Home > Germany, Personal > My Nearly Final Farewell Party

My Nearly Final Farewell Party

My last Monday at work, my last news team meeting, and very nearly my last blog entry begins now.

I put the story of Friday night and my random late night out in the entry about last week to make room for all I have to write about Saturday and Sunday both what happened and my thoughts on it. It was a really amazing last (full) weekend in Munich, and deserves more said about it than I might otherwise put in on a busy Monday. It might go up later than I normally would publish it though because of that.

After Friday’s unexpectedly late night, I slept in late Saturday morning. My room was unbearably stifling hot, which made it even more difficult to drag myself out of bed thanks to the heat-induced lethargy. Unfortunately the things that people were doing that day were not only quite far away on their own, but with the uncertainty of the train past Kieferngarten, I would essentially have to turn around and come home nearly as soon as I arrived. Instead I contented myself with a long walk, striking out in a random direction from Garching and walking until my feet grew tired, then walking back. The heat again made me sleepy so I took a brief nap and awoke somewhat refreshed, getting ready and heading out into the bright sunshine a little after five, randomly running into Oana (whom I randomly run into so often it’s almost not even random) on my way to the train.

The reason I left so much earlier than I typically do for a night out was because I had been invited to Jamie and Roel’s apartment (which I had never been to) for dinner. Jamie and Roel live far away from me. I had to take the train almost to the other end of the line and then a bus to get to their apartment. No question but that it was well worth the trip however. I was welcomed into the apartment by Roel dressed in a kilt and Jamie dressed in just striped pink and white shorts. Really I don’t know why I was even surprised. Jamie was cooking chili for our meal, explaining that he was running a little behind because Casey had cooked for him the night before and he was simultaneously cleaning and cooking. Roel showed me around the apartment, which fairly well reflected their personalities I would judge, from Roel’s collection of travel books and strange paper geometric orbs to Jamie’s gauzy white drapes and the overpowering scent of a variety of colognes and aftershaves. When the chili was ready, Jamie made three heaping plates of rice and chili for us and we watched the In-Betweeners, British comedy I had not seen before, but liked quite a lot. It explained a lot about English awkwardness. I was already starting to feel full but I made sure to save some room because Roel had made dessert, both a chocolate mousse and homemade chocolate ice cream. I did my best not to overeat since I didn’t want to be sick later. Jamie said he was having some trouble settling his stomach after all the rich food but nonetheless managed, along with Roel, to dress and get ready with credible speed and together the three of us traveled by bus and train (after suitable olfactory enhancement by Jamie that left me coughing) to Isartor and the beginning of the party.

Originally I wanted to have the first part of the party at Clubhouse both for the cheap drinks and because of the symmetry of the bar as my first Toytown event. Sadly there was a private event there so I hurriedly informed people of a venue switch to Havana Club, a bar across the street from Clubhouse that Fraser had told me was pretty good. The bar definitely tried to be the kind of place Hemingway would have gone to back in Cuba or the Florida Keys, even with a slowly turning ceiling fan. Pictures on the wall of the author and others around those locales added to the effect. Although fancier (and more expensive) than I would have chosen for the pre-drinking venue, it had a certain charm I liked a lot.When we arrived, Melon, Charne, Kayla, Rim, and Sara (the tall Swedish one) were sitting at a table, while Beatrice (the French girl I helped move once) was at the bar, not knowing they were all part of the same party. After introductions and drink acquisitions we chatted while watching the latest World Cup match.  Oana arrived but left very quickly due to a bug bite that was causing her some severe pain. There was a slow trickle of people in, like Elodie and her boyfriend; Olly and his visiting friend and others even while Sara, Kayla and Melon left for various assignations and sleeping plans.

Soon Mauritz, Eva, Klaus, Morgan, Colleen, Aleks and Casey arrived though, doing much to revive my flagging spirits and lessen my concerns that the party would fall apart before it even had a chance to start. So buoyed, a bought a round of shots (Jägermeister since it was the only thing I could think of that everyone would drink) and brought everyone together in a circle so I could read my toast to them. This was the rhyming poem/toast titled “The Munich Alphabet” that I had worked on for a week or so. I think it went over well and I was pleased that people actually laughed at the bits I wanted them to do so. Like a signal bell though, even more people started to show up when we had finished the toast. Melon actually came back accompanied by Amy and her own visitor from home (via Switzerland), along with Kerre and even Sebastian whom I hadn’t seen in what felt like a very long time. It was fun hanging out in the crowd, and of course plenty of drinks, from another Jägermeister from Jamie to a vodka from Melon, a tasty (if rather effeminate looking) Hurricane from Beatrice, a round of tequila with Charne and so on. Maybe it was all the food or just a general vibe of being happy around friends but I hardly felt the alcohol beyond a slight warm glow.

The bar started to fill up quite a bit as midnight drew closer. Coordinating with Ally on the phone about when we would be at Lola’s I decided it might as well be now and so drew everyone outside. It was tricky to say the least to get everyone there. First we wanted to walk then decided the train was easier. I walked over there with Jamie only to realize we had somehow left everyone else behind and had to walk back. Then it seemed everyone was getting into taxis but as the taxi with Jamie, Beatrice and I pulled away we saw others going to the train including people we thought we had seen in a taxi moments earlier. I gave up at this point and just told everyone to meet outside the club. When we got to Karlsplatz, Beatrice was starving so she rand to get food while Jamie and I waited. This was the point the night officially jumped off the cliff of rational causality and into the turbulent waters of unlikely coincidences and surreal moments. First we saw Amy and her friend walking home, which surprised her as much as me since they had left earlier than us, and I didn’t realize they were walking the same way as the club. No sooner had they gone then I spotted the approach of Mauritz and his crew (leading others who didn’t know where the club was) and as I waved, heard a familiar voice from the other direction and turned to see Ally (accompanied by many people including Kristyn, Sorcha, Katherine and others) walking towards me. A very nicely timed moment as the two groups collided with many happy exclamations and greetings. After this initial flurry we turned to Mauritz, who naturally (and presumably with the aid of Jonas) got everyone into the club for free.

