequently no voice, a lot of people had just partied too hard and had lost their voices from singing and talking too much.

We met people from Italy, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, USA, China, New Zealand, South Africa and of course plenty of people from Australia. Actually too many but hey it was Oktoberfest and was to be expected. It was funny to be reunited with the typical Aussie fella. They certainly have not changed and I had a silent chuckle to myself about the differences between European and Australian men. I encountered men who were identifiable as proud Australians because they were adorned by real true blue attire. This included a North Melbourne AFL jersey, numerous Wallaby jerseys, Kangaroo jerseys, VB t-shirts, VB t-shirts with reflector vests that had written on the back Robbo and green and gold wigs.

It was amazing to see the harmony between all the different races. People were just chatting to whoever they were sitting next to regardless of race, sex and colour. It was amazing. It didn’t matter if someone tipped over your drink, accidentally pushed you off your chair, spilt something on you or was a moron there was no animosity or hostility that would have been expected in a bar or party of this size in Australia. It was great to see.

Lisa did us proud with her display of dancing and falling over during the weekend festivities. Her various displays of athletic drunkenness was to be admired by many. Her body was to show the bruises from her various falls over the weekend. This included my fingerprints under her arms as I lifted her up off the floor from a major spill. This one was not her fault but another reveller who decided to tackle his two mates who happened to be on either side of Lisa. It was one spectacular crash from the chair to the floor below. She also had bruises on her knees from the various slips off the chairs and kneeing the table as she displayed her John Travolta dance moves. These dance sequences would have been great on a disco floor but the 25cm planks of wood (seats) that represented our dance floor each night was not the safest or most secure. That combined with the slipperiness from various spilt beers made it a hazardous area and prone for many spills throughout the weekend, that meant I didn’t stop laughing all night.

We continued to drink, dance and sing the night away until the band played its last song at 10:30pm and the lights came on to reveal a sea of empty glasses, broken glasses, broken chairs and a few broken tables, clothing and umbrellas that had been left behind and saturated in beer, left over food and a few drunken guys who had just put their head down to rest and passed out.

We were finally kicked out and made our way home with the 1,000s of other drinkers.

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