Friday, November 05, 2010

American Werewolves in Munich: Tuesday 9/21

When we landed in Munich, it was Tuesday morning, and that's a story for today. If it hadn't been over three weeks since I posted about Monday, that last sentence might be a little fresher.

The Bavarian countryside was green and quaint as we descended into madness, arriving at approximately 10 a.m. local time. As any international traveler knows, the alleged secret to defeating jet lag is to stay up the entire day you arrive. Having gotten somewhere between 38 and 55 minutes of sleep on the flight, I nonetheless laughed at the challenge. Fatigue is no match for the combination of adrenaline and dunkel.

Ben, Alex, Reed, and I made our way through stone-faced German customs agents, who were unwilling to laugh at my knock-knock jokes. Apparently he didn't understand that "orange" and "aren't" sound alike. However, he did appear relieved that I didn't say banana. I declared my independence and moonwalked to the baggage claim area, we met up with Gregerson and Emily, who had flown in from Prague via prop plane. We all boarded the S-bahn and headed to Marienplatz.

Bonham had arrived the day before. He accidentally booked his flight for a day earlier, which meant he got to spend an extra day in Munich, roaming the streets with a bottle of pineapple brandy, headbutting anyone who looked at him cockeyed. Here's the thing about Bonham: everyone looks at him cockeyed.

On the S-bahn into the city, I tried in vain to get my phone to work. Despite several prior calls to Verizon and assurances from customer service representatives with both Southern and Indian accents, my phone did not work in Germany. I was going to turn off data anyway (since it's 2 cents a kilobyte, or $20 for a 1MB email), but now no one could text or call me. This meant that I was literally without any means of being contacted for the first time in, well, since the last time I was in Munich.

We were staying at the same hotel where we stayed in 2007, about a third of a mile south of Marienplatz. Like last time, we dragged (or drug?) our suitcases over the cobblestone of Munich's main market, the Viktualienmarkt (try saying that five times fast), announcing without words, "We're back, bitches." While walking through the crowded market, I grabbed a buxom fraulein and kissed her passionately, only to realize she was actually a giant wheel of cheese. My devilish smirk must have struck a chord with the owner of the cheese stand because he smiled and curtsied when dropped the defiled hunk of Trappistenkäse and continued on my way.

We arrived at our hotel a little after noon. By the size and color of the bruise on the front desk clerk's forehead, I could tell that Bonham had already checked in, the scent of tropical fruit still hanging in the air. I headed to the room, where I was terrified to find out that the brand of hand soap and shower gel in our room was called Tricky Ricky, which I assume is named after a German techno-pop singer.
Over the next several hours, everyone started to trickle in. Colt and Laura from Austria. Shane and Derrick from Chicago. Chandler and George "The Animal" Steele from parts unknown.

I changed into chainmail, gathered whoever was there, and we headed to the Lotter Leben, a bar a couple blocks from our hotel that we frequented last time we were there. We grabbed some liters of beer, after which we went approximately a half block to Der Pschorr, which is Hacker-Pschorr's main restaurant and beer hall. As is the custom on pleasant days, we sat outside. Our waitress was some German chick. Upon our request, she provided up with English menus. Here is what they had to say:
I had no idea Germans use irony as a literary device. After lunch, Gregerson, Emily, Bonham, Alex, and Chandler headed to the Englischer Garten, Munich's giant public park that contains the largest beer garden in the world, a giant fucking pagoda (to commemorate Germany's Asian roots), and nude areas that are, unfortunately, full of sixtysomething hearty Bavarian men who like to play hacky sack with their dongs hanging out. Gregerson astounded Germans and Americans alike with his surprisingy accurate Peggy Fleming impression.
Meanwhile, I stayed back in the center of town waiting for people to arrive. When Derrick and Shane arrived, I immediately took them to the Hofbrauhaus, where we consumed Hofbrau Dunkel -- which, outside Caffrey's, might be my favorite beer when it comes straight from the source -- and discussed the finer points of beer gardens. It was 3 p.m. on a Tuesday, and the beer garden was almost full. That's what's right with Munich and wrong with America. Hell, even Meat Loaf traveled forward in time from 1977 to be there.
Eventually, Daniel arrived from London and Mirka arrived from Amsterdam in the early evening. I led them to the Hofbrauhaus, where everyone else had gathered for dinner and a rather heated discussion of classic German horror films. Sweet Jesus, Bonham, there is more out there than Nosferatu.RPTre and Kellie got to the hotel around 9, and I took Colt with me back to the hotel. I told Colt to meet me in front of the hotel in 10 minutes. Nine minutes later, I walked out of the hotel with Ray and Kellie and headed back to the Hofbrauhaus with them. As soon as I arrived at our table, I noticed Laura without her husband, Colt. I then walked back to the hotel to find Colt sitting in front of the hotel, patiently waiting for me to exit the hotel. I left him there to test his mettle, and he passed, so I hoisted him on my shoulders and sprinted back to the Hofbrauhaus. With everyone there, I explained to everyone in no uncertain terms that we had to meet in front of the hotel at 10 the next morning because that's when we're going to the tents. I also laid out some ground rules for the week:
1. No judging.
2. Everybody bleeds. No exceptions.
3. Don't call any German a Nazi, unless you're absolutely sure they were.
4. The female breast is meant to be photographed, so don't hold back.
5. Pretend you're Canadian.
6. If you ain't first, you're last.
7. Sleep in if you want, except tomorrow.
8. There is nothing wrong with shitting in public.
9. Just have fun, guys.
10. Oh yeah, one more thing: no fucking rules.

The smiley face that appeared in my liter of dunkel was a sign of things to come.
After most people called it a night, several of us headed to an open bar a block south of our hotel because it was the only bar still open. It turned out to be a German gay bar, or actually, more of a gay German bar. It had all the markings of a German bar -- dark wood, giant beers, terrifying clientele -- but it just happened to have a rainbow flag outside of it. We're all liberated people, so it was nothing more than a place to get us drunk, although I think Gregerson had a fear boner. We knew it was time to leave when Kellie was sleeping on one of the tables and didn't notice that the rest of us had gotten up.

We headed back to the hotel and slept like Bavarian kings -- drowsy, satiated, and slightly insane. For tomorrow, we would reign.

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