Home > Germany, Personal > Long Nights, Fun Nights, One Night? Every Night

Long Nights, Fun Nights, One Night? Every Night

I have a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and a Master’s in science and medical journalism. Yet so much have I learned in my time in Munich that I feel like I should give myself new degrees. A Bachelor of the Arts in writing things that upset people, A PhD in drinking and staying up all night yet still somehow retaining information to write down for private and public consumption, A couple of Master’s degrees in appreciating irony and living with the ridiculous, maybe even a diploma for trying to dance well (and succeeding only compared to most German guys).

I want to try something different with this weekly roundup of my activities. That is, not making anyone mad at what I write, however innocently (and believe me, I stopped trying to provoke reactions back in February). So I shall endeavor even more to not mention anything that will result in the usual complaints (amusing though they often are because the complaint lies in writing something I see or think down, rather than writing an inaccuracy).

After last weekend’s entire lack of sleep, work took on a surreal quality where I got my work done as efficiently as ever, but my brain was so fatigued that the extra thinking and random thoughts that pepper a normal day didn’t happen, making the day zoom by so fast I was constantly startled by the time and worked repeatedly through lunch (and only around five would my stomach remind me it was empty).  I did get more writing assignments though so that was nice. In addition, for the first time since Ross left I had lunch with friends at work. On Wednesday I had lunch with Jana (who works in the same area at General Electric) and on Thursday I had lunch with with Roel (who was in the area for a school lecture). It was a nice change from the usual sitting at my desk and working while chewing.

Beyond work, the week was almost prosaic in its good times. I wouldn’t want to (as one particularly vehement stranger commented on my blog) exaggerated day-to-day life as something more extraordinary than it is, but going to Shamrock on Tuesday and Toytown on Thursday are both consistent in their changes more than anything else. I have yet to go a week where I don’t make new friends, have a fascinating conversation, and learn something if not profound than at least thought provoking. Tuesday at Shamrock I caught up with my Fruhlingsfest fellows (Lydia and Jon) heard about the “public displays” from the weekend (Adam’s term) and chatted with Michael, Charne, Fred, and the others there while listening to the usual mix of good and so awful it’s good karaoke (particularly funny was Michael’s choice of songs including Eminem and Frank Sinatra). Thursday, Totyotwn was at X-Bar, a hidden and strange place with no sign on the door or anything, which I only found thanks to Katie, an English girl I know slightly through Adam. Among the drawn red velvet curtains and red light, I spent an enjoyable time with Jana, Jon, Michael, Adam and others, including meeting an amusing American girl named Amy. Blonde (of course) and Californian, she cracked me up, inadvertently I think, with her stories of how she recovered from an illness after first giving it to her sort-of boyfriend (but as he’s from New Zealand I think it cannot all be her fault, not a lot of germs to build up the immune system there, except sheep diseases of course). Barbara also came albeit totally skint and waiting for Fraser to pay her back a little money. As he was occupied with a new computer, I provided for her instead and had a nice time introducing her to some of the others I know who aren’t habitually in our social circle. Jana amused Jon and me a lot with her frank accounts of her…biggest assets and their rise to prominence. Though I apparently only just missed Roel arriving, I soon enough called it a night and went home.

Friday I spent at home, too tired to deal with going out and hoping to recover somewhat in preparation for Saturday, a day that finally allowed me to sleep in. Unfortunately I still got up by noon and I knew it was going to be hard to be up all night, worth it though I hoped.

After an afternoon of wonderful relaxation, I went into town a little after six to meet up with Kerre and Brooke for a while before the usual pilgrimage to Fraser’s. The three of us stopped by Saturn so I could get headphones then wandered about Munich while they drank beer and made fun of me. When they were running low on beer we stopped by the grocery store for more. Kerre is smart, but sometimes she does thing so ridiculous its all i can do to not check for the cameras taping her wacky sitcom adventures. In this episode she bought six beers. What she neglected to notice was that they were in fact alcohol free, tasted bad and wouldn’t give her the buzz she was looking for on a Saturday night. Brooke and I laughed a bit but Kerre, with only five minutes to spare, sprinted from the fountain we were at to the store to get more, real beer. We left the alcohol free stuff behind as a social experiment, would anyone take free beer if there were no alcohol in it? Twenty minutes later when we came back, the answer was a resounding no. We walked to the English Gardens then while drinking before I headed off to my rendezvous and they went to meet the two Andreases for a more “ghetto drinking” as Brooke terms it.

