Home > Germany, Personal > The Last Hurrah: Ross Says Goodbye To Munich In Style

The Last Hurrah: Ross Says Goodbye To Munich In Style

The weather seems to have taken a turn for the worse, which is especially unfortunate considering that we have a four-day weekend coming up. There were hints of bad weather, afternoon showers and the like, all weekend, but I really hope the forecast is wrong in its prediction of snow this Friday.  Luckily, the weather held out pretty well this past weekend, Ross’ last in Munich. It feels like it went pretty much non-stop from Friday through last night, not so much several different events, but one long party with occasional restroom breaks.

It all started on Friday. Since his friend was staying over, Roberto took the day off work. I was jealous a bit just because it was so warm and nice out. At work I met the new science writing intern, Claudia’s replacement, a French fellow named Simon. He seems nice enough and I’m glad to have someone to share the workload with, we shall see how it goes. Around two in the afternoon I was chatting with Ross when Lars, the big boss, came down and asked if we were interested in going to a beer garden around four, drinks on him. Surprised but pleased, Ross said yes, and the whole group carpooled to Garching at four. Unfortunately, the amazing weather had taken a turn for the worse, with clouds rolling in and rain starting to speckle the ground. On the bright side, I did see a rainbow, which always puts a smile on my face. At the beer garden, Lars bought us all drinks, giving me a mass (liter) of beer as I walked up. The fifteen or so people there sat under a shelter outside, drinking and reminiscing about Ross and other interns of the past. The owner was in a hurry to close up as beer garden weather time was definitely over so we all had to drink up quickly. Feeling pleasantly light-headed, I went back to my apartment to drop off my bag, and then went into the city to meet Kerre.

Our original plan had been to go the English Garden but as the weather was decidedly against that, we changed those plans in favor of a bar. Though we wandered around for a bit (including into a yarn store Kerre was delighted to find) we somehow ended up at Killian’s just because it was an easy choice. Kerre was hungry and ordered pizza bread with a garlic dip, it was quite tasty. After my mass of beer I was in a drinking kind of mood, as was Kerre, so we ordered a tequila shot each and a Strongbow cider (I’m definitely enjoying cider more since Munich). We had a good time chatting and sharing anecdotes before going on the train, she to get her bike, me to go to Ross’ goodbye dinner. Actually Ross apparently saw us at the train station but we didn’t see him. Leaving Munchner Freiheit, I made my way to the scene of my birthday dinner, Tem Thai, where Ross, Colleen, Claudia, Roberto, and many others from work sat to celebrate Ross’ time at ESO and say goodbye. It was a fun evening: Colleen and Ross sang Claudia’s theme song (the word Dia sung to the tune of Zombies), I had good Thai food, Claudia managed to get stuck in the table for ten minutes, and three hours just whizzed by. We all headed home afterward; saddened to think we won’t hear Ross’ cheerful “what’s the crack?” around us anymore.

Ally had pushed back our Neuschwanstein trip until after the break, so my original plan was to sleep in. Alas, my body disagreed, so I arose around eight, went for a brief run, and then, after saying hello to Roberto and his two friends while they ate a hearty, sausage-filled German breakfast, went into town to run a few errands and buy some things for people back in the U.S. It didn’t take very long, so I went back to Garching to relax, sitting on a bench outside and reading. I hadn’t gotten through many pages before Ross texted me about hanging out in town. I was surprised he was up so early on a Saturday (one in the afternoon), but I quickly assented and once more rode in to town. I met up with Ross and Fraser at Burger King. We tried to figure out what to do, as we left and went to Rewe to get beer for the night. Fraser was excited to find a Rewe so close to his place, as it’s cheaper than Kaufhof. He got a crate of twenty beers and he and Ross and I walked back to his place to drop it off. While we were there I gave Ross his going away present, a beer stein (metal cap and all) with a bas-relief of the Munich skyline around it. He seemed pleased with it, as I’d hoped he would be, combining as it does a souvenir of his time here, and a practical tool for one of his favorite pastimes (drinking).

The three of us left the apartment, but as we couldn’t figure out anything in particular to do, retired to a pub, Hackerpshorr house, famous in a quieter way as Hofbrauhaus for its beer. It was nice enough to sit outside, though it took the waitress twenty minutes to notice us out there. Sorcha joined us a little bit after we sat down and we had a talk about bees and ants for some reason. After our first beer, the wind had picked up and the temperature had dropped so we retired inside for (despite my reservations about the idea) another two beers, and discussions on everything from bizarre “Lord of the Flies” style experiments (proving how boys and girls are both mean, just in different ways) to a detailed discussion of how certain European accents are amazingly helpful in romantic pursuits in America (Ross and Fraser are now planning a trip, possibly to Austin, Texas though I tried to convince them it’d be even better in Seattle and easier in Tucson).

