Gute Reisen

The Current Climate

Winter is really here, snow, ice, cold, grey. I went to Neuschwanstein with Rose and her friend Vicky, they hadn’t evenr been, and I was happy to go, give them my speech about the castle, skip the tour, and go on a little solo photo adventure. The bridge above the castle, the famous, Marienbrücke, was closed, but as I got up there I noticed a few Asian tourists crawling under a barbed wire fence covered in “Danger!” signs. So I did what any good Texan boy would do, I showed them proper fence hopping technique, and then clambered up the hill, crawled on my belly through the snow, and shuffled along a cliff edge until I got this photo:

After packing back up and getting a few feet from the cliff I hazarded an attempt at standing, immediately fell and slid about 20 feet through trees, snow, branches, etc. and tumbled out through an already broken fence. Just in that moment 2 men from Turkey were coming up the path to see if there was a good castle view. They asked in basic german if I was OK, if I had a friend up there with me, and if they gave me an e-mail address could I send them the picture.

It’s far too easy to just spend every night drinking when the weather is like this. And especially when it comes to dating. It’s dark by 5, the temperature stays stubbornly below freezing, and the warm atmosphere of a bar is very inviting when the feeling in your fingers starts to go missing. Despite all this I concocted a plan to walk through the snowy English Garten at night with Katharin, and take a few photos, and, pointedly, not just drink. She seemed to have a good time, but, she gives off that same feeling that I got from Johanna and Jessi, as though I’m merely in a probationary period, and until I’ve pass this period, everything will be kept at a slightly more formal level. This is something that I really like about the German’s as a whole, that they do not give their friendship and warmth away easily or cheaply, but when it comes to dating it’s really requiring me to re-wire my brain. 

I took this picture of Katharin between her fits of embarrassed laughter at being in front of the camera. Afterwards we went to a good little taco joint I’ve been wanting to try, on their menu there was a large sunburst shape with the words “Was ist eine Taco?” on it. Katharin was tired so we parted ways at 10, and I came home, restless. I thought she was probably done with me, but she texted soon after I got home, so who knows? 

I still had some energy left so I figured I would tackle a house project. Our sink has leaked since before I moved in, when I brought it up to the landlord she claimed to have surveyed plumbers and that all that needed to be replaced was the faucet, der Wasserhahn auf Deutsch, or the Water Rooster. She said it was our responsibility to fix and pay for the faucet. I countered and said it leaked when I moved in, and I would not be responsible for any pre-existing conditions. It also does not encourage the renters to take very good care of the apartment, but instead to be cheap. Her compromise is that she would pay for the new faucet, and we could install it. No one volunteered to do the job but me. My roommates are too convinced that the complexities of plumbing were beyond their grasp, I guess. 

So I climbed under the sink at 10 pm and began. It was simple, and within 10 minutes I had the old faucet removed. Then out comes a roommate, baked out of his mind. He said nothing to me, just started knocking plates and pans around in the kitchen, and I heard him say to himself “Oh, I do have bacon and eggs! Get in my belly!” I slid out from under the sink like a taciturn mechanic, and he seemed genuinely surprised to see me, despite the fact that the bottom 3/4s of my body had been laying in the kitchen floor at his feet. I said, “Hey can you maybe make bacon and eggs after I’m done here and I get the tools out of your way?” He obliged, and admitted he’d probably forget about the bacon eggs if he didn’t make them right now, and that was probably better for him anyhow. I remember when I moved in he told me he didn’t get the munchies.

I had the new sink almost clamped down to the basin when roommate number 2 emerged. He’s in the throes of his first girlfriend after his divorce, and it’s kind of fun to watch. They were at my “birthday party,” such as it was, and she hung on him like he was a life preserver, when in fact, it’s likely the other way around. I hear them through the wall a lot, giggling in his twin bed. I know that first inhalation of new air is crazy and intoxicating and surprising and strange, and he seems to really be enjoying it. He came out to share with me some hilarious text she’d sent him. My response was to ask for a hand with the sink project. He held the faucet in place for a bit while I tightened it down, and then attempted to connect the lines. By that point he’d retreated back to his room to flip the record he was listening to over. Back under the sink the lines were too short to reach, and I then lost my cool a bit. Just 3 loud “Goddamit”s in a row. I’m sure roommate number 1 heard, but he might have been unsure if they were words he was hearing or if they were, in fact, even real. Roommate number 2 came out, expressed some mild sympathy and asked if he could borrow a camera lens. 

I poured a glass of whiskey.