I went over to Fraser’s where I for once was not one of the early arrivals. Fraser, Jamie, Roel, Mauritz, Sven, and Katherine were already there, getting ready or waiting to go out. Others soon came, Kristyn had had a rough day and been thrown up on a lot so I was happy to share my vodka with her. Katherine made her a very strong drink that she downed like water and then moved on to wine, which seemed to cheer her up a bit. Barbara showed up and then Casey came followed soon by Morgan and Aleks (Eva had to work and Klaus had to study) and our group was complete.

Apparently the original plan, to go to an island in the Isar River for some special club night, had altered for most of us due to the Long Night of Music, a Munich event with hundreds of concerts at locations all around the city.  Mauritz, Sven, Morgan and Casey decided to go straight to the Isar but the rest of us followed Katherine (much to her chagrin since she didn’t want to lead) on to the concerts after fortifying ourselves. We headed to a fairly close bar, paid fifteen Euros each for the wristband that would get us into any of the concerts and went into a very crowded bar with a pretty good cover band playing. Aleks made me laugh with her surprise over drinking beer out of a bottle but the good chats in the group were not as much fun due to cramped conditions, so after a few songs we left. On the train to the next place Kristyn had a random encounter with a surprisingly friendly German girl talking about Australia before we rushed off the train to the next concert area. This venue looked like some museum and served drinks in plastic cups but the band, named Shenaniganz had a good sound albeit rather silly haircuts and far too much head banging for the music they were playing. Their set ended and we hurried off, somehow acquiring Colin (Barbara’s cheating ex-boyfriend, whom none of us approve of) as we took the special event bus to the next venue on our list, which conveniently happened to be on the island on the Isar near the venue where the others were.

This place had some sort of Indigo Girls/Jewel clone singing, soothing but not too interesting. We got some drinks, including a shot of vodka. Aleks impressed us all by having two and drinking them like water, according to her a common Polish talent. It was around this point that the drinking really started to kick in or in some cases kick in more than it had been doing, leading to fun moments like Jamie’s offensive monologues, Kristyn and Fraser doing their romantic warm up (fighting, Kristyn smoking a cigarette out of spite, the usual amusement) and similar good times.

When we were done listening to the music there we decided we might as well go to the Isar thing now since we were so close. Some of us were on the guest list and others of us weren’t so it was a little tricky getting in and figuring out the whole payment scheme (not helped by the previous drinking) but luckily Sven came out and helped us figure it out. Being on the guest list I didn’t have to pay the full eighteen Euros to get in which was nice. Inside the area there was a large courtyard in front of the building with the dancing, with three different rooms for different music to play. It all kind of sounded the same to me, as it was all electronic stuff, not very danceable in my opinion but an interesting crowd certainly. We saw the rest of our group inside but alas lost Katherine, who rather rightly assumed the music wasn’t worth the cost of entrance. Jelena, Mauritz’s sister was there as well. I noticed her when Aleks tugged on my sleeve and pointed out two girls kissing and I recognized her (and remembered seeing a similar scene with the same girl a couple of months ago). We headed to the bar first of course then chatted (loudly to hear each other) and did the best dancing we could with the limited musical help offered. It was rather hot and sweaty in there but compared to the week before not nearly as claustrophobic.

Amid dancing and chatting there were a lot of funny and crazy moments. Aleks asked me to pinch her and pull her away if she started kissing a guy (emphasizing her point by pinching me hard enough to bruise). I laughed when she told me my “mission” but laughter turned to surprise and consternation as a seemingly endless wave of guys made a move on her. I had to watch for her signal to rescue her quite frequently. Casey on the other hand seemed rather upset with me, acting almost paranoid when she saw me and punching me a few times hard enough to add a collection of bruises to go with Aleks’ contribution. Carolina girls are apparently violent when drinking I concluded to Jamie, who said that it was a fact applicable to all females.

