Alright, so you are getting ONE single update about Munich for two reasons: 1.) I am keeping with German tradition of being efficient and 2.) I am pretty sure I dislike Germany….intensely….and the food sucks…..and the language is the ugliest most guttural, hawking a loogie sounding POS I have ever heard. The fact that I have relatives that are German (some more than others) shocks me. I feel that I have nothing in common with these people. Now before I poo-poo too much on the Germans, I do have to give them props for having a very clean and orderly country. I have not seen a speck of trash and the countryside is perfectly manicured. In case you were wondering where our Type A (Anal Retentive) tendencies came from, the answer is Germany (as is readily apparent by the distinct remains of the Communist regime that marched steadily through the Berlin airport)
I do appreciate the fact that they also have a massive public transportation system and, despite all signage being displayed in German, it is very easy to navigate because they are very specific with information – unlike other countries who say eh – you may find what you are looking for here or there, or two stops farther, maybe, or come to think of it, I can’t remember (this also explains why Germany was not the epicenter for the Renaissance Cultural Movement – they are way too uptight for that shit and like the color gray WAY too much). Now how do I know how well organized and how massive the public transportation system is? Because I spent most of Tuesday riding around on it…..ALL of it. After arriving at the airport in Munich yesterday, I traipsed all over the city on a quest to find my brother. Once I deboarded the plane, I found the S-Bahn line to the City Center, where I caught the connection for the U-Bahn line towards the train station, and then from the train station, the hotel was just off of the Tiviolistrausse stop on the Tram 17 line. The S-Bahn is the big, deep-underground subway, the U-Bahn is the smaller normal underground subway, and the Tram runs on the city streets.
Unfortunately, Tram 17 is under construction, which I did not find out until the it came to a dead stop and everyone vacated the train like rats from a sinking ship. Following suit, I exited the tram, then went back underground to find an information station (Very Important to remember: always look for the BIG manuscript “i” when you need help locating something; the cursive “i” indicates a tourist information office (which are good for giving you maps). But, if you are from a generation that no longer knows how to read or write in cursive, well then I guess you are fucked and you can thank the public school system, along with Facebook for screwing future generations out of valuable, practical, common-sense shit that us older folks had the good fortune to learn – like how to read a map or understand street signs and not rely on GPS or a TomTom to get you from point A to point B – this has come in quite handy, just as a side bar). Where was I? Oh yeah, Information…..the woman spoke English, as do most Germans, because who really wants to learn German anyway? I seriously doubt Germans even want to learn German (I used to work for a German woman once and the only time she would actually speak in German is was to berate us for being imbeciles and for not having read her mind all with a big smile on her face, like we didn’t know what was going on but really who wanted to take the trouble to translate that crap and call her out on it?!) I explained to the attendant that I was trying to get from point Assholeheim to point Bumblefoceim. She did something that I am pretty sure I have never seen someone from a Mediterranean country do…..she input start and end point into her computer and printed out very detailed directions for me. I had now been re-routed onto a new U-Bahn train, to another Tram, and now add in a bus to get to the hotel.
Finally, some three hours after I landed in Munich (and 9 hours since I started out on this little adventure from Rome) I arrived at the Hilton Munich Park Hotel. I walked up to the reception desk with great relief to be at my destination and not have to lug my damn back pack around for one more bloody second. The nice woman who greeted me then burst my little happy bubble to drops when she told me the reservation had been cancelled. “What do you mean it has been cancelled?” I asked, “I just spoke to my brother yesterday, he gave me the address to this hotel, can you check again please?” She fretted over her computer screen for a moment, and then confirmed, “No, he is not here, the reservation was cancelled October 6th. Does he have a number that we can contact him at while he is in Munich?” (God love the Germans, too, for having a lick of common sense and kindness mixed in with all of their stick-up-their-butt ways.) “No, he didn’t bring his phone. Can I get on the Internet to check my email perhaps?” I inquired. She sent me straight up to their Business Center, where I quickly signed into my account and subdued my anxiety as read an email from my brother that he was indeed in Munich at the Hilton….in Munich City……not Munich Park.
At this point, I said “EFF IT.” Instead of getting back on the stupid train/subway/tram/bus combo, I simply took a taxi 2-km to the OTHER Hilton. When at last I had arrived, I was able to get a key to his room and put my things down. He left a message for me at the front desk that he and his teammates had “gone to Marienplatz”…..that was it! That was the note! (He has been fired from being my go-to resource for trivial information, by the way.) And me thinks, he needs to brush up on his communication skills while traveling internationally if we are going to have any chance in hell to try out for the Amazing Race, I am telling you that much. But, I took the bait anyway and set out to find the little f**ker. For those of you who have met my brother, you understand that he is like twice my size, which didn’t really matter at that particular point in time because it was now close to 5pm and I was starving – which really explains why I imagined that I could take him out, Lisa Lampanelli-style…..I was in desperate need of a Snickers, or possibly I could eat my shoe.
I settled for a café in the middle of Marienplatz. I sat down at a table, facing the giant New Townhall clock and watched it play its glockenspiel chimes for half a frickin hour while I devoured what I think was chicken, although I am not really sure since I have no idea what the menu actually said, I just pointed, and it came out covered in some indescribable yellow sauce. In fact, these are the ONLY pictures I took while I was in Munich – which sort of shocks me considering what a picture taking frenzy I have been on.
About 6pm, I ventured back to the hotel to find my brother there and we toasted the adventures over a glass of wine before heading off to sleep. (How is it that a big fancy hotel has the most uncomfortable bed I have slept on thus far, but the jail cells I have stayed in the beds have felt as fluffy as thunderclouds?) During the next two days, I stayed in that hotel room, enjoying the shit out of that space, the scalding hot water, big fluffy pillows and a nice terry cloth robe. Then there was the best part – the Executive Lounge where they serve food, coffee and wine (or beer) ALL day long. My poor, poor brother had to work pretty much the whole visit, so I took it upon myself to drink and eat his ration of goodies, too. You know, so that the hotel wouldn’t be offended, of course. We did at least get to go out for beers at the Haufbrau Hause (does anyone know why they have whipping boys????)
Today, my brother flies back to the States and I decided I had had it with the clouds and the rain and the fancy hotel rooms. I want to be back in the sunshine, near the ocean, and in the middle of complete and utter chaos, so I booked a flight to Athens for a few days, and then Santorini after that. Not sure, if once I get to Greece, I will make it out due to all of the riots and political upheaval, but I will be in GREECE, so who cares right??
Love to you, my brother – but peace out! I am going to track down some more mosquito bites, since they are just so dead sexy…