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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Germany, the Quickening

GERMANS

They are 'egg shell people'. In other words, you have to get through the shell they are kind, generous and nice folks. But you have to get through that shell. Unfortunately, from the way I am dressed people seem to believe I am homeless. I guess the homeless people around here dress up pretty good. Sucktastic. You wouldn't believe the looks I get when I am trying to be polite and say "Excuse me, can you help me (I am looking for X)." I've started saying, "Where is the (subway) please?" instead so they don't tune me out or whatever.

A good example of this is when Pete and I went to a fairly upscale clothing store to get Pete a nice hat. The guy at the store waited for me to speak German to him for awhile then revealed he spoke English better than I.



GERMAN LANGUAGE

The range of my German language skills is rated anywhere from 'shitty' (Austin) to 'excellent' (Germans in Germany). I suspect they (the Germans) are being generous because everyone (younger generation) seems to speak English. I think they are just grateful I put in the effort. The need to actually learn to speak German (in Germany) has dropped substantially in the last twenty five years. The last time I was here, the attitude was more along the lines of "You are in Germany, you should speak German." It has shifted to "I am educated, of course I speak English." I still hold that if you want to get on with the natives (Germans) well, you need to make the effort to at least master a few of the simple phrases.



GERMANY

Despite the screaming idiots outside (they didn't bother Pete) we decided to renew the room. It was 90 euros (one night for two people) when I did so. I also checked on a price for a single person room, 50 euros. You save a bit of money traveling with a friend. Also, when you get your room and present a ticket at the bar, you get your choice of a free shot of: Teachers, whiskey, tequila and Jaeger. Liam the Tasmanian the bar tender does a good job. He is traveling around the world bar tending. It seems to me a good way to do it. I think it's kind of interesting the people you meet who are doing things like that out on the road. I admire anyone who is able to break the bonds of 'what normal people do' (school, work, death) to get some adventure.

If you are wanting to extend your stay in the same room you had previously, you may not be able to stay in the same room. It may have been booked to someone else for the next day. I didn't have that problem but if I did, I'm able to just walk to the next building and book there where I'm at. I still like the idea of staying a night to see how you like it however. If you are going to something with a high amount of people (however) like Oktoberfest you'll want to book it all at once.

Watching the young beer swilling hooligans that come to this hostel to party, I keep thinking 'why the fuck didn't you go to Amsterdam instead?' It is only 8 hours away by train or they could have flown there for approximately the same cost and gone completely out of their minds. Idiots.

Remember Thomas from Amsterdam? (No? Go back and read the Amsterdam blog stuff you lazy bastards.) We had talked to him there and agreed to meet him in Marienplatz (Munich old city square, big tourist spot) at noon. He was there spot on time while we were watching the Glockenspiel do it's little dance.

Edit courtesy of Pete! Before we went on (to the next paragraph) Thomas took us to have a traditional Bavarian food, 'white sausages' and showed us how to eat them. White sausages are served floating in hot water within a covered pot, presumably to keep them warm. You remove the sausage from the bowl with some sort of tongs. The knife is then used to slit the skin and you pull it off of the sausage rather like a condom. The sausage is then placed in the mouth followed by some 'bretzen' (piece of the giant pretzel). Sweet or spicy sauce can be added as well.

Thomas introduced us to his 'gay family' at - you guessed it a 'gay bar'. The owner is an Austrian named Wolfgang K. He's owned the bar for eighteen years. If you're in Munich and want to visit the 'fireman's bar' it's called Bar Zur Feuerwache, Blumenstr 21 a 80331 Munchen. Wolfgang gave Pete a membership card. I think he likes him.



ARMY BASE CHALLENGE

As those who know me pretty well, I use to work on a US Army base back in the early '90's. They closed it shortly after I left the army. They probably said "Well, if Logan isn't here any more, fuck it." That's my guess anywhere.

The internet had a hand drawn map someone put up. I talked to the nice hostel lady and she figured out which stop on the subway I needed to get based on that information.

While we were wandering around, both Pete and I felt an urgent need to visit the restroom. Possibly due to the wide variety of 'beer gardens' in the neighborhoods. [A beer will cost you about 4-5 euros. Anyone who tells you different doesn't know where to drink.] Some of the places we checked in claimed (lied) that they didn't have a restroom. We eventually found an Italian restaurant that let us use theirs. I put this part of the story in as it is foreshadowing. We found the base and wandered around with Logan making comments about how most of the things were different twenty five years ago (read as 'old man babbling'). The main building I use to work in has either vanished or they've gotten very good at hiding four story buildings. I also found the gate (still standing, built do last) that a buddy of mine lost his pinkie on when he tried to scale it to go visit a girl.

Then it was time to attempt to find 'the Greek restaurant'. It's about twenty meters square and two stories high, cunningly hidden in a residential area. We went around talking to various people who gave conflicting, contrary directions. We eventually came across a group of old men (who naturally only spoke German) but not only did they know the waiters name (Vacilli)and Christos (owner) but remembered the restaurant and gave us directions. Impressive. The building is still there, but it has been replaced with an Italian restaurant. Found it! The inside looks a lot more cluttered and smaller than it use to. Pete thinks it could be twenty five years of fond, selective memories. I suppose he could be right. For those interested, the former Greek restaurant address is Hohenschwangamhof 19.

At the restaurant, the lady who was waitressing was from Pula (Croatia). It is one of the countries I'm interested in going to and I remembered they had the sixth largest Roman Colosseum (still standing). She said she'd read the blog and drop me a something in the comments section when I'm getting ready to head there.



