I woke up on Saturday, day 2 of my trip to Munich, recovering mentally from the ignominy of the previous night, with the intention of sampling what I understood to be the “classic” Munich breakfast: Weisswurst, beer, and maybe a pretzel. Weisswurst traditionally comes in a bowl of hot water, I assume to make it more appetizing,
and is made without preservatives, so it has to be eaten before noon. That’s why its a traditional breakfast – not because it tastes good, but purely for the sake of utility. Very German, and kind of the opposite of the American breakfast. Does anybody in Munich actually eat this for breakfast anymore? No idea. Anyway, I went to a nice brewery down the street that the hostel recommended for breakfast. I arrived around 10 or 11, and of course, by the time I arrived, they had stopped serving breakfast, Weisswurst included.
My disappointment was tempered by a sort of defeated unsurprise, and resignation to the fact that I was a terrible piece of shit traveler, who had ruined, and who would continue to ruin, my own trip to Munich with my seeming inability to plan ahead farther than about 15 minutes.
I got a plate of sausages anyway, and a beer, just to sort of console myself by eating something approaching authenticity:
I had planned on checking out one or two more places in Munich, and then heading to my next stop, Garmisch, that night. However, I was interrupted from my self-disparaging sort-of-German weiner-filled non-breakfast by a surprise message from one of my co-workers, who said he and and two other guys would be headed to join me in Munich that day, and would be there in just a couple hours. At this point, the prospect of friends to hang out with seemed like the perfect thing to turn around a trip that I had nearly finished determining, over a mouthful of unwanted sausage, to be a doomed-to-fail comedy of errors, so I scrapped my half-baked plans like afternoon Weisswurst and resolved to meet up with them and to all just get drunk in Munich for the rest of the day. So, I pretty much re-did Munich Day 1, but with more beer, and 3 more dudes.
We met up at Augustiner Brewery, the favorite brewery of my friend Ken, who has Bavarian heritage and speaks ok German, as well as my friend Chow, who has Chinese heritage and speaks ok English.
We all had a couple large glasses of beer (it was very good, solid recommendation), booked a 14-person room in the basement of a hostel that cost about 12 Euro each, and then went to check out the sights. I was basically an expert in Munich tourism and history at this point, so I energetically served as a (somewhat inebriated) tour guide, dishing out the handful of half-remembered facts and tidbits I’d managed to retain from previous day. By the time I wrapped up my tour, it was approaching the evening and we were all pretty hungry / losing our buzz, so we went to get some dinner.
Past this point, the rest of the night is varying degrees of hazy.
We ate dinner at a German food place, where I scared the shit out of the German woman sitting at the table next to me when I almost knocked my plate off the table, but then immediately blew her mind her in equal measure with my cobra-like American soldier reflexes by nabbing it at the last second, saving the day in a 1 second roller coaster of nerves that she will no doubt remember for the rest of her life.
After that, we walked around for way too long looking for a bar to get drinks at, ending up at this English place that sold a bunch of douchey cocktails, like they think they’re better than everyone else, with their little petticoats and accents and teas, fucking assholes, who needs them, them or their shitty cocktails.
Then we went back to our hostel to nap, which was probably the best decision we had made all day; perhaps the best I had made or would make for the entire trip.
Upon waking we went back to Fruhlingsfest, the miniature-Oktoberfest with the beer tents and carnival attractions. We hung out in the beer tent for a while, at a table with some old people who we talked to for way too long (especially for them – not much time left, gotta spend it wisely), but the clear highlight of Fruhlingsfest was this sick spinning swinging ride we went on. I didn’t remember this until I saw this picture, and then it came back to me how fuckin awesome it was, and how much of an absolute blast I had on it:
After a couple hours, we took a metro out of Fruhlingsfest on the way to some bars. Though some naysayers may contend that I was in no state for this, I stalwartly perservered in my role as my friends’ trusted guide to Munich, whipping out my city map from my back pocket at each station, and giving it a nice crisp pop, so everyone around me knew which motherfucker was about to navigate some shit.