Lola & Ludwig was unfortunately pretty dead when we arrived; there was almost no one there. Luckily there were enough of us to give it at least the semblance of being busy as long as the back areas were avoided. The naturally gregarious among us, as well as those who had drunk a lot (sometimes the same person) immediately took to the dance floor, which in turn encouraged others of us to join them (after suitable beverages were procured of course). Looking around I realized we had lost a few people along the way or people had left without me knowing they hadn’t planned on coming to the club like Aleks, Melon and a couple of others. The addition of the crew with Ally though (even the ones I couldn’t imagine having chosen to come to a party for me) ensured that we had around forty people, quite nice to see.

I looked around and saw representatives of nearly every moment of my time here, From those like Kristyn who had been around a lot early on before fading from my experiences, to Jamie and Roel there nearly from day one pretty much all the time since then. There was Sorcha, Katherine and Kerre, from the second wave of people I met in Toytown, and Ally met through Ross yet a true friend in her own right, a fellow traveler to Vienna with Kerre and Roisin and I. Casey and Olly, Charne and Beatrice all came later and those like Rim and Colleen I had barely met and alas would have little time to spend with. Yet I could point to every one of them and say something important they did for me, whether they knew it or not. Even those I just never had the chance to get to know as well as I would like and those who rightly or wrongly just didn’t like me all impacted me, often appreciably. A new idea, even now still raw, started to blossom in my mind as I finished the latest drink to appear, like magic, before me, and moved to the dance floor.

The hours at Lola are a bit of a blur. Of course this is easily explained by the three bottles of vodka several of us went in on (we got a good deal) not to mention other shots that Mauritz got for us, and the Prosecco Jonas generously supplied for us at one point. Colleen, Morgan Eva and Casey encouraged me to pursue a blackout, a goal I definitely reached a couple of times during the night. The parts I do remember well though are no doubt some of the more memorable bits. For some reason, Kristyn, Sorcha and the others in that group had some sort of weird orange lemon thing with them. Katherine (I believe) decided it would be a fun game to make a circle and put it on the ground and see who could pick it up with their mouths while keeping their legs absolutely straight. Watching people attempt this tricky maneuver was hilarious, especially when some almost fell over or (it looked like) nearly split their pants from almost doing the splits. I remember having a really bizarre talk with Colleen at one point and calling her the funniest person in the world but for the life of me I have no idea what we actually talked about. I do remember hanging outside and talking about my little brother to Casey and Eva and dancing with Roel and Charne (before she left for another party) as well as watching Katherine pretend to grind on an oblivious Sorcha. Ally was in her happy drunk state (a very fond memory to me) and busted a move or two with Olly and Katherine. It was just a lot of fun in general, and the club even got a little busier for a while with people who wandered in presumably more willing to stay since there was a crowd there already.

Looking around me, I was honestly filled with mingled happiness over seeing everyone there and presumably having fun, sadness that it was ending, and a muddled wish that somehow I could stay in touch those here and retain a spark of what for me was an incredibly significant time in my life.

Around four or so the club was again empty apart from us so the group spontaneously decided to head over to another club, Milch Bar. We headed over there, shedding a few people along the way and arrived to find a line and an impenetrable bouncer who wouldn’t let us in. We dithered about for a while and when I looked up at one point, several people had vanished. I called Mauritz to see what had happened and he claimed to be by Max and Moritz. Jamie, Sorcha, Katherine and a few others had yet to arrive from Lola but I figured they would just call when they realized we weren’t there. As I learned later they instead managed to get into Milch Bar, where Jamie had a bit of a fight but otherwise their night was no disappointment.

Beatrice, Olly, Olly’s friend, Roel, Rim, and I walked over to Max and Moritz where we unfortunately faced similar constrictions, the bouncer would only let girls in. I sent Beatrice to see if she could find Mauritz when lo and behold Casey appeared and said he wasn’t in there just her and Colleen and Morgan and Klaus. Despite her best efforts and much to her annoyance, she couldn’t convince the bouncer to let us in. At this point everyone with me but Roel gave up and went home though considering how Olly was swaying on his feet already it was probably a good idea. Colleen came up the stairs from the club and said she was going home as well but I convinced her to wait until Beatrice came back and using the two girls, Roel and I were able to finesse our way into the club, surprising Casey when she saw us at the bar. We drank and danced and otherwise occupied ourselves until the club started to shut down around six.

Walking blinking into the morning light, I felt content, if tired, and wondered vaguely what my next step should be. The group started to break up and Casey reminded me that I had promised to make sure she got home okay so after making my last fond farewells, and with a twinge of realization that it was really over, I got into a cab with her, getting out in front of her apartment building. She invited me to have a glass of iced tea, which I gratefully accepted since my throat was rather parched and I felt very dehydrated and over the sounds of the Grateful Dead and introductions to her stuffed elephant (which amusingly was given to her by one boyfriend but name “Ellie” by a later one) I recovered a bit from my night of exertions. I was worried I would fall asleep right then and there if I didn’t go so I said goodbye to Casey and walked to the U-Bahn, conveniently getting there just in time to catch train home.

It was exactly the right mix of plan and improvisation, of panic and smooth sailing. It was an excellent night by any standard and with all other circumstances considered, exactly what I wanted it to be.

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Categories: Germany, Personal
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