A Bavarian Birthday.



This weekend I wasn’t the only one partying in Munich, everyone in Munich was out and about, even though technically “they weren’t invited to my party”. This is because Munich was hosting its own party: the Champions League Final party. Friday was spent mentally preparing for the day ahead.  Many of my friends and colleagues had their doubts and to be fair it was looking a bit grim in Bavaria’s capital, the forecast was overcast with a chance of rain. We’re now in the end of May and we’ve had grey skies and damp air which has been chipping away at our spirit. The weather has clearly had an adverse effect on people’s mental well-being and thus the final financial forecast was overdrawn with a chance of painThe plan had been to meet at the Augustinerkeller Biergarten for 11am and then to remain there the entire day drinking in the sunshine. Instead it rained (as expected) and the change of plan came from Justin who suggested it might be a good shout to watch the match at Paulaner am Nockerberg. As I arrived, I was on the phone and spotted Nath sitting with…wait….Simon?!

You know who your mates are when they travel from another city to stay with another friend so that they can surprise you on your birthday. Simon Falk, the image, the man, the brand, our very own resident Leodis Democrat. It was a fantastic start to the day, I had just spoken to my parents about how Si wouldn’t be able to make it due to last minute plans to go to Valencia.

My surprise for Simon was that there was no real back-up plan and that yes, despite crippling doubts of the Germans who were trying to rain it off, I enforced a standard Fabian Family policy of refusing to let weather impact on activities (within reason). We ended up sitting in the Biergarten on a wet bench on a Saturday morning. Even though all reasonable sources were pointing to the horrific weather, I was stubborn/determined enough that if I didn’t think about the rain, it wouldn’t be able to dampen our spirits. I was sort of wrong, in the sense that we became wet, but sort of right, in the sense that we got on with it anyway. Of course the weather was fantastic in the UK, just as this time of year always has been and will always be on the 25th of May…

Despite the match itself being held at Wembley in my home town of London, all hell broke loose in Munich as footballing titans FC Bayern Munich clashed with giants Borussia Dortmund, making them both seem normal sized. This was the first time two German teams had battled it to the final and history was about to be made for one lucky team. Both my be “German teams” but they even make colossal Derbys like United vs. City look like a gentle stroll in the park. This might be due to the deeply rooted religious and cultural significances attached to each team. It’s as if the Holy Roman Empire is taking on the Kingdom of Prussia. It’s personal. Of course the Germans are silly about things like crossing the road, protecting themselves from the elements and having zero speed restrictions on large sections of the motorway. Although I can’t speak for Borussia, in Bavaria three things are taken very seriously. These include Catholicism, beer and the most serious of all; the English disease: football.

It was great to be able to spend the day with so many good friends: Nath and Si of course were the founding fathers of the party. Tilmann & Tiana took their time but were there when it counted, the charming David & Larissa came on down, Susanna was being her usual lovely self Jenny, Charleen & Nelli got the chocolates in and a mini-candle cake, Maciek brought his Polish spirits as usual, this time he smuggled my present in from Poland: a bottle of 37,5% Hazelnut vodka.  Ludo even amde it down to the game despite his parents being in town.

The Game itself

“Naturally the superior team soared to victory; history wouldn’t have allowed anything else to happen.

A couple of innocent enough looking Dortmund fans were wondering around and I did slightly feel for them as the Bayern fans singled them out and ridiculed them as sons of bitches “Ally ally ally ally oiiii, BVB, Hürensöhne” and repeated times ten. They’re not known for their sporting nature the FCB fans,, although I can’t imagine the chants being any better for the Bayern fans at public viewings in Dortmund.

From then on it was game over for me, even though it was only half time for Bayern.

My lovely BMW girls: Charleen, Nelli & Jenny.

Shortly afterwards, Bayern fans tried to kill me by throwing cigarettes and broken glass Rochtung Engländer

Susanna and the lads got a card in for me as well as a Viking hat to wear.

Misinterpretation of my childhood name for myself “Barcus” (due to pronunciation incompetence)

Danke Susanna, David, TIlmann & Serguei

Marcus’ typical singing antics:

“We love you Weasley, we do” he did look a lot like our good friend Ronald. Meanwhile, later on Leopoldstraße I decided to recite Hot ‘n’ Juicy’s 1998 hit “Horny ’98” as I paraded around in my single-horned Viking hat, to the bemusement of many passers-by and to the amusement of onlookers.

falling asleep for the first half of the

“How high do you want to goal, how high do you want the goal how high do you want the goal how high do you want the goal.”

