Gute Reisen

Have I got a joke for you.

So, an American, an Austrialian, an Austrian, a Frenchman, and an Italian walk into a bar….

No, we really did. My first social engagement in Munich was last night. We met at a small pub in an area of the city that was new to me. It was a week night so most of us only drank a liter of beer, and when it was getting late the few of us who hadn’t eaten dinner went for another beer and my first currywurst of this trip. We talked about girls, and everyone but the Austrian said German girls are great because they are uncomplicated, and independent. I’ll have to report back on that one later. They advised me on what insurance to get outside of health. There’s a general liability policy that covers anything you might be liable for. Not just on your car or bike, but, truly, in general. There’s also the Alpine Climbing Association that I have to join, it reduces the cost of all climbing gyms in the city, you can rent high end ice climbing and regular climbing gear from them for cheap, and they cover all Mountain Rescue that you might need, even if you aren’t rock climbing. If I have a bike crash in the Alps, it will cover a helicopter lift out. 80 Euros a year. They all commiserated with me on the apartment hunt. There’s a particular brand of sympathy that I’m slowly starting to recognize. You express some bad thing, and they agree with you, “yes, it is bad,” but they don’t get any of that stink on themselves. They have had these struggles, and they understand, but they are past them and there will be no coddling. 

That’s certainly the way it was when I went to see a WG last night. I walked into a dog fight, basically. These folks had only one night to decide, so they had all their possible roommates come at the same time. There were maybe 8 people, one extremely handsome German guy was basically holding court, and I suspect he will get the offer, but I wasn’t going down without a fight. When I got there they were speaking english, so I big assed my way in with talk of why I was in Germany, how seriously I will be making my claim here, dropping the bbq show, my previous trips, going to the Wagner operas, I didn’t know what would hit. Then this handsome asshole said he is in a WG, but he doesn’t like it so that’s why he’s out here. I played up the friends house I am staying in, and trying to sound “sehr sympatisch.” If they offered me the room, I’d take it in a moment. It’s not great, but it’s fine, and I liked the roommates. It’s only 1 mile to the big climbing hall, too. All positive. 

Thus far I’ve seen 2 road bikers, they’re around, and they are going fast. My new bike is great, but I need I make some adjustments, I’m far too used to being in a low, aggressive position, so I feel like I’m just piddling along when I want to be really flying. All in good time, I suppose.

I got to ask the guys last night about this bottle return situation and, as I suspect, there are specific details that you might not know! There are 2 type of plastic bottles “ein weg” and “mehr weg.” “One way” and “More way.” The difference is that one is quite thick and the other is thin, more like what we are used to in the states. And there is a dedicated machine for each, and ALSO one takes glass beer bottles and the other doesn’t. Regeln und Ordnung. Rules and Order. 

The Australian has been here 10 years, and has fallen in love with a Bavarian girl who he will marry next year. He came here with only some half remembered school German, and he said he’s seen so many people come here with much less and make it work. I am, as usual, hopeful. Another WG to see tonight, and another tomorrow. My apartment set up is over on Saturday, but I got a few offers of places to stay from the guys last night. I suspect I passed the test. The Austalian, Ed, was complaining about all the Australian stereotypes he had to put up with, and Mickael, from France, leaned over a d put his head on Ed’s shoulder, batted his eyes, and said sweetly “do you have a little kangaroo in your pocket?” I couldn’t resist, so I asked how it will be telling people I’m from Texas, and I could barely finish the questions before someone said “howdy” and someone else began firing their fingers into the air. I’m supposed to go climbing with Ed next week.