Oompah Poompah Oobidy Doo!

The Travelling Seanchai

2007-06-01 to 2007-06-02

WAIT A MINUTE! This isn`t the relaxing, quiet place that I had led myself to believe. Instead, unwillingly (and those of you who know me know that I rarely do anything unwillingly when it comes to partying) I had stumbled on BEER HQ, a place that has taken the noble act of drinking beer to an art form, ney a near religious experience!


Ok, then, I suppose I had better go out and investigate! It is almost startling how much beer they drink around here! Young women, old men, business execs on lunch, scores of stag parties from England, all of them knocking back glasses as big as most toasters! They will serve you a beer unless you tell them that you don`t want one (which will be greeted with a nonchalant laugh, a `that`s a good one!` look and then have one dumped down in front of you anyway!)


I went out and met up with a load of people from my hostel for a night in Ned Kelly`s, cleverly combining my Irish and Australian pasts in one sweeping move. Those glasses are bloody heavy and I have seen some of the Germans carrying 5 or more in one hand, nutters!


Next day, I set off on a walk. Like Vienna, Munich truly has so much to offer the ordinary teatotalling tourist but simply way too much for any one that indulges in their `liquid bread` at night. I walked around by a river and stumbled on this Asian gentlemen that was using the rushing water to block out his full volume belting out of some operatic aria. I walked past him, he was somewhat miffed at the disturbance but not as embarrassed as I was when I realised that I had stumbled on his special quiet spot as 30 meters further on it was a dead end. So I walked past him again as he seethed and had to start again!


Further on, I chanced upon a surfer that was using the waves that were generated out of rushing water on a small bridge. Not exactly world championship stuff but you`d be bloody unlucky to meet a shark in there!


There were so many people jogging around that a strange feeling washed over me. It was a familiar one, something about the physical expenditure of energy in the healthy and correct pursuit to helping your body turn into a temple, a rhythmic exercise which was bringing on pulses of memories to me, something that I used to do quite often, something enjoyable…. oh yeah that`s right, it was time for a beer!!


I went to the Hofbrauhaus in the centre of Munich and it was like a massive canteen full of people all drinking huge beer glasses! Needless to say they were being served by buxom lasses in traditional dresses and the lads were up there Oompah Poompah-ing with their tubas and accordians much to the delight of all as papparazi like photos ensued! It was all terribly camp, loud and random and thoroughly enjoyable! It must have been one of the only bars I have been into in ages that didn`t have a TV and I didn`t miss it one bit! This place was the business and really said it all about Munich.


Hitler started his political life in Munich. The gangs of Neo-Nazi skinheads congregated around and it was a poignant reminder that some of his beliefs are alive if not well (in the head). His designs on creating an Aryan race of tall, powerful blondes has taken shape in the Amazonian women walking around this town however. I had met several ex-pats from England and Ireland who had settled in Munich for good, some for 18 years after arriving here first. Beer a plenty and Amazonian women were two of the more obvious reasons that I could see..


Another big night where I got into a heated (if good spirited) argument with Glenn from Melbourne on the colour of Kathleen Turner`s hair!?! Seriously, where do we get the conversations from?! I also ended up singing Danny Boy to the bar at the end of the night for reasons that still allude me!


So much for my relaxing few days but I set off for Heidelberg to find just that…


Missing in Heidelberg


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