The Bayern fans mistook this jest for an England chant and we already tense given it was 1-1. I was greeted with a barrage of cigarettes and eventually even bits of broken glass, but nothing could stop me I was truly indestructible on the day.

Techno Tilmann notified me on Sunday that I retorted to the medieval mass of Münchners that “I was for Munich but now I’m for Dortmund” at the 1-1 stage which in Hindsight is exactly what my mother had feared would happen. I’ll blame Maciek’s Marvellous Medicine on my rowdiness. Measured in terms of Jones, I rocketed from Bridget to Indiana levels after half a bottle of the nutty vodka.

Premium colleagues: Auri, Serguei and Sascha

On Sunday as the weekend drew to a close, Nath and I revisited our favourite Mexican bar/restaurant near Hauptbahnhof attempted a severely hungover swim and saw Simon off. Overall a great weekend was had despite the weather trying to put a downer on the proceedings.

Adam’s adventures continue as he leaves his Burg and ventures to meet Natalie in the Far-East. From Made in Munich, we wish him the best of luck on his voyage and may there by much sun, few nuts and zero tsunamis. Basically realised that everyone I know is going to be in Thailand in June, including the triple A’s. Alfie, Adi and Angus will all gracing “the Dulwich of Asia” (South-East Asia) s going to Thailand that I don’t know about?

Also many thanks to friends and family who sent gifts and cards to Milbersthofen-Am-Hart, it was much appreciated!


Heil to the Busführer.



Hail to the bus driver is a song which softens the heart when sung. When heard in England, that is. In the primary school charts it was second only to The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round but was a clear forerunner of Old MacDonald Had a Farm – on account of their over usage of vowels in general. The melody may be whistled, hummed or sung on the way back from school, lunchbox swinging in hand. Not a problem. But what about when you hear the same tune in Germany? Well I’ll tell you: it’s a completely different kettle of sausages. If you consider for a minute that “driver” translates to Führer! and “hail” translates to…well…Heil!, these once naïve notes take on a sinister shape and thus loses this innocent charm. I’m not suggesting that my neighbour in the changing room was advocating a return to nationalist indoctrine, but it certainly sent a shiver up my spine as I prepared my towel to use as a symbol of ownership over my chosen deckchair – I’ve become one of them! I will consider writing about “How to swim like a German”.

This year it hasn’t been appropriate to blog about my work; you don’t become the most successful premium automotive manufacturer in the globe ten years running if your interns are spilling the beans and sharing secrets on the world wide web. Nevertheless, in this post I will make a small exception because what I witnessed needs to be written about. Last week we were shooting around town organising the BMW Marketing Workshop 2013 which was a success all round. The content of the workshop will remain top secret but what I can inform the reader of is the great participation and the visit to the BMW Driving Academy in Maisach.

In a normal job you’d be annoyed at working for 12 hours without sitting down. Luckily for me, my military training kicked in and I was able to stay concentrated on the tasks in hand whilst staying on my feet for a day. Guillaume was not so forgiving and seemed mildly traumatised after giving an Audi Q7 a quick scrub a dub dub. He had a good time overall though, of course and was thrilled later in the day as you are about to find out.

The final day of the workshop took place in Fürstenfeldbruck, an old airbase which has provided the stage for a lot of interesting history in modern times. Breaking Faulty Towers’ regola numero uno, I feel obliged to explain that during the war it was a military airport belonging to the Luftwaffe. As my Dad always says: “A German joke iz no laughing matter!” a colleague did insist “Zis is ver ze Führer used to keep his toy planes”. Not sure whether to laugh or cry, I opted to follow the masses and chuckled off this humour even though it was very much on the political edge of what is wright and what is not. In fairness though, I suppose the Luftwaffe are now hilarious – in the sense that all known events, however sinister or tragic, will eventually become so caricatured in the present to the extent that they come full circle and are inevitably remembered as comical at least in part; David Mitchell cleverly uses the vikings raping and pillaging their way through Northern Europe as an example. But in all seriousness if the Luftwaffe being there wasn’t enough to tickle your historical armpit: there is also even more history to behold.

