Munich is getting ready for the Oktoberfest which begins tomorrow at 12.00 when the Lord Mayor, Christian Ude, will hammer a beer tap into a big wooden barrel of Oktoberfest beer and declare the traditional sentence, "o'zapft is!" - which means, loosely translated, "the beer is now flowing". My younger daughter will be there too - although she will have to get there by 8.00 at the latest to get a place...one of the few times of the year she voluntarily gets up early.
Over 6 million litres of beer will flow down a similar number of million throats and subsequently out of as many bladders or even regurgatively, antiperistaltically back out of those very same throats over the next two weeks (and it will be impossible to get a parking space in a radius of five miles around the Theresienwiese where it all takes place, i.e. impossible for me cos I live within that radius).
It's a bit like the pyramids in a way...if you have never been and experienced it you can't imagine the size of the Oktoberfest.
You hear "beer-tent" and you think of something in a park or at a wedding, big enough say for 30 people. Well, these beer-tents really mean business...they seat about 5000 and there are about 10 0f them. Construction started months ago.
And when you walk in to a tent - if you have just arrived and are still sober - there is this atmosphere - a virtual wall of noise, music and singing, shouting and laughing mixed with the smoke, exhaled beer breath and damp sweat - you just do not believe that it could be possible even to want to stay inside, never mind enjoy it...but get a couple of Maß down your neck and suddenly everything looks beauoooootiful...mmmm.