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foreign correspondence: Munich


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(Editor's note: I actually wrote this a couple of days ago, and sent it to a few friends, but here it is anyway. Enjoy.)

"My God...it's full of beers..."

I went to Oktoberfest today. I'm staying in a Youth Hostel in Stuttgart, about a 2 hour train ride from Munich; hostels in Bavaria are *youth* hostels: 26 years of age and under, so I set up base camp here in

the land of the circled-star and hitched up the sherpas for the trek up Mount Beer.

And quite a trek it was. Oktoberfest is like all the drinking you ever did (not just what you admitted to) in Frosh Week, amped up to the level of the midway at the CNE. First off, the only size beer they have is

one litre--yup, yer gulpin' half a six-pack at a time. This limits the number of tents you can hit, unless

you want to spend/waste serious money.

It's fun for an afternoon, though. You walk around,

gawk at the madding crowd, gulp a couple of

Augustiner's best, enjoy the facilities, which are set

up like some giant eave's trough catching the runoff

from the late-fall harvest, and generally enjoy the

ambiance. If I lived in the area, and if I had people

with me, I'd be up for more of it, but with just me,

it's an experience to remain the dispassioned


Dispassioned and tired, mind you. It seems to be part

of my regular routine these days to get up, have

breakfast, and ride trains for several hours. Welcome

to Europe...

Auf weidersein,

Brad smile.gif" border="0

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Yeah, I'm out here on my solo tour ("Train Station Surgery Tour, Fall 2001", sponsored by makers of train station cappcino...).

It's actually not that hard. You enter a sort of netherworld unlike regular travelling; you don't unpack, you just pull out what you need, stuff everything back in, and figure out where you'll be tomorrow (or in a couple of days).

I've been relying heavily on the helpful and resourceful people at tourist info booths in train stations across Europe; you can pull into a city, head to the booth, and usually end up with a city map, a hotel/hostel reservation, borchures'a'plenty, and sometimes they even change money for you (or know where you can get it changed).

I've got about another two weeks left, and then, of course, I've got the two SCI shows, Toronto the day after I get back, then Montreal. It sounded stupid when I planned it, but then I figured, hey, if I can't do another couple of days of cross-country trainstorming, I won't have made it back in the first place.

At least, that's what I *thought*...("In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice, but in practice, there is.")


Brad (currently in Milan, heading to Venice tomorrow)

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