This is our fifth Oktoberfest in Munich. It's a light one. Only two lots of visitors from abroad. In the past, our poor spare room scarcely had time to draw breath before getting stuffed to its rafters with the next mob of thirsty Ausländer. Many a foreigner who lives in Munich knows the feeling.
On the other hand, 2011 has thrown up a punishing schedule of work events on the Wies'n. It's impossible to do business in Munich without schmoozing away much of September. Our office lies, literally, across the street from the festival grounds; both clients and colleagues from out-of-town take good advantage of this. As it sits on my desk, my phone buzzes with faceboock check-ins over the road.
I don't want to sound like a wet blanket, but frankly, Oktoberfest is hard work. You need energy and stamina. Beer provides both of these, but takes its toll on brain-cells, waistlines and the social reputation of the drinker.
As I sit here at my desk, I can tell you that I'm well-and-truly over it. But put a beer in my hand, and I might just find some enthusiasm. Beer...it's magic!