A camouflaged aircraft hanger with sign reading: “Fire and Smoking Forbidden”

Munich hosted the 1972 Olympic Games and there is a legacy of green spaces and sports that lives on in this fantastic city. Unfortunately, what the Games came to be remembered for were the tragic events which took place, I am refering to the kidnap and murder of Israeli athletes. The old air base was site of the Munich Massacre in which nine Israeli athletes were kidnapped  from the Olympic Village and flown via helicopter to Fürstenfeldbruck, where the terrorists believed they would be flown to a friendly Arab nation. After a botched rescue attempt by Bavarian Federal Police and Munich City Officers the majority of the athletes would not only never compete again, they would be tragically killed. As I stood on Friday marveling at the BMW M3 skidding around what is effectively our very own Top Gear track, I was expecting the Stig to pop out of the car and Clarkson to make a witty remark. Instead I was  I was struck by the thought of fighter jets taking off preparing to rain hell fire down on Great Britain and I took time to remember that less than thirty years after the Americans took control of West Germany, terror reigned again as Palestinian terrorists executed their captives and incinerated a helicopter containing four athletes. It’s certainly an airport that has drawn the attention of the world more than once.


Guillaume did manage to get a video of us in a BMW M3 driven by one of the nutty instructors and a video is available, but I’ve had a bit of an digital dysfunction and I can’t seem to get it up. Uploaded, that is. TO be honest, the video doesn’t really do justice to the experience at all, so in a way there’s no huge loss.

When you get back from a long day, all that you need in life is an Italian girl to cook you up a dreamy pasta. On Friday evening Susanna decided to take pity on the fact that I had no food in, and my extreme fatigue and she resurrected me with her traditional tuna pasta. We went for drinks with Pierre, Davide, Viviana and Julie which meant that I was outnumbered completely, but somehow the lingua franca remained English. The night was 100% Made in Munich as we trotted on down to Pascha in Sonnenstraße, here is where you find a goldmine of Schicki-Micki partygoers, or Munich’s elite. Some of the most horrific people in the world but in fairness they look bloody good. The only problem is: don’t they know it. We then were introduced to a friend of Davide’s: Federico from Torino and this man just walked the lot of us straight into the club without any money changing hands, that is because he regularly spends thousands per week in the establishment. Alright for some. As usual more French came crawling out of the woodworks like little termites but despite the stench of garlic, the night was deemed a success.

On Saturday, I eventually awoke from my slumber and met Nath and Ludo as well as some other international biffs in my gardens (Englischer Garten) and sort of invited myself to Ludo’s where he cooked a good pasta dish. Whilst gobbling down our carbohydrate for the night ahead, we witnessed a lady performing what I can only describe as a webcam dance in front of a laptop. Of course, in retaliation I felt it polite to dance back, which she seemed to find hilarious until Marlon (the son of the parents that Ludo lives with) decided it would be a good idea to shoot at her with a BB gun. I may have joined in. She was still laughing though, she understood that the gun was not intended to harm her, a promise which the weapon fulfilled. Our quest for happiness led us to a filthy corner of Hauptbahnhof, following Jess who was to be our Napoleon for the evening. She lead disappointingly more like Bonaparte’s Six Days Campaign as opposed to his First Italian Campaign. Saddened and dismayed by the percentage of clueless Australian backpackers in this youth hostel we had just arrived in who were lecturing us about “how we should travel the world and see all the nature that it’s got to offa'”, I decided it wasn’t Made in Munich enough for me and gave the reliable Pierre a ring who happened to be in Neuraum with the French (again). This is a club in which I always seem to find myself going to, but not out of choice.

On Sunday morning we left Neuraum and I was still surrounded by the frogs, at one stage even foolishly resorting to dusting off the GCSE skills in a bid to familiarise myself with my captors. We eventually had enough Call Me Maybe for one night and left the discotheque where we proceeded to stroll into town to satisfy Pierre’s undying urge to enjoy Weißwürstfrühstück at 7am. On the way from Hauptbahnhof (imagine a French person trying to enunciate that word, considering they don’t regard “h” as a consonant) I suggested it to Allison that we should run through the fountain at Karlplatz as a joke, but she took it seriously and we did it. She then called me a “coureur du jupon” which I didn’t understand but took as a compliment.

