Home > Germany, Personal > The Goodbyes Begin: First Half of My Last Week

The Goodbyes Begin: First Half of My Last Week

When I fly to Berlin on Sunday morning I have absolutely no idea when I will be able to write and post here so I want to make sure I am as up to date as I can be before then. Even though it’s only Thursday I still have plenty to write about, as I have been decidedly busy cramming the hours with events.

After I left Casey’s and went home this past Sunday morning, my plan was to just sleep until my body decided to wake up. Unfortunately for me this was only a couple of hours later because my room had grown stiflingly hot. Unable to bear it any longer, I arose, showered off the sweat, dressed and went out. Anything was better than sitting in that oven I decided. I took the train downtown and spent a pleasant couple of hours strolling through parks and gardens, punctuated by a funny phone chat with Casey (who I’m pretty sure was still drunk) to rehash bits of the previous night and get the usual injunctions against mentioning some of her more…provocative comments.

A little after noon I felt up to meeting up with people so I called (British) Amy to see what she was up to and found out she was quite close by having lunch with her visiting friend who was leaving soon, so I headed over to Karlsplatz to meet up with them. After they had finished we walked over the train station and bade farewell to Jack. Amy had no specific plans for the afternoon, but my earlier calling around bore fruit when my phone rang as we were leaving the station and Roel informed me that there were several people hanging out on the beach by the Isar. That sounded fun to both Amy and I so after a quick stop to get sausages and beer by request, we headed over to the beach. On the way our talk ranged from Amy’s thoughts on matrimony (“an engagement ring is just there to show you’re engaged”) to a bizarre and soap-operaesque tale of her housing situation in England and getting screwed out of a place to live by a friend of a friend. By the time we got off the train I was even more intrigued to meet people in northern England.

At the beach, we located our group by the large American flag planted there in a complicated arrangement of wood and stones by Prashant and Becky who were barbecuing and relaxing on the beach along with Roel and Charne. I slathered on some sunscreen and sat down with the others, enjoying the sun much more with the river’s breeze. The afternoon drifted by, punctuated with moments that briefly raised me from my nearly somnolent state. I watched Prashant and Roel hang onto a log and float far down the river until we couldn’t even see them anymore, I saw Charne learn a bit about how to cook sausages on the open grill, with mixed results, and seeing Amy wrap herself in the flag right and that same flag later causing some drunken yelling from nearby Germans was quite memorable.

Evening came, though thanks to that wonderful summer in the north effect the sun still hung above the horizon. Amy and I left to meet Kerre for ice cream at Marienplatz, arriving just a few minutes before Charne who was there to meet Melon, Annabelle and her boyfriend for (later canceled) ice skating. Melon, on hearing that Amy, Kerre and I were going to get ice cream and wander around decided that sounded like more fun so he joined us as we went to several ice cream places not to mention McDonald’s (twice as we had to hurry back when Amy left her phone in the bathroom the first time). It was a really nice and mellow way to end the weekend and my final Sunday in Munich and I was sad to have to let it go but time slipped away until I really felt I needed to sleep and went home to my apartment.

On my final Monday at work I started wrapping up projects and last assignments and while I wanted to go out that night it ended up being a stay-in and pack night, necessary perhaps but not much fun. Tuesday at work we had our monthly department lunch at a nice burger place in Garching and I said goodbye for the last time to Colleen. After work I expected the usual relaxation then going to Shamrock but was informed by Barbara that she was in town for a couple of days before going back to the Netherlands and that she and others were going to watch the Dutch soccer match in town. So I went into town earlier than I had planned and met in a beer tent set up for the match (with food places all around it) with Barbara, Jennie, Charne, Roel, Olly, Sorcha, Katherine and a visitor from American connected to her in some tenuous way named Carrie. I was glad I went and got to hear Olly wax eloquent on the matter of kebabs and declare that “Hello Sailor” is a timeless greeting, learn about Katherine’s wandering adventure in Munich Saturday night, and hear from Sorcha about her and Katherine’s Paris trip. I was starving and so amid talking with Carrie about Chicago and various Colorado schools and hearing Katherine explain the awkward British males of the In-Betweeners, I had a nice cheese crepe, my first in Munich though I have seen the stands everywhere. The Netherlands crushed their opponents, putting Barbara (wrapped in a Dutch flag) in a very good mood. Much to my very pleased surprise, everyone decided to head over to Shamrock together, even those who rarely or never go.

Shamrock was jumping although not with very many people I recognized. It is funny to me though how I can see people around for months and only meet them much later as happened when I said hello to Ida and finally met Salla and Miina, two of her Finnish friends I must have seen around dozens of times without ever actually talking to them. As this was my last karaoke night I was determined to finally sing, “It’s My Life” with Melon and even convinced Olly to put in “Hello Goodbye” to sing later on. Charne and Jennie performed Jennie’s favorite song “Jolene” (although not, as everyone seemed to think, in harmony) and there was the usual mix of bad songs picked by Germans and good songs picked by others (though Jennie’s violent suggestions of what to do to people who pick ballads for karaoke were quite impressive). “Hello Goodbye” went over very well I think and it at least got everyone in the bar singing along. After that people started to leave, but I was determined to stick it out until my last song came on. I wavered at one point but Melon found out it would only be two more until ours so I waited, and it was worth it. It’s a great song on it’s own of course, but getting to belt it out to the bar as they stared up at Melon and me on the stage was just a great moment, and made the cab ride home worth every Euro (metaphorically at least).

