To Munich and It's Beer

I had Munich on my mind as we got things packed up in Berlin. Dave was moving to a town halfway between and offered to let me ride with him. I’d met Dave through several degrees of people, as things go, he was the housemate (well, now moving) of Luis who I was staying with there in Berlin after having met him through a guy named George I met at a hitchhiking gathering, I was introduced to Luis when the three of us had gone to their mutual friend’s wedding in Romania weeks earlier.

We packed the last of his things up, grabbed a few more items from his sister’s place and were on the road. Down the road and almost there, Dave noticed the gas was low, then lower, all while noticing the lack of any gas stations on this stretch of road. We got very close to his new town when the car gasped for air and could take it no longer, drifting us into the shoulder of the road.

Dave began ringing his auto care savior type company to come help us out, a bit in a panic and told me it was illegal there to run out of gas, so the hope was that the police wouldn’t come on the scene.

We waited for what seemed like a very long time, which was also stressing him a bit since he was supposed to meet his new landlord and pick up a key. At last they came and were able to help, a cop stopped and quickly left once seeing that help had came without saying a word.

We met with his new land lady and they sat at a table signing some papers and whatnot, then we were doing a couple runs to the car and carrying some initial things into his new apartment. The window looked out into a pedestrian square with tables and restaurants and all kinds of activity. We sat at the window a while just people watching, beautiful girls of all kinds serving ice cream, buying ice cream, pouring out of taxis and sitting around plates of food.

We had to go out into the night. We wandered the twisting cobblestone pathways pass old buildings and dark alleys, seeking out a bar or a corner store for some beer. Bars were closing, people were spilling out and providing us with entertainment and information. Finally we got the tip that some Chinese food place in the town would sell us beer, we found it and were soon sipping bottles of Augustiner, a good cap to the day.

In the morning he pulled the car closer and we got the rest of everything up. He disappeared for a while trying to park the car, I sat by the window enjoying the people watching. He returned with breakfast beers, a couple from a brewery established in 1226. We sipped by the window, more girls, more tourists and people working.

We were going to stop by his work, as we left the apartment he realized he’d locked the keys inside. We made some attempts with credit cards and things we had on hand, but had to leave to get him to work. He only had to sort of check in, say hello to the new office and people he’d be working with. We got some paperclips from there, thinking they might be useful for the door.

Once back at the apartment we fiddled around with some tools we found and managed to get it open. With some coffee brewed up we were back to the window listening to music and watching the rush, but I could feel the day slipping away and knew I should be Munich bound.

Dave gave me a ride to a petrol station just outside of town, a light rain had begun, but it seemed like a great spot to catch a ride. I got one right away from three guys going to do some skating in Munich. They dropped me off just a mile or two from where I was heading, a couchsurfing host’s apartment.

I happily walked down the street, buzzing from the scenery along the way, massive fields of hops, and being excited that I’d gotten dropped off in such a good spot. Not only that, but I was in Munich, there was beer here and plenty. It was the first thing I did, find a grocery store and stare at the beer aisle seeing labels I’d heard stories of, labels I’d never heard of, happiness was about.

I sipped a beer from the grocery store to the apartment, finishing it pressing the buzzer. Soon I was in, meeting my host as well as some American guys and Thai girls that were staying with him as well, some permanently, some just for a few nights like myself.

My introduction to the city was a Thai food restaurant, which was supposed to be a nod to one of the Thai girls feeling home sick, but probably made her feel more so in the dark sad little place. German beer on the menu and good company made it fine, through the meal and back to the apartment we went.

The guy had been doing some work for the couchsurfing website and a few of us stayed up talking about that and the concept and so forth. We were sipping beers and so forth, but at one point he asked me if I liked whiskey. He then reached for gummy bears and poured them into the bottom of a glass, then proceeded to fill the glass with whiskey, “They’re drowning Kenny, you can’t just let them die!”, so down went the glass of whiskey to mix with my beers and “Thai” food. The night went on with lively conversation, laughing and joking and talk of Munich.

I got to exploring the city on my own the next day, discovering more beers and parks with standing waves and sun bathers, ice cream cones and street fairs with great food. Back at the apartment a guy from Indiana who was living there lead me out and to a close by beer garden where we sipped a liter of beer at a time and listened to each other’s stories before heading back to the apartment, a beer run on the way.

I’d expected a night of going around the other beer gardens and seeing what there was to see, but slowly it became evident that others weren’t in the mood for it and I got wrapped into some games around the table, but was happy to still be trying some new beers from the grocery store.

The next day I went around with the two American guys listening to them banter back and forth, it seemed they lived together for too long, no animosity though. We checked out some museums and parks and gardens, enjoying more beer of course and snacking along the way, it was a good day exploring more of the city. The day came to an end at the apartment with another good dinner and games talking around the table.

I knew the morning would bring movement, time to get out of Munich. I didn’t know where to though. I had a week until I had to be in the Netherlands to meet up with a half dozen friends or so. Switzerland, more Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Spain... ideas bounced around my head. I’d have a night of dreaming and a road in the morning to help determine what would be next.

September 1, 2011 - September 4, 2011