We tried to go to one club that was highly-rated on Google Maps, but weren’t allowed in (no idea why), so we went to the bar next door instead, which actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because there we met a group of several German girls who were out celebrating a 21st birthday, and who were much, much friendlier to us than we deserved in the state of minds in which we found ourselves at that time. They were very fun, and seemed to be (inexplicably, and to the continued wonderment of all, to this day) having fun with us as well. Or so I’ve been told, because – and I may have mentioned this – I was quite inebriated at the time.
One member of our party (not me) had the brilliant and well-considered idea of purchasing shots for the entire table, which is what I blame as the tipping point from a pleasantly hazy remembrance of general events to a complete black hole for the next few hours. But luckily my friends were kind enough to give me a recap.
We eventually left for another club, along with a few of the girls from the birthday party. When we got there, everyone managed to appear sober enough to be allowed in, except me.
At this point our group faced an impasse, and, being the altruistic team player that I am, I told everyone, don’t worry about me. I shrewdly separated myself from the situation by going to stand 10 feet away in a dark corner, not saying anything for about 20 minutes – out of sight, out of mind. Nothing says “No need to worry about me, guys” like this sort of sensible behavior. Luckily, also during this time, one of our guys had gone on an Odyssey in search of an ATM, so, I wasn’t the only one holding things up.
Eventually the most lucid member of our group volunteered to take me home (like I fuckin’ needed it, I had my map, only friend I’ll ever need). We stopped at another bar (which let me in – guess they knew how to fuckin party), but it was full of old people or something, so we walked for what I remember being approximately like 15 miles back to the hostel.
There we found a few Irishmen, one of whom was passed out facedown under the table:
We talked to them for a while, and eventually the other guys who had went to the club came back (sans German girls) and we all went to bed, around 6 am.
If you’re wondering at this point, hey Steve, did this night affect your plans to visit Garmisch the next day at all? Why, thank you for asking, as a matter of fact, yes, it completely fucked them up.
The next day the other bros left around 11; I stayed in bed until 2, vainly hoping to sleep away my due reckoning. When I got out of bed, checked out of my hostel, and walked outside into the unforgiving light of day, I was nearly 24 hours behind schedule, had a pounding headache, and existed chiefly as a walking embodiement of human misery. I plodded with my bags for 15 minutes back to where I’d parked the Wagon. Then I puddled around the surrounding area looking for a Walgreens or something for some Advil.
Here’s a fun travel tip: they don’t sell any headache medicine anywhere in that entire godforsaken country. That conclusion was the sole bounty at the end of a 45 minute search of everywhere within a 2-block radius of my hostel. I checked Google, I checked the train station, I checked the closed pharmacy, I checked the weird little convenience store selling food for immigrants. At no point in my trip so far had I so missed the everyday, thoughtless, convenience of America. I finally accepted defeat and got some coffee to make myself feel better, and while I drank it I pondered my latest 2 lessons learned:
4. Always bring Advil or something, and
5. Don’t drink so much that you totally and irreparably fuck up your entire next day
I finally made it out of Munich and drove an hour South to Garmisch, listening to the oddly 80s-pop centric radio stations that dominate that area. I checked into a bed and breakfast in Garmisch around 4 and went to my room to feel sorry for myself for a few hours. Finally I started to feel a little better, and I went into the town to get some food at a highly-rated doner kebab place; it was closed (color me fucking surprised), so I found another one that was more poorly rated and settled for that because, you know what, it’s what I deserved.
After that I did some (not enough) preparation for checking out Garmisch the next day, and went to bed, wrapping up 48 hours that did not go at all the way I thought it would.
Tune in next time for Garmisch(-Partenkirchen), which I didn’t bungle quite badly enough to preclude snagging some absolutely sick landscape pictures.