PRICES TO PRAGUE FROM GERMANY

If you take the Czech student bus at bad, fucked up times it's 35 euros + 8 euros for your second (or big bag). Read as 43 euros. If you take a German train, it ranges from 63 euros (which we got) up to 90 euros (all of the prices are per adult) depending on when you travel - different times of the day.



TRAVELERS TIPS

You want to store your toiletries in a clear bag for both TSA to root through as well as to easily find stuff. Rather than have some fancy zipper bag as I use to, use a zip lock freezer bag. Cheap and easy to replace.

Liquids, powders and such. Fucking put them in separate plastic bags or get ready to clean all of your shit and the interior of your bag/backpack.

Record 'white noise' on your MP3 player (whatever kind you like) just in case you need it. When the people are making noise and stuff you might want it to drown it out.



GRACE

“By "guts" I mean, grace under pressure” - Hemingway. Giving a shout out to a fellow traveler I met Grace N. She is traveling around by herself and has gone some places (on an American passport) I have hesitated to go. Like Egypt. Really recently. I wanted to send a shout out and say how much I admired that sort of guts. [And put in a quote that had both her name in it and something about guts - for the slow of thinking.]

Grace is doing her own version of 'round the world in 80 days' - but not like the lame movie. It sounds excellent and I hope she finds ways to keep traveling as long as she wants to.



WEIRD SHIT

Pete found something weird and wonderful. Good stuff.



WHERE NEXT?

Prague, bitches! Jana is going to meet up with us at the Prague train station (five hour ride, prices above) tomorrow afternoon. I'm looking forward to my first 'please don't ass rape me for money' country.

6 comments:

  1. You forgot to mention the Bavarian white sausages Thomas introduced us to & taught us how to peel & eat with pretzels.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can't wait to read about your adventures in Prague! I wish I could get you info on where part of my family there resides.

    Regarding beer prices: How big of a beer do you get, and is it German beer, or stuff like Budweiser? If you are paying $5 - $7 per beer there, that is what you pay here (U.S.) for the better stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ah - you probably can - you can send me messages via facebook and stuff - if that's what you mean.

    You get something a bit larger than the British Pint. It is German beer - you can get budwiser I suppose but it would taste damn watery by comparison. It's the old joke, what's the similarity of having sex in a canoe and American beer? They're both fucking close to water.

    You get good quality and quantity of beer for $7ish dollars but keep in mind that Munich is one of the more expensive cities in Europe. Prague is much less - article coming soon.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Pete - I put it in the text above, thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Why is Pete commenting on your blog, isn't he sitting right next to you?

    What nefarious fiend has separated the immortal duo of Logan and Pete; Euro Trippers?!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nothing better than getting to comment on a blog!

    ReplyDelete

PICTURES

{{2011}} London, GB | Rail N Sail | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Prague, Czech Republic | Budapest, Hungary | Sarajevo, Bosnia | Romania | Chisinau, Moldova | Ukraine: Odessa - Sevastopol | Crossed Black Sea by ship | Georgia: Batumi - Tbilisi - Telavi - Sighnaghi - Chabukiani | Turkey: Kars - Lost City of Ani - Goreme - Istanbul | Jordan: Amman - Wadi Rum | Israel | Egypt: Neweiba - Luxor - Karnak - Cairo | Thailand: Bangkok - Pattaya - Chaing Mai - Chaing Rei | Laos: Luang Prabang - Pakse | Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Vietnam: Vung Tau - Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City

{{2012}} Cambodia: Kampot - Sihanoukville - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat | Thailand: Bangkok | India: Rishikesh - Ajmer - Pushkar - Bundi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jasalmer - Bikaner - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi | Nepal: Kathmandu - Chitwan - Pokhara - Bhaktapur - (Rafting) - Dharan | India: Darjeeling - Calcutta Panaji | Thailand: Bangkok - again - Krabi Town | Malaysia, Malaka | Indonesia: Dumas - Bukittinggi - Kuta - Ubud - 'Full Throttle' - Gili Islands - Senggigi | Cambodia: Siem Reap | Thailand: Trat | Turkey: Istanbul | Georgia: Tbilisi

{{2013}} Latvia: Riga | Germany: Berlin | Spain: Malaga - Grenada | Morocco: Marrakech - Essauira - Casablanca - Chefchawen - Fes | Germany: Frankfurt | Logan's Home Invasion USA: Virginia - Michigan - Indiana - Illinois - Illinois - Colorado | Guatemala: Antigua - San Pedro | Honduras: Copan Ruinas - Utila | Nicaragua: Granada | Colombia: Cartagena | Ecuador: Otavalo - Quito - Banos - Samari (a spa outside of Banos) - Puyo - Mera

{{2014}} Peru: Lima - Nasca - Cusco | Dominican Republic | Ukraine: Odessa | Bulgaria: Varna - Plovdiv | Macedonia: Skopje - Bitola - Ohrid - Struga | Albania: Berat - Sarande | Greece: Athens | Italy: Naples - Pompeii - Salerno | Tunisia: Hammamet 1

{{2015}} Hammamet 2 | South Africa: Johnnesburg | Thailand: Hua Hin - Hat Yai | Malaysia: Georgetown | Thailand: Krabi Town | Indonesia:
Sabang Island | Bulgaria: Plovdiv | Romania: Ploiesti - Targu Mures | Poland: Warsaw | Czech Republic: Prague | Germany: Munich | Netherlands: Groningen | England: Slough | Thailand: Ayutthaya - Khon Kaen - Vang Vieng | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2016}} Thailand: Kanchanaburi - Chumphon | Malaysia: Ipoh - Kuala Lumpur - Kuching - Miri | Ukraine: Kiev | Romania: Targu Mures - Barsov | Morocco: Tetouan

{{2017}} Portugal: Faro | USA: Virginia | Michigan | Illinois |

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