Home > Germany, Personal > Indian Food, Nymphenburg, Kids Clubbing, St. Patty

Indian Food, Nymphenburg, Kids Clubbing, St. Patty

I went out for Indian food three times this week, which is a bit surprising since while I will certainly eat Indian food, it is far from my favorite. The latest time was Friday, when, after work, Roberto, Ross and I shared some wine, then went to Claudia’s goodbye dinner, which was a lot of fun, although I didn’t know many of the people there. Actually it turned out that one here for a short while from Chile actually live right downstairs from me and Roberto. Though some people wanted to go out for a drink after dinner, I begged off and went home. Not only was I completely exhausted, but I had to get up early the next morning.

Bright and early Saturday morning I trudged through the snow and rode to Marienplatz to meet Ally. After a bit of confusion over the best route, we got onto the tram for Nymphenburg, in our delayed, but worth the wait second touristy outing together. All in all, Nymphenburg was impressive (and certainly more cheerful than our somber, if fascinating visit to Dachau). Nymphenburg, once the summer home of the ruling family of Bavaria (and still home to them today) was impressive, in the gaudy, slightly overwhelming way rococo and baroque art can be. The ponds and lakes in front of the palace were mostly frozen, but still boasted dozens of ducks, geese and swans (and I learned Ally apparently hates geese and swans). Only some of the rooms were open to the public but Ally and I both enjoyed looking at the Gallery of Beauties (King Ludwig’s collection of portraits of beautiful women ranging from poor peasants to princesses, mostly brunettes), and some of the art was very nice, though I admit a weakness for neoclassical depictions of gods and allegories. The beds as always were amazingly small, it makes me imagine wars of pygmies and ballrooms filled with overdressed children.

The palace complex wasn’t all open since it was winter (and we will definitely be going back when the weather warms up), but we also visited Amalienburg, the hunting lodge built for one of consorts of the rulers, from which she could shoot pheasant scared up by dogs from the roof. It was like a rich, rococo, white trash heaven, with dog houses under gun racks, dripping stucco with dead animals and guns depicted, a hall of mirrors with more stucco art (“I love the naked woman with the fat belly,” Ally commented), and of course a bed chamber with a slightly saucy depiction of Vulcan making arrows for Cupids to shoot. The other area open was the carriage museum, where we could see the almost grotesquely overdone carriages and sleighs used by rulers, including the never-used wedding coach of Mad King Ludwig II (whom my tour book implied had something going on with the composer Richard Wagner, pictures of whom were included in the gallery, and on whose wedding day the king apparently bawled his eyes out. The upstairs of the building had a neat collection of porcelain, which Ally found much more interesting than me as she apparently loves mugs, and tea, in a way I had thought only possible in bad caricatures of the English. I was surprised how little time it had taken to see everything, though I suppose compared to the Residenz, which  I had visited earlier in my trip, every museum seems small.

Ally was cold and feeling the need for caffeine, so we went back to Marienplatz and went to a small coffee shop, chatting and drinking our beverages for a while, then made plans to meet up later and to go out. I was feeling very motivated, so I took the train to Garching and went to the gym for a while, which was refreshing, and ate a hearty chicken nugget dinner (I love having a microwave again). There was some sort of invitation-only party that some of the group was going to, so instead of the usual meeting up at Fraser’s, I made a vodka and bitter lemon mixture to go and met Ally a little after ten by the Rathaus. We shared the drink (there was plenty) and walked around downtown, window shopping, discussing things she would buy (perfume, jewelry, shoes) and things I would buy (cologne, video sunglasses, iPhone, although stuff I liked she seemed fairly keen on as well). At first forgetting the close proximity of McDonald’s, we at one point used the public restrooms in the U-Bahn, and they were not only the grossest bathrooms I have seen in Germany, but they ranked pretty high on the all-time list as well. Luckily, we did then find a McDonald’s, which, say what you will about its bad points, does at least keep cleanly restrooms. By 11:30 we were both feeling ready to go out and I figured we’d catch up with everyone soon, so we took the train to Kultfabrik.

I’ve heard Kultfabrik compared to a nightclub amusement park, a meat-market for German teenage clubbers, Hell-on-Earth, and a pleasant diversion from real-life. All I can say is that the huge collection of bars, clubs, restaurants, and venues making up the few blocks of Kultfabrik must appeal to a lot of people because every place (and there must have been dozens) was packed. It was nice to change-up to something new though, even if I was disturbed to see obvious 15, 16, and 17-year-olds drinking and dancing in nightclubs at midnight condoned, I’m more Puritan that I want to be sometimes. Ally and I met Barbara (and her random, briefly made “friend” Solomon, “like the skis!” Ally exclaimed) who was still hungover from the night before, but I told her a hair of the dog that bit her would help her headache and gave her some of my drink (I was right, she told me later it worked well).

Eventually we met up with Mauritz, Ross, Fraser, and Jamie, and though the first place we tried was too full, we soon found a bar that could fit us in nicely, Americanos. Ross and I almost missed the rest of the group while waiting for Ally to use another bar’s bathroom, but pretty soon we were all paid, stamped, and inside the bar. The place was packed. It reminded me strongly of Milchbar in fact, even the young crowd was familiar. There were some girls dancing on platforms (though I don’t know if they were employees or just enthusiastic patrons) and seeing a girl in a dirndl doing so was just too funny to me. Of course with Starkbierfest going on not too far away, there were a few in dirndls or lederhosen.