Eventually our hunger just about outweighed our fatigue and we settled for McDonald’s breakfast.

Unsurprisingly, my bewitching British accent continues to mean I face an onslaught of European attention which I am desperately trying to fight off with sticks and other assorted weaponry but I am becoming less and less successful in doing so. Such issues were delved into in more detail during a skype conference with Alex and Angus surely a highlight of the week so far. Those two – what are they like.

In online news, I have found a website which combines three things which I love: cars, comedy and caffeine. My website of the week is comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com which combines all three. Michael Richards takes a classic car, picks up a famous comedian and takes them for coffee. Even Ricky Gervais was given a good run for his money.


This post is written for my Grandpa Andrew Paul Fabian who is celebrating his 83rd birthday  in Devon the way everyone should: with good friends. With Grandpa’s experience, who could possibly doubt that visiting good friends is always a satisfying way to spend your time?

In terms of my dear old roommate Techno Tilmann, he and I are still getting on like an Apartmenthaus on fire and are a recipe for trouble when let loose on the Bavarian capital. Really looking forward to celebrating my birthday tomorrow, it should be a good turnout providing it doesn’t get rained off. I guess I will find out who my real friends are.
And that was the last blog post I shall write at the age of 20. Until next time.

Munich Half Marathon.


Ein Schriftsteller ist ein Mann, dem das Schreiben schwerer fällt als allen anderen Leuten.

~Thomas Mann

Good old Thomas – he knew a thing or two. The reason I have started with this quote is because it perfectly encompasses what I feel about writing. It explains how writing is more difficult for a writer than for everyone else but if you want a slightly more literal translation – it would go something like this: “A writer is a man for whom writing is more difficult than it is for all others”. Regardless of this I’ve got down to writing the blog this week and will be informing the reader of the main event, being the Marathon.

But first I would like to make an observation about luck. “That was lucky” you’re thinking – it’s just what I want to read about. The reason I want to write about this word is that it interests me greatly. There’s much talk in life of luck but noone agrees on what it is. People who are lucky seem also to be happy. Does that just depend on your perception? Does even feeling lucky, even if you aren’t, make you somehow more lucky? Either way, it’s happiness that most people seem to be trying to achieve. If you make your own luck, then does that mean you are also responsible for your own happiness too? What got me thinking about this was the Germans don’t distinguish between the two. Well, of course, it depends on the context, but the word for luck and happiness is the same: Glück. Naturally this was a pain for the translators of the film Happy-Go-Lucky  which ended up with the hopeless title of Unbeschwert, Sorglos, Leichtlebig (lit. blithe, carefree, easygoing).

I’ve also been very lucky in my life and I’m glad that I was lucky enough to participate in the Munich Half Marathon, something which I didn’t expect myself to want to do. Sometimes you meet people in life who inspire you and make you want to be a better person. You could say this has happened to me.

The big run.

On Sunday morning Ludo and I arose to run the Half Marathon. To our surprise, the weather was glorious and Munich was alive with colour for the first time since I can remember. The Germans were taking things quite seriously and were well kitted out, many choosing to sport tight running-wear, bright colours, Lara Croft-style belts with navigation systems, water bottles and lots of unnecessarily technology strapped onto them. It was at this moment in time when I realised, to my disappointment, that my socks weren’t matching. Awkward.

True to form, Ludo was one of these very well prepared people in lycra and a fluorescent top shining brighter than the sun. There was no worry of losing sight of him at least!

Highlights of the run included running into Ludo as he started to walk and pushing him until he began to run again. I also remember getting carried away in the moment and bellowing “Das Leben ist ein Marathon!” at some spectators in a bid to hype myself up for the final lap. The most mixed emotion I felt during the run occurred when I was overtaken by a man who must have been in his seventies who was brandishing crutches and screamed words of encouragement at me as he sprang haphazardly past me like a fearless mountain goat.