By the time we were ready to go, my head was, if not swimming, at least paddling in a kiddie pool, and it was already evening. Though I hadn’t intended it this way when I went in to town, we weren’t going to meet up again until later, so I once again went back to Garching for a short visit before turning around to go back to Fraser’s for dinner. I barely missed the train I wanted and had to wait a full twenty minutes for the next one, eventually arriving a little before half past eight at the flat, where I said hello to Sven and Mauritz, and hung out with Fraser and Ross (who was drinking out of the stein I noted) and waited for pizza. We amused ourselves on the Internet, looking at girls we had once dated, watching soccer clips that made Fraser quite pleased, and listening to music. Fraser also had to fix the disco ball, which was having trouble spinning until he could adjust the wires. The pizza arrived and we ate up quickly, finishing mere moments before Barbara arrived, signaling the beginning of “Ross’ Leaving Piss Up” as the evening was officially called. Other names included “Ross Cage,” “Goodbye You Irish Bastard,” and “Wooooo!”

I chatted with Barbara for a bit, and then Jamie and Roel came in. Jamie was annoyed over the fact that the rain outside was making it difficult for his hair to dry, while Roel had brought what he teasingly referred to as a traditional Dutch dessert (it wasn’t), jello made with apple brandy and cinnamon. We all tried a piece, and it was good if a bit strange and rather strong. People began to arrive rather quickly after that. Ally came, with a water bottle full of gin and tonic and a small bottle of champagne. Chun came, always a nice surprise, along with a German chemistry student named Luisa, whom I hadn’t met but who knew Ross well from before I arrived. We had a nice talk about various travelling destinations and I answered her questions about who various people in the room were. Steve showed up on his own, which surprised me until he came over to tell me the elaborate story of missed calls and miscommunication between him and his usual crew and his subsequent adventures getting lost in the building before finding the apartment. Kristyn arrived, as did Morgan, Klaus and Eva. They brought with them two other Au Pairs whom I hadn’t met before. Liz, an Australian with whom I had a spirited debate over the Australian prime minister that was once lost on a beach, and Sara, from Sweden, whose small talk with me included thoughts on Scandinavian languages, the long winters in Sweden and a comparison of the royalty of Sweden and England (I don’t know why these topics come up, it always makes sense at the time). A guy whose name I was told is Marcus, though I never actually spoke to him, came in with a random crate of drinks, further enlivening things with complex cocktails.

Another big group came in then, with Sorcha, Karen, Ashley, Katherine, and Gemma filling up the apartment nicely, despite Sorcha’s spilling of a drink on Karen’s skirt almost immediately. Other bits of the evening I recall include: Ally complimenting Eva on her dress and learning it was actually Morgan’s, Kerre showing up and upon learning we would be leaving soon, doing her best to finish the beers she had brought, and Ross switching to whiskey and coke for his drink, but still using the stein. I had brought some vodka and bitter lemon and offered Luisa a drink at one point, making it extra light upon her request. She had mentioned she was a lightweight so I used half a cap and filled the rest of the cup with cola. Nonetheless, it seemed to have a rather strong effect on her, leading to some amusing anecdotes about parties before my time and the people I knew only later. Ally, after finishing her drinks, Sorcha, and Steve also requested drinks which I was happy to share. I got Ally’s and Steve’s right, but had to bring over the vodka and top off Sorcha’s cup. It was already midnight and Sven came around to tell everyone it was time to leave, so everyone did their best to finish their drinks quickly, a rather funny sight, and we headed out. Luisa and Chun called it a night and Sara said she was going to meet some other friends but in her case, Eva convinced her to come along.

Walking to Lola’s, I worked to follow people who knew where they were going and not lag back because of the two times Sorcha and I have gotten lost by falling behind. We got to Lola in good order and of course didn’t pay, which is always a plus. Inside, the club was quite busy. It reminded me of the first time I went to Lola in terms of the really good atmosphere and crowded dance floor. We had an area in the back couches reserved for us (under Ross Cage) and a bunch of us chipped in to buy vodka and mixers. Ross had a little altercation with the people there before us over a misunderstanding about their bottle, easily resolved. As we were sitting down, a couple of girls came over as part of some promotion, handing out plastic lip key chains with a condom inside. Needless to say, many amusing pictures followed. The group was too large for all of us to be in one place, so some people continued to sit while others chilled at the bar and the rest went to dance. I bought an orange juice to make myself a screwdriver (noting the many energy drinks Steve went with). I heard “Tonight’s Gonna be a Good Night” come on and was worried a moment, but for once they only played it once. I am so tired of that song. As Steve and I made our drinks, the group around the couches began to flow towards the dance floor. Not one for missing out on these moves, Steve downed his drink, grabbed Ashley and went out to tear a rug. I wasn’t sure if Ashley was impressed, embarrassed, or just unable to keep up with his moves. Between drinks the two of them were out there, never the same dance twice. Only by literally dragging her by the arm could Sorcah get Ashley to come and talk to her when she wanted a word later on in the night. I made a note to try out some of their moves at some point, should the opportunity arise. I suppose as a semi-illegal immigrant, Ashely has gotten quite good at seizing the day in between figuring out ways to stay in Germany. Perhaps the face painting thing will lead somewhere.