Checking our coats was somewhat of an ordeal, but eventually we started drinking (Mauritz buying shots for everyone of course) and dancing. Roel (with a new short haircut) showed up and I was having a good time, and taking plenty of pictures for once. We stayed near the back for a while but decided it would be more fun (albeit more crowded) in the front of the three rooms making up the club. When we got there, I noticed Ross had vanished, which was odd to me in my current state since unlike his normal disappearing nights, he wasn’t that drunk, barely at all in fact, I was thoroughly confused, the sign of a Saturday night. Actually he came back fairly quickly, with Sorcha, who had gone skiing all day, preceding him in.

As always, it was nice to see her and her striped shirts, and grabbing a drink, she joined in our dancing with her trademark, purse on the shoulder, head down moves. Ally, now “well-drunk” as she put it, had some good moves of her own, including the box arms, the robot, and  the all-purpose jumping up and down. Barbara danced gracefully as always (I’m continually impressed by her ability to handle drinking and seem, if not sober, then not clumsy drunk) and our dancing circle was as good as any I’ve been in, despite jostling from the crowds. The music, although loud of course, was not too bad, except for some drunk idiot who kept whistling in a piercing and painful tone for far too long and far too frequently. Some of the tunes were odd choices to me, though I suppose Backstreet Boys works for some of the patrons ages. Fraser and Mauritz left fairly early, although I didn’t notice their actual departures as my observational ability had gone downhill a bit by that point.

Though it seemed early to me, everyone almost spontaneously chose (or one chose and everyone followed) to leave close to four. Sorcha and Ross hopped in a cab, and Jamie, Roel, and Barbara were going to figure out something, but the trains wouldn’t run for a while so I was unsure what to do. On a whim, I joined Ally in her taxi, and after dropping her off, took it to Munchner Freiheit, which worked out quite well as I got there not long before a train to Garching. I got in after five and fell asleep quickly, content with the night.

I awoke not too late on Sunday, and after brief communications with various of my compatriots, headed out to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, though I wondered if the snow falling would affect it.After a slight delay, I met a pale but determined Sorcha at Munchner Freiheit (I was impressed as Ally, Ross, Barbara and others were definitively not up to going out apparently). We went up to the parade area, meeting Ashley and Steve there. The parade started to go by, and I was rather unimpressed, though often amused. There were a few bands, and some of the costumes various groups wore were interesting, but mostly it just seemed to be people walking. We saw some people (German cowboys?) on shaggy horses but that was more scary that anything else as the horses nearly trampled the crowd, probably nervous from all the noise. Bolivians went by, dancing away, followed by Australians doing their own dance (walking while drinking beer). Katherine (the English girl I had met briefly a few times before) met up with us there, and after the rather short parade went by, we walked along, getting coffee, meeting up with Gemma and her boyfriend, Cris, and a couple other people. We wanted to go to Killian’s, but when we went down there it was so crowded we turned around and left right away. I saw Kerre and Brooke on the stairs, but couldn’t say much more than hello because of the crowd  pressing me up farther up.

After much debate in the frigid air, we ended up going to Hofbrauhaus, which luckily was not very crowded at all. People ordered beer and food (many jokes were made over Katherine’s plate of wieners) and we chatted and warmed up. Gemma let me flip through her lyric book, apparently she and Katherine and others are forming a band. Some of the lyrics were quite good, if the music quality matches, I look forward to hearing it. Katherine told me she had gotten an accordion for Christmas and wanted to play the bagpipes though so I’m withholding judgment on that right now. A Scottish band we had seen in the parade came in and actually started to play but were stopped by the management (amid much booing from the customers). With egging on from Sorcha and Ashley, Cris asked one of the guys what he wore under his kilt. In response, he exposed himself (I averted my eyes just in time). He then lowered his kilt leaned over to Sorcha and said “I recommend the sausage.” From her blushing and stammering, I can only assume she was feeling hungry. Another Scotsman came by and we went through the same rigmarole again for some reason, it was pretty silly.

It was nice catching up on the adventures of some of the group whom I hadn’t seen in a while. Katherine told me about her Au Pair family leaving her alone for a weekend and how she had to clean like crazy the day before they arrived back because she’d somehow made such a mess of the place. We talked about places to visit in England and I told her about the books Pillars of the Earth and World Without End and how much I recommended them. Sorcha, Ashley, and Steve told me about their snowboarding of the day before and the crazy drinking they’d done after, leading to Steve losing a shoe and going into a snit on the ride back, Sorcha throwing up on a sandwich she gave to Ashley, their abandonment by the guy with some of their stuff and the subsequent drunken drama there, and generally all the good fun they had. I was amazed Sorcha even made it back out, but I guess she was well-motivated.

Around 6:30, Sorcha and I left to go to the train, getting there just in time to see it leave. Being the good friend she is, Sorcha said she would wait with me rather than taking one of the other trains she could get on. Instead of sitting and wait for 20 minutes, we walked around the streets (like me, Sorcha gets restless just sitting). Not too long thereafter I was once again off to Garching, where I spent a quiet evening reading, talking to Rachel in Arizona, and going to bed early.

Today Claudia is gone and I have a lot to do but I’m looking forward to going to Starkbierfest tomorrow and a good week over all.

Next weekend: Vienna!

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Categories: Germany, Personal
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