perhaps i dreamt it, but at some point in the last 6 weeks i had the strongest feeling that i was in belgrade. we were drinking rakija and everyone around me was speaking srpski. but perhaps it was denmark because antonella & zoe were there, or maybe it was munich because andy was there, or it could have been cuba because that's where i last saw maja, or amsterdam as urska was there - but now that i think about it, it must have been UpStage because there were also many cyberformers there - mem, kataRina, jelena, teodora ...
anyway, in this dream, if it was a dream, andy & i shared an apartment with a trio of cats who were covertly conspiring turn us into domestic slaves by being excessively cute, characterful & crazy. we managed to contact some friends and meet at a secret kafana, where they recommended a hasty retreat to the countryside.
there on the banks of the dunav (danube) in an animated conversation, antonella and i used hand gestures to overcome our significant language and communication difficulties and successfully negotiate the transformation of our old krevet company into a new business - furniture moving. naturally this required immediate research and the development of a robust business plan which we based on rigorous product and market tests conducted with large pieces of furniture, small stairs and glamorous assistants.
towards the end of the dream, i noticed a mysterious door in the floor, which naturally i had to open and investigate. unwise perhaps ... but there i found the stairs to the underworld; curiosity made me descend, & now that i have been there for some weeks i'm starting to get quite used to it. they say the underworld is the place from which no traveller may return, & i can really understand that. it's very peaceful and quiet. you should come & visit some time.
it's been a month since i blogged & now it's hard to put myself back to where i was; but i'll try; when i last wrote i was in munich attending a somewhat frustrating workshop - but i did have other diversions. i've been to munich many times but never during oktoberfest. i've cycled thru theresienwiese when they've been putting up the "tents", & when they've been taking them down, but this year was the first time i've been there when they are actually selling beer in them. my munich friends insisted that i experience this great bavarian tradition, & despite my reservations i agreed.
my reservations were partly based on seeing some less-than-attractive dirndls around town - in the last few years there's been a real upsurge in wearing dirndl & lederhosen to the oktoberfest (or wiesn, as the locals call it). the lederhosen generally look pretty good, but some of the "contemporary" dirndls, with an off-the-shoulder blouse, short skirt & clashing colours & patterns, are difficult to understand (unlike the stylish dirndl modelled by biggi at right & below). as well as the dirndls, there is of course the greater repellent - hordes of drunks (mostly tourists rather than locals) at hackerbrücke station, and little vomity surprises on the trains. but my bavarian friends were all excited about going so i thought i'd better at least give it a try.
i have to say i was pleasantly surprised. first we managed to get an excellent table outside (see above), which we shared with friendly (not drunk) tourists from vienna & detroit; then we managed to get in to one of the "best" tents (the fischer-vroni) & eventually found a table in there (a rule of the wiesn is that you can't be served unless you're at a table). yes it's true, i did stand up on the bench & dance to the covers band, drink enormous beers & radler, eat obatzter & brezn, & have cheerful shouted conversations. those of you who know zecica will know that she was right in her element. we left before the end so that we avoided the drunk crowds on the trains & i'm happy to say that i had a good time : )
beyond the wiesn's international reputation as a giant piss-up, its origins are more community-spirited; it started on 12 October 1810, when crown prince ludwig married therese of saxe-hildburghausen & they organised a horse race & threw a great party for all the people of munich. but over the years there have been many occasions when the oktoberfest has been cancelled due to war or disease, & in 1980 a bomb killed 13 people. this year, there were rumours of bomb threats, and a sudden increase in security put a damper on the festivities - but that was after i'd left town, bound for denmark once again and the next installment of let ME go ...
i've just realised that i haven't mentioned belgrade, which should have come before munich. but it's 1am & i'm tired & the fire's gone out & it's all just going to have to wait until tomorrow (or the next day ...)