So I went to Munich for a date.
To defend the ridiculousness of that, Munich was a city I’d wanted to go to anyway and I chose it because of that. C was flying back from the States to Rome and engineered an extended layover to spend the day in a museum with me on Saturday.
Thursday night I was drinking and chatting with W, a guy I met on my Salzburg tour. When you travel for a long time, you get this weird sort of hybrid accent that is in some ways an accent on its own and I identified that about him before I knew the extent of his travels. We hit up a beer garden in Salzburg and two more in Munich that evening, exchanging traveling stories and slowly intoxicating ourselves, him on beer and me on Riesling. Our shenanigans wound down before midnight, as I had to be on an 8 am tour bus the following day. But let’s just say we made plans to see each other on Friday, too. And then Saturday. For breakfast. You know me and those scruffy traveling outdoorsy hobos. I might have types (plural!), and that’s one of them.
On my bus tour to Linderhof and Neuschwanstein, I sat next to a lawyer from LA and we poorly restrained ourselves from making fun of the tour guide. The tour guide’s English reminded me almost of the Asian version of ESL I’ve encountered, but that wasn’t what we were struggling with. It was her word choice. Every sentence she spoke included the word beautiful and every other sentence had the word typical. By the end of the ten hour day we both wanted to throw a thesaurus at her.
Lindorf has a really intricate interior. A bit gaudy, but impressively done and worth the visit to. I must say that Ludwig II was insane. This is something I read about before I arrived, and despite the fact that Bavarians are apparently obsessed with this man, nothing I saw that day convinced me otherwise. He built a fucking castle – Neuschwanstein – to honor Wagner. How is that not insane? Neuschwanstein is unfortunately covered in scaffolding, but it remains The Fairy Tale Castle To End All Fairy Tale Castles. And the interior is all Wagner themed. I left the castle angry at Ludwig II. What kind of sovereign bankrupts himself and ignores his government in the name of whimsical castles devoted to the composer he was obsessed with? What a bloody irresponsible leader. If I was his advisor, I would have been first in line to declare him insane.
Shortly after this picture was taken, I wandered back to the castle for my timed entry and was musing appreciation for my life while simultaneously missing my friends in DC. The result of this musing was the question: How awesome are my friends if my life is this fantastic and I still miss them? Of course, the more you travel the more people you get close to elsewhere so now there’s a half dozen of people in Brighton that I also miss. But the point is, the people in my life are wonderful and I’m glad they’re still there when I roll back into their lives.
Saturday morning I was supposed to meet up with C, the man I had the formal, planned date with. His flight was delayed five hours.
So, instead of the science museum as planned, I ended up taking the S-Bhan out to Dachau concentration camp. Where I spent my entire morning torn between sobbing and wanting to vomit. I cried frequently and blessedly without witnesses. I don’t know how more people don’t do so, because this sure as hell wasn’t the birth control hormones.
I met C at a beer hall in Munich, with only two and a half or three hours to go before I had to leave for my own flight. He was jet lagged and tired after his travel misadventures and I cheated massively on the no gluten thing (beer and apple strudel!), subsequently getting a headache and losing whatever energy I had prior to that point. It was not a fair date, and I felt so bad that he had gone to all this trouble to see me and Munich and was barely going to see either of us that I encouraged him to catch the Treasury before it closed… which he interpreted as “get lost.” So. Anyway. That was that.
When I landed in Gatwick, the completely empty immigration line (what the hell, that has never happened) ended with the UKBA officer laughing at me.
“Are you employed here in the UK?”
“How do you support yourself?”
“… lots and lots of student loans.”
Laughter! Sigh. Oh, bleak future of debt repayment.
Also, upon landing, I had an email from the LA lawyer. “I just wanted to say that I hope your day was beautiful, and that your trip home is typical.”
Yes, actually. It was.