Last night I attended the famous Erlangen Bergkirchweih with my colleagues from the Max-Planck-Institute. This is a 10 day annual festival dating back about 250 years, and attracts about 1 megapeople every year, which, for a town of 100 kilopeople is quite impressive. There’s some long historical and cultural story about the origins and significance of this event, but the bottom line is that it’s a massive piss-up, where the entire town, and a million others, get insanely drunk while wearing lederhosen, in true Bavarian style. The whole festivity reminds me a lot of the good old college days – the difference being that there are somewhat more people, and they’re all wearing lederhosen. But all the rest – the drunk minions lining the streets, and the stench of bile – is much the same.
Myself and my colleagues at the Erlangen Bergkirchweih. Notice how my stein is much emptier than the others’. I poked quite a bit of fun at my Bavarian companions for this. “You call yourself Bavarian? One Australian versus five Bavarian’s and the Australian wins!”. However, as per usual, my mouth was faster than the rest of me, and it didn’t take long for the tides to turn and I was out-drunk by a ratio of 5 to 1. Bavaria vs Australia – one, nil.