Wednesday was a morass of confusion in terms of planning where to watch Germany play Spain in the World Cup. Trying to coordinate with everyone was very difficult especially with some people not having phones or having no credit to call and other issues. Ally and Olly ended up staying downtown partially because Ally’s boyfriend was coming into Munich that night, but others were discussing the Olympic Park. I very luckily went into town early and managed to meet up with Jamie to go to the eventually chosen site of Tollwood for watching the game. Along the way we met up with Patrick, and after an incredibly complicated and lengthy series of phone calls, met up with Charne, Roel, Jennie, Kerre and a bit later Morgan, Colleen, and Eva (who brought her mom). We sat on the grass near where Toytown was held last week and watch as the game went on interminably with no scoring until right at the end, Spain slipped one by Germany and won the match. I was surprised how calmly the hundreds of Germans watching took it. Though they go crazy when they win they were very stoic about defeat, with none of the rioting and craziness I would expect in say Spain had the match gone the other way. Very curious.

Kerre had to go home and Eva went back with her mom but the rest of us didn’t want the night to be over just yet. After some debate we all decided to go to Jaeger’s. Charne, Roel, Patrick and I went by bus and train while the others took a cab. Despite confusion about where we were and how to get where we were going, we managed to arrive less than a minute after the others had arrived. Jaeger’s was really busy. I saw Cris but didn’t say much more than hello to her since she was being run raged by the screaming hordes of people demanding beverages. I managed to acquire one for myself and enjoyed chatting with the others while we observed Colleen get hit on by a guy she apparently had been using for other reasons. She explained that she wanted to be celibate (meaning chaste actually) for a while and also that she wanted to grow dreadlocks, stop shaving and be a hippie. Mauritz said if she grew dreadlocks he would shave them off. Although Patrick was generous enough to offer me a couch to sleep on, I decided I would rather chance getting a train back. Mauritz, Colleen, Morgan and Jamie said they wanted to go clubbing at Milch Bar so I took a cab with them as far as Mauritz’s place before saying goodbye and heading to the train. I couldn’t get one that went all the way to Garching so I took one as far as I could and then took a taxi the rest of the way, which wasn’t too bad.

Tonight is my last Toytown Thursday and I’m excited and sad at the same time. I can’t really think too much about it though or I will get depressed. Instead I will just focus on a good time tonight, not that that will be hard to achieve…

Edit Friday Afternoon:

My final Toytown on Thursday was not the spectacular event I had hoped for, but it wasn’t bad either. I left work a little early to ship a last box to the States and then went into town to eat. On my way to Augustinerkeller I heard form Olivier and Oana that they were already there, which worked out well for me as they had already found a table coincidentally by other Toytowners. I spent a lot of time in between sips of beer over the next hour or so directing people to our area, which ended up as the Toytown spot, even if each table acted as a sort of island, mainly isolated from the others. Still, Kerre, Andy, Aleks, Casey, Patrick, Oliver, Roel, and others somehow found us. Oana left fairly early on, followed not long after by Olivier but the rest of us stuck it out even when the live band played basically every beer hall song I’ve heard in Germany already (although mercifully not Country Roads).

Though the turn out was not all I could’ve hoped, the people who did come made it a very fun evening. Whether it was the in-depth discussion about Olly’s romantic interests encouraged by Casey (who insisted she was one of the guys) or Kerre explaining “The Move” to people who hadn’t heard the story or seen it before (and she’s done the story so many times she has it polished down to a routine) I certainly laughed a lot although several people insisted I seemed melancholy. Not surprising though considering the enormous impact that Toytown has had on me, not just in the people I’ve met but in the very way I behave and perceive myself. Hearing Patrick talk about how it’s going to be more difficult to figure out going out because he won’t be able to just call me and know that not only will I know what’s going on and who’s going where but that I will definitely be there gave me an odd jolt of as though he were talking about someone else, so different is that from how I normally think of myself. But it was flattering to hear him and others express those sentiments.

Speaking of sentiments, for those who hadn’t heard it before I read out my rhyming toast again, and when it was requested again later on, Jennie read it out, doing a creditable job of slogging through my doggerel. There’s something very strange to me about hearing your own words from someone else’s lips, like seeing someone dressed in your clothes or pretending to be you. I am happy though with the toast and think that while not every line is pure gold, there’s enough glitter overall to keep people interested.

I also met Aleks’ new boyfriend, he seems like a nice guy though I didn’t get a chance to talk to him much. I also met Ida’s sister, who didn’t look much like her apart from being short but who will have an excellent time in Munich judging from the plans she told me she had.

Though I had hoped to maybe make a full night of it, people started drifting away, and the ones going out for more such as to Die Bank, were not the ones I would have felt most comfortable with to put it mildly so I made a few final farewells and a few nearly final farewells to those I would still see in the next couple of days and rode with Jennie on the train to Munchner Freiheit where we each got a cab to take us to our homes. My cab driver was a bit strange. He asked me where I was from and the followed that up with a series of questions about whether I was a Christian, a very odd way to end the night, but he did get me back to Garching and so I didn’t care too much, just grateful to get to bed (even with the nightmares I had).

My last day at work was very quiet and frankly that was fine with me. Next comes a dinner and drinks do tonight and tomorrow, and then…Berlin!

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Categories: Germany, Personal
  1. July 15, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    It was a fantastic song to end the night on! Fits most of the ToyTown crowd quite well actually.

    Hope your travels are going well!

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