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October 07, 2006

"Johnny! Johnny! Johnny!"

My last day on my own in Niederalm before Claire arrived was not a great success. For a start I was deprived a lie-in as I had to move hotels again. Niederalm was then invaded by oompah-oompah marching bands strutting their stuff in uniform up and down the main road. Talk about living up to a national stereotype.

The real problem came in the evening. I went down to the bar at around 6:00pm for a beer, only to be confronted by one of the marching bands, still in uniform but now very much on the way to getting drunk. My appearance in the doorway was greeted with a hail of laughter, follwed by a chant of "Johnny! Johnny! Johnny!". A couple of guys moved over and effectively blocked my was in, and so showing all the British pluck and fighting spirit for which we are reknowned all over Europe, I made my excuses and left.

Which meant I was then trapped in my bedroom for the evening, with only two cans of beer and nothing to eat except three olives.

As if that wasn't bad enough, the evening downstairs gradually got more on more raucous - with drinking songs, the banging of glasses on tables, and eventually attempts at playing tunes on different brass instruments. I went to bed unsure what was loudest, the tuneless tuba playing, the drunken mob, or the rumbling of my depressingly hungry and sober stomach.

I hope this isn't going to happen every Sunday.

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