The run was harder than expected and my biggest challenge came when I tried to speed up on the final lap, I had zero gas left. I have utmost respect for those who have completed twice the distance the London Marathon etc. My time of 2hrs 6 minutes is distinctly unimpressive but I met my challenge which was not to walk at any point. Anyway I guess it’s all about the taking part that counts and the money raised for GOSH. Thanks again to all those kind donations from family and close friends, it means a lot. The page is still live so if you still feel like parting with a few pennies then head straight to http://www.justgiving.com/marcus-fabian.

Thanks go out especially to Angus who gave me great advice for training and to Anna who (albeit coincidentally) supported on the day. Thanks guys.

We are in Germany so it was almost inevitable that the run would be sponsored by a beer, even if it was a non-alcoholic one.

What better excuse to head down to the last evening of the München Frühlingsfest, the fourth beer festival of the year. Ludo and I had planned to celebrate with a couple of Maß in the Augustiner Zelt. Amazingly, Ludo and I managed to not see each other at Oktoberfest at all, not even once. Despite being there simultaneously we were both too inebriated to meet, at one point even both being in the same tent and still failing to coordinate a successful RV. The spring festival is of course much smaller than the Wies’n, but nevertheless we got a load of people down to the fest and celebrated our achievement the only way the Bavarians know; with litres of beer and an awful band. The Sunday evening was unbelievable, certainly a day to remember.

Man hört sich, man sieht sich” – Friends section:

Narnia Nath’s parents were in town and I was invited along to “meet the parents” because Nath is single. I always love meeting people’s parents, Nath and his Dad have all the same mannerisms. Great stuff. I hope they had a great time in Austria this weekend and thanks again for the grub!

Techno Tillman is my newest roommate and by far the most normal. Being from Berlin he listens to techno but not only to prepare him for a night out, we also have the pleasure of breakfast techno to ease us into the day as well as work techno to keep us productive during the day. At around 5pm a decision must be made as to whether we eventually graduate either to party techno if we’re partying or bedtime techno to prepare us for sleeping. Sweet electronic dreams. He also loves motorbikes, bikes, mountain biking. Basically if it involves two wheels he’s interested. He has taken part in some pretty brutal downhill races, has stories of injuries, jumps and accidents. He took part in an intense downhill race in the Alpe d’Huez called MegaAvalanche 2012 and recorded this video with a chest camera. It’s worth a watch just to see how suicidal the conditions are. What isn’t included in the video is the part where he breaks a pedal and goes down the mountain using one foot. He’s a madman but in a good way.

Since my last post I have learnt how to prepare and cook Schnitzel, the highlight of which was watching him tendering the meat and seeing his face as he used the full force of a frying pan to guarantee the bits of turkey he had purchased were in fact completely dead. Having experienced Disco David’s methodical process, I like to think I am now fully qualified to prepare and cook an authentic Bavarian delicacy.

Emmanuel (Mannu Malade) has finished his internship and is now doing bad things in Paris en famille, starting a degree in Real Estate Management at the rather swanky sounding “L’Institut Supérieur de Commerce et Gestion” in September.

Maintaining the unwritten rule of always having at least one very extrovert French friend to go out with until their placement ends. Jean-Rémy was replaced by Rémi who was replaced by Emmanuel. Guillaume has introduced me to “the two Pierres” who I believe will provide adequate Francophone fun for the next few months.

The biggest surprise in May has been that my friendship group is nicely still expanding and I’m still having such a great time in Munich.

Skandal in Stuttgart.

My lovely mother described me as a “fluffy bunny that has just arrived from another planet and started bumping into things” and with that I begin my first blog of the month of May. But first we must hark back to April, at the end of which two harrowing accounts of the weekend have been written by good friends Nath and Adam. Both blog posts are definitely worth a read if you want to gain more depth to the weekend. Links to these can be found at the end of this post.



Friday > Travel to Stuttgart

Nothing finishes off a week quite like a leisurely lunch at the astonishing BMW-Vierzylinder building. Wolfgang, Emmanuel and I opted for a five-star burger and chips, after we’d eaten our fill we went for a stroll as the sun was finally shining unashamedly in manufacturing heart of our beautiful city. Wishing Wolfgang well on his holiday in France and wishing Mannu a good rest of the afternoon, I left my colleagues and headed for the U3 Olympiazentrum with a spring in my step. A hop, skip and a jump and I was sitting in Marienplatz with Nath who had gathered necessary supplies for the weekend, namely sunglasses, sure for men/fauns, sausages and bread. This shopping basket was in many ways very predictable. Perhaps with hindsight, the purchase of sunglasses was tempting fate and in accordance with Sod’s Law the clouds began to darken as we embarked on our journey West across the border into the next federal state.

