"When you get those rare moments of clarity, those flashes when the universe makes sense, you try desperately to hold on to them. They are the life boats for the darker times, when the vastness of it all, the incomprehensible nature of life is completely illusive. So the question becomes, or should have been all a long... What would you do if you knew you only had one day, or one week, or one month to live. What life boat would you grab on to? What secret would you tell? What band would you see? What person would you declare your love to? What wish would you fulfill? What exotic locale would you fly to for coffee? What book would you write?"

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Hall of Beer

Ahh, where have I left off!? I have not been able to find ANY wifi lately, so I am typing my blogs as I go so they are fresh in my mind, and then copying them into blogger whenever I can reach wifi, hopefully soon! Therefore, you may find a lot of blogs up all at once. Oh well.

Anyway, I think I left off finishing our night in Heidelberg? Yes. Next day, we were on the road again to Munich, Germany! I was pretty excited because I had heard a lot of good things about Germany, especially the baroqueness of Munich and how beautiful it was…. As a photographer, many of my friends told me I would love it there. And I did, it was nice, for pictures. We ended up getting there way later than expected because of an unfortunate traffic jam, so we missed an opportunity for another bike tour through Munich. So we were at least able to enjoy about an hour of daylight in Munich, walking around the streets.

Some street shots:

We all turned the corner and were sort of just like....woah.

I tried really hard to capture this girl posing all tres chic on her bike, but this was the best I could do...

Special moment! On the subway ride into Munich from our hotel, I got separated from my group of friends. So I sat alone and then random local germans started sitting around me, which I didn’t mind of course—I just stuck to myself and didn’t say a thing. Which was funny, because my friends were all speaking English to each other (obviously) and I wasn’t speaking to them, or listening, so no one could really tell I was an American. So then this old lady enters the subway, and is having a hard time walking. I didn’t notice this until someone next to me gave up their seat so she could sit down, which was so nice. But then for the next 25 minutes I could feel the lady staring at me, intermittently. But it wasn’t an intense stare, it was more of a curiosity stare. I think she was trying to figure out where I was from. After the end of the subway ride, and after I got up, I realized she was still having trouble standing up from her chair. Now this reaction is only natural, as I work with the elderly all the time at work, so I leaned in to help her stand and helped her walk safely to exit the train, and then said goodnight and she smiled. She didn’t need me anymore and so I caught up with my friends. Then I turned behind to look if she was OK, and she came up to me, and spoke a long phrase in german. Due to the fact that I only know how to say “Hello, thank you, excuse me, sorry, etc.”, I obviously didn’t get any of that. So I had to make a really sad face and shrug and say, “English” and pointed to myself. She was sad too, and smiled and walked away to exit the station.  Turns out, two of my friends speak some German for their Opera training, and they told me that she said, “Thank you, Love.”  So sweet!!!! Ahh! Special moment indeed!

A small group of friends and I were then starving. I started to notice that the people of Munich were a lot more “Sketchy” than any other city we had visited prior, even more so than New York City. As dark approached, men outnumbered women on the street, and then men were teenagers to about age 35-40, and all really not trustworthy-looking. Everyone looked at us as if they were waiting for their moment to launch—Looking at the “American” tourist women. So I wasn’t really a huge fan. Being so, I decided it was definitely best if I stuck with my friends that night, regardless of what we would be doing. We decided to grab dinner in one of Germany’s (and certainly Munich’s) most famous “Biergarten", where its just this gigantic hall of wooden tables, and you just sit down and they bring beer to you as if it were the bread before a meal, and then you order food. In case you are having trouble visualizing this, picture walking into Gaston’s bar from Beauty and the Beast, where its loud and rowdy and all the men are clanging their beer glasses together for a toast, and singing, lots of singing. Another friend of mine described it further as the opening scene to Lord of the Rings, but I cannot verify this as I don’t really follow it. So, it was definitely a fun atmostphere. The menu was completely in German and no one in the whole place spoke English, so it was pretty much up to us to just try and pronounce what we wanted over the rowdy hall. It was interesting. We all got served a huge liter of beer. Lets review the fact that being that I don’t drink often, I especially don’t drink beer. I’ve had It once or twice and wanted to spit it out, its just undesirable to me. I’ve heard it gets better after a few, but I had my doubts. However, I ordered a little bit more “girly” version of beer and it was called, “RaBn” pronounced “Rassen”, and it was a mix of beer and lemonade. Suprisingly enough I was able to finish the entire liter by myself, even it took me as long to finish that as it took my friends to finish three. But regardless, I was still pretty surprised I finished. When I looked at it when it came, I certainly didn’t think I would be making a dent. I didn’t even want beer but you are sort of shunned for not getting beer in a beer hall! But it was funny because even after a liter, nothing changed. I expected to fall over when I stood but nothing was any different.

This was after I had 1/4 of it to drink! This is a lot bigger than it looks.

The Ceiling...so cool....

Everyone else then decided to hit a few more bars for the night but I honestly can’t keep up with all the drinking so I decided to split off with a separate group (another couple) and we went off for some German ice cream, and went to this music festival that was actually city wide! It is a festival that goes every Saturday night, and lasts a month long. Every month they change what they celebrate. This Saturday it was the “Night of the Music”. Five tours went separately in different ends of the city and made up to 20-30 stops at local cafes/clubs where different types of bands were playing. Our first area was in a small corner underground of Munich and it was swing dancing! All of the sudden we left the streets of Munich and found ourselves transported in time. It was just like out of a movie, old fashioned swing singer, old and young couples swing dancing with perfection….it was surreal. We then went to a collection of other cafes and heard some lovely different types of music and really got to see the atmostphere of Munich.

Swing dancin' :-)

And then we totally navigated the subway system by ourselves on our way home! This is an accomplishment for me. And its funny because when on that subway, this older gentleman comes up to us, and is like, “You’re American? I’m from Manhattan.” And we were like, “Yes!” And it was funny because I told him Manhattan subways were so much harder, and he said that actually Munich as harder. So, not sure on the level of hardness of public transportation in Munich.

Tomorrow we travel to Innsbruck, Austria (In the swiss alps!) on our way to VENICE, Italy!!! So excited!

~A Writer in a Nurse’s Body

PS- my spellcheck here is only in Switzerland mode so these are not spellchecked. Sorry for my grammar loving friends!!! :(

1 comment:

Warren Baldwin said...

Was it the Haufbrau Haus in Munich, by any chance? Neat place.