By four, people were trickling away, Barbara left with Colin, Jamie and Roel headed out and Kristyn disappeared somewhere after making out with Fraser on the dance floor and continuing to bicker (humorously in my mind) with him. Outside while we tried to figure out what to do I chatted with Fraser (who continued to insist as he had all night that he was not going to plan anything) while Aleks grilled Mauritz about his sister and her kissing habits, drunkenly asking if this were common in Germany. His response was that better she kiss that girl than most guys she might kiss otherwise, a fair response I thought though he had to repeat a couple of time due to having trouble doing more than mumbling. I thought our next stop would be Fraser’s place but apparently the others were more interested in going to another club. We walked to the cabstand (Casey was offered a ride by a guy on the way and offered up a wonderful “no thanks I have friends” in response) along with some of Sven’s coworkers and friends. I got into a taxi van, way in the back with Aleks, Sven and Casey in the seats in front and some guy I didn’t know in the front seat. I was confused over Fraser and Mauritz not being there but too incoherent in my thoughts to deal with it. In addition the back seat was so cramped that my knees were up around my neck and my back was bent forward until my nose was almost right between Sven and Casey. I tried to concentrate on the story Aleks was relating but my physical discomfort didn’t help, though the fact that she was essentially talking to herself  (and as far as I could tell without any pause for breath) amused me in my hunched pose.

We thankfully arrived before I completely wrenched my back, getting out right in front of the club Ellie, where Sven knew people. He said that if we waited fifteen minutes we could get in free but Casey insisted we go in right away. She and Aleks decided not to wait to pay or get stamped and rushed into the club, sending the bouncer to chase after them until Sven calmed him down and I paid up for us all, chuckling a little at the situation. The club pounded with disco music, not my favorite at all but I was happy to see Fraser and Mauritz arrive and did my best to dance to the awful tunes. Aleks in a hilariously bold move went up to the bartender and said (in her words) “do you have free drinks for sexy girls?” and acquired a free shot for her and Casey. I rescued her from a few more overly aggressive fellows as well, for which she gave profuse thanks, smiled at Casey once, inspiring rather spirited swearing in my direction (I was both surprised and relieved to learn the next day that her attitude toward me was not in fact indicative of her hating me), and decided that about did it for me. I was too tired to stay long and at about a quarter after five made my farewells, going back to Garching.

I had left my bag at Fraser’s the night before so I planned on coming back in the early afternoon and to make more of a day of it, arranged to get coffee with Luisa after. At Fraser’s the group was only just getting up though it was already two in the afternoon. Casey was cranky with nicotine craving and still drinking beer, impressing me with her general fortitude but was hardly the only one still more drunk than sober judging from my brief talks with Mauritz and Fraser as I got my bag and their relief that Kristyn was going to get coffee for everyone while Sven ordered pizza. I went to the university area to meet Luisa and we enjoyed the sunshine and discussed language and history while drinking our beverages. We walked over to Marienplatz where there was a huge rally for the Bayern soccer team that had just won the league championship (with free beer too). Hundreds of Germans wearing red and chanting in unison sent an uneasy chill down my spine despite its innocuous background, but it was a cheerful if crowded environment. Luisa and I decided that the next logical step would be to get ice cream so after a long walk to find a good place without a long line, we got some and sat on a nearby grassy patch to eat chat. Coincidentally and conveniently, she had to go study but her study group was in Garching so I was able to ride with someone all the way out to my far stopping point.

I went home and spent the evening writing, relaxing, wishing my mom a happy Mother’s Day, and chatting with people who wanted to know about what they had forgotten the night before, some of it they rather wished everyone had forgotten. Back at work today I’ve split my time between work and applying to jobs (which is frankly a lot of work itself) as I am down to nine weeks before my time here is up. But this week there is no work on Thursday, and I’m going to Prague a week from Friday so all is looking up.

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Categories: Germany, Personal
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