Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Of Beer and Bears

I don't think that anyone who knows me would call me a quitter - bears don't quit, they hibernate - but a bear can only put up with so much. After months of whining and complaining and long faces and sulks, I decided that my bipedal attendants needed to get out of Bratislava for the holidays.

After a few collusive phone calls with my god-bipedal attendants (who reside near Venice), I arranged a whirlwind trip from Slovakia, through Austria, and then on to Italy. If this doesn't shut these two up, nothing will.

I confess that nobody cried as we left Bratislava but there were tears of joy as our train pulled into Vienna.

One of our first ports of call was the 1516 Brewing Company. Most people would be more than satisfied with a trip to Italy as their Christmas gift, but my male bipedal attendant wouldn't stop pouting until I agreed to take him there. He kept going on and on about the Reinheitsgebot, or beer Purity Law, of 1516. He's such a purist. Of course, I had to have a beer (above left) just to be polite. Bears - especially Freelance Goodwill Ambassador bears - are by nature very polite.

After we left the pub and before we ducked into the Little Buddah b
ar for cocktails, I slipped off to look for my extended bear clan of Austrian bears who were having a family reunion in a store front window. People - especially Austrians - love their bears. Fortunately, my German is excellent and the thick glass pane which separated us didn't prevent us from having a great bear chin wag.

After a night of Viennese beer and bears, we caught a very early morning train to Mestre. I admit that my bipedal and god-bipedal attendants were all a little bleary-eyed and I don't doubt that they napped through all the best parts of Austria. So much for a scenic train ride - I might as well have bought them plane tickets for all they cared.

Unfortunately, one of the women
- Brigitte - who shared our compartment is a huge fan of mine and, well, she was really nice and all, but when I travel, I like to remain anonymous. After three hours of regaling her with tales from my international fashion modelling days in Milan, I had had enough and excused myself.

Brigitte's constant badgering must have completely frazzled me becau
se I took a wrong turn at the bathroom and found myself in the bar car. I really don't know how that happened. All I know is that while my bipedal and god-bipedal attendants were napping and Brigitte was calling all of her friends on her cell phone and telling them about me, I was able to enjoy a couple of Austrian biere in peace.

And that's what this season is really about, isn't it? Peace on Earth - even if that little bit of Earth is the bar car on a train speeding through the Alps towards Italy.


Snowflake said...

Grey Bear, I guess you declined the pranzo di Natale offered by Brigitte? But maybe the Italian food will make your female bipedal attendant happy. Except based on your god-bipedal attendants' opinion, that's not likely to happen. Anyway, have a Happy Birthday tomorrow!

Grey Bear said...

Tomorrow is my birthday! Thanks for remembering Snowflake!

Anonymous said...

Christmas day was your birthday. Happy Birthday Grey Bear.
You are a year older but not a year wiser because you still haven't taught your female bipedal attendant a great deal. I noticed though, that she taught you to like beer. Tsk-tsk.