The transfer from Munich’s coach station (Hackerbrücke) to Stuttgart Flughafen was comfortable even if we were travelling on some stinky commuter bus with a bunch of plebs. During the journey we almost managed to convince Simon that Nath had been involved in a scuffle with police and was being held in custody in Munich over drugs charges and had consequently not been able to travel thereby tragically missing the connection and waving goodbye to a 15€ for DeinBus.de. “Was any of that actually true?” interrogated Simon knowingly and before we knew it the story had fallen apart.

I’d be lying if I wrote that beer hadn’t played a central role in brewing of the Year Abroad adventure. Some are now coming to then end of their placement years and their stories will come to an end. This group of German studying friends are called The Berlin Six. We’re a team and just like in all teams, substitutions have been made along the way as members have fallen by the wayside, but in spite of this we remain a sturdy sextet. Members of the Berlin 6 are strewn across the Fatherland living in major cities or at the very least in their suburbs, with the exception of Adam in Blankenburg and perhaps also Euan, although Wolfsburg will always be well-known as long as the headquarters of Volkswagen.

As part and parcel of the Year Abroad experience we, the six, can whole-heartedly say we’ve participated in lavish reunions starting in Munich, taking us to Hamburg and of course Berlin, and as of last weekend, what I assume was the last of our “great reunions” to celebrate Simon’s 21st at the Cannstatter Wasen in Stuttgart. For those who don’t know, the Wasen (pronounced “vaah-zun”) is Baden-Württemberg’s feeble attempt at mimicking the world famous and unbeatably original Wies’n (pronounced “vee-zun”) know to most as the Oktoberfest. The rivalry between Bavaria and Baden-W is clear, the two states being similar both culturally and geographically by which I mean both are predominantly catholic and together make up the south of Germany. Baden-Württemberg can be described as a New Mexico, if Bavaria was the Texas of Deutschland. As an honorary Bavarian, I am supposed to turn my nose up at the mention of Baden-Württemberg disregarding the lot of them as a worthless inferior bunch of losers. But I’m nice so I don’t mention anything. However, competition is rife and competition is life: Stuttgart is the home of both Menacing Mercedes and Pretentious Porsche so I took my BMW keyring with me to keep me safe.

If I’m honest we didn’t feel welcome amongst the Swabians (don’t worry Simon this post will get positive at some stage, I promise) we were greeted  by disgruntled weather very soon after we left the heavenly Holy Free State of Bavaria and slipped into the marsh that is Baden-Württemberg. Perhaps the Gods were taking revenge on me for the sheer havoc Ludo and I wreaked in Tübingen during our school exchange way back during the Easter of 2009, the upshot of which being that along with an inexcusable number of our peers were raided by Polizei as we partied on an island in the middle of a river, causing one of our friends to be found too drunk and then being hospitalised and diagnosed with alcohol poisoning. In light of this desperate story, in which no-one appeared more heroic than John Hewitt-Jones, I was determined to show the Schwabens that we were ready to behave now, having spent five years on the naughty step.

After a pleasant journey, we arrived at the airport. Nath was first to look out of the coach window and spot Simon, whom again seemed to be pursing his lips and looking like a man with a plan. The way Simon was dressed in black and clutching his rucksack and looking at his shiny watch, I deduced that the weekend would involve a high frequency of “quick turnarounds”, “chivvying” and many a “rendez-vous”.

We checked into the hotel, where Simon had placed chocolates on our pillows in anticipation of our arrival, reinforcing my Mum’s belief that he will make a great husband. It looks like she might be onto something. We were introduced to Simon’s friends, Colin, Joey and the Italian girl, Mazza was it or Mazzi. Sorry Italian girl you were important to me but I forgot your name because it wasn’t an easy one to remember. Colin and Joey kept us entertained with their stories involving Simon speeding in Switzerland and with occasional updates about Stuart the office melt. Who actually, even though we were fed propaganda to persuade us that he was a volatile personality, he actually turned out to be a really nice guy who needed a bit of a hug. We were impressed with all of Simon’s lovely friends and we all knew that if we’d been in Stuttgart with him, we would have got to know them really well.