I had a lot of fun that night, and I think it’s safe to say nearly everyone made out well. I danced rather more than I normally do, which I blame on the shots I did with Katherine and Gemma. I was impressed with how Katherine would have to flee the room after every shot, but was still up for another one later. I learned from her that the songs I didn’t recognize being played were English songs, popular there but more unknown in America. One of the unfortunate parts of the night was how it was the night to put the clocks ahead so at two it was suddenly three, and we lost an hour of the night. Though shy in photographs, I still managed to chat a little bit with Kristyn about various interesting events going on around us, though I did notice that was the point the music went up several decibels, requiring us to shout a lot.

Ally had a fun night between shock at finding out her stockings had a run in them visible only by camera flash, meeting up with a colleague, and getting felt up with a German (and demonstrating what happened to everyone around her). When she left I followed her out because the club was very warm and I wanted some fresh air. She was craving Burger King so we went there so she could get her double cheeseburger. When she was finished, she caught a cab and I went back to the club, saying goodbye to Barbara and Roel as they were leaving. When I got back in, Kerre, Gemma, and others had formed a circle where one at a time they would pretend to dribble a basketball, performing complicated moves with the imaginary ball.

In general the dance floor was a good time, with amusing dance moves (Ross twirled me at one point, insisting that it was necessary) and the usual (and brand new) coupling off both on the floor and in the booth area.  But as all good things do, the party started to wind down. More and more people started to leave, both from our group and in general as the club emptied. Some went home, Karen went to find another club (that she was told was imaginary), and our numbers dwindled. By four, it was down to Ross, Sorcha, Jamie, Katherine, Gemma, and I from our crew, with more sitting than dancing going on by that point. I was pleased and surprised as I’m not usually one of the last ones standing. By five we all decided to leave the club, getting shushed by the bouncers outside when we talked too loudly. Ross and Sorcha said goodbye to the rest of us outside the club, but then we were all going in the same direction, like a bad Superbad imitation. At the U-bahn, the same thing happened again, though mostly everyone was too drunk to notice that we were once again following them, this time down into the station where the third goodbye actually stuck. Jamie offered to throw an after party at his place (booze and drugs on offer apparently, though later I found out he was not serious, and he didn’t even remember offering), but I was far too tired and Gemma was going to meet her fella, so only Katherine followed Jamie home. I did my best to help Gemma get on the right train despite her state of mind, and then made my way back to Marienplatz and that familiar train to Garching.

I got home closer to seven than six and fell right asleep. Once again my body refused to let me sleep in, so at ten I was up once again, working on some personal projects and relaxing before heading out to see Alice in Wonderland in 3D. There were supposed to be a few people going but almost all flaked out, so it was just Kerre and I watching the film. I quite liked it, though the ending was a bit abrupt, and the 3D effects were quite cool. After the movie I headed over to Open Cuisine, meeting with Ross, Sorcha, Karen, Fraser, Jamie, and Roel for dinner. Like all such meals, this one lasted hours, until around ten. We discussed Jamie’s embarrassing moments in Fraser’s bed, Sorcha’s distaste and Karen’s love for Ethiopian food, Fraser and Karen’s new friendship based on no one else being around for the long weekend, Roel’s mishap with the trash can mistakenly thought stolen, and a bit of looking back to see what of the previous night people could remember (sometimes not much).

I went home and, still very tired, went right to bed. This morning I came to work early as usual and got a chance to say goodbye to Ross one last time as he headed off to the airport after dropping off his keys. I think the weekend was a fitting tribute to him. It won’t be the same, at work or out at night, without him around, that’s for certain. But I look forward to perhaps visiting him in Belfast, and his expected visits back to Munich. Now to focus on work and all the exciting things here. And a trip to Nuremberg this weekend to look forward to. Happy Passover!

Categories: Germany, Personal
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