Simon managed to maintain a comfortable balance between sticking religiously to the timetable thereby making sure we met the objectives outlined and also at the same time his gentle nature ensured we Gentiles were all able to enjoy ourselves, even if some members of the group didn’t know where to draw the line and wound up sleeping in a bed of pringles (Adam Shaw, I’m looking at you). Unexpectedly but thankfully, Sara would also make an appearance and act as the Robin to Simon’s Batman for the course of the weekend, radioing in different sections, establishing ERV’s and coordinating attacks on some of the city’s most visited cocktail bars.

Saturday > on the Wasen

As previously mentioned it’s sort of like a post-apocalyptic take on Oktoberfest, or Oktoby as Barney lovingly calls it. Adam said it reminded him more of Hannover Volksfest in terms of size and I think I vaguely remember Euan nodding in agreement. That said the rides were extraordinary, noteworthy was an astonishing haunted house with a fountain of blood in the front garden. The weather was pretty dreary if we’re honest but Simon didn’t let that dampen spirits. He led us to our tent: the Göckelsmaier tent which had some inexplicable fetish involving chicken, which then justified decorating the entire place with them. Beer was flowing, music was being played and the atmosphere was starting to pick up. The best thing about these festivals are the difference between people drinking their first beer and people drinking their second. During the first many were still cursing themselves and nursing the hangover, but during the second we were all dancing on the tables as if it was perfectly acceptable, which of course it was. Then came the strange conversations. At one point we got onto the topic of Harry Potter, no-one dared question that Nonie would have been in Gryffindor, and Sara seemed to fit nicely into Ravenclaw which was all completely reasonable. I then almost dropped my Maß and looked around me in horror as I heard that everyone, everyone was synonymous when they agreed I would be in Slytherin. Upsetting stuff indeed, although I took it as a slight compliment, I mean, hey, at least I wasn’t in Hufflepuff with Euan.

Eventually, German punctuality gave us the boot and we were kicked off our tables like common criminals because our tables were strictly reserved from 11am until 4pm. Shortly afterwards we became caught in a sea of people and Scouse, Adam and I clung to each other like lions caught in a stampede of wilder beast  When we floated out the other end we were greeted with a cold shower but nevertheless pumped full of desire to ride rollercoasters. Dodgems were a highlight as Adam was flung about, eventually realising that reverse wasn’t the only gear that could be utilised. We then thought it would be a great idea to go very high up on some swings which was the equivalent of paying 5€ to be put into the heart of a tornado. Which is quite good value the more I think about it, but we were very cold as the wind and rain ripped into our skin and our leather shorts began to chafe.

A few missed calls, a train journey and a walk later, Scouse, Adam and managed to find the rest of the group Adam making only a slight detour to kick a pigeon that took a quick dislike to him (fair enough). With a little help from Simon and Sara, winners of Mr. & Mrs. Stuttgart 2013, we found ourselves sitting comfortably in a tapas bar in the city centre. We made the natural transition to the place to be in Stuttgart on a Saturday night: a cocktail bar called Mauritius, where Adam angered some nearby Muslim women having purchased some ham from LIDL and started to fashion different varieties of jewelry with said slices of pork. What he was doing was far from halal, but the ladies can’t have been all that religious sipping cocktails at 4,99€. Shortly afterwards our drinks we then briefly returned to the ‘fest and those who had missed out on roller-coasting were able to scream their heads off once again.

Sunday > Back to MUC

All to quickly the weekend was over. We checked out of the hotel and the next stop was Vapiano’s. Afterwards we had time for a little sightseeing and what better tour guides to have than Simon and Sara.

Many thanks to Simon for literally sorting everyone out and buying us presents even though it was his birthday, what a man. A very happy birthday to a great man and a fantastic friend, we’re lucky to have him. Thanks to his friends for integrating us nicely into the group and a massive apology to the pigeons of Stuttgart, we promise Adam will not be thinking up any more ways to practice avian athletics.

As promised the links to my friends’ accounts of the same weekend 26th-28th April 2013.

Snonie White & the Seven Dorks” ~Nath Thorpe 02.05.2013

Simply the Fest” ~Adam Shaw  30.04.2013