I believe Benjamin Franklin said that.
Anyway, I made it to Munich without much trouble. Since I was getting in late Friday and leaving early Sunday morning, I wanted to stay near the train station. or the sake of convenience (and cost savings a little, as I have a private room in Prague), I went with a hostel…and very likely the noisiest one on earth. It’s got its own bar which apparently stays open 24/7, and the windows of this room open to the ‘beer garden’ below, so the lousy music selection (‘Tainted Love’ is playing right now. Cheryl, please don’t tell me Dolly Parton wrote Tainted Love…) comes in loud and clear as well.
The party atmosphere seems to exacerbate the drinking habits of an already drunken demographic. Again, the place is full of people in their mid-twenties who can be heard having the following discussion in the mid-afternoon:
“So what do you want to do now?”
“I don’t know. What do you want to do now?”
“Get totally wasted.”
Speaking of which, I have found one self-evident upside to the top bunk: Last night one of the two guys having the conversation above came into the room so drunk, that he simply crawled into one of the lower bunks and passed out. Unfortunately, that was not his bed, and a woman was already sleeping there! Lucky for him, her boyfriend was in the bunk above and she just crawled up there. The most they did was tease him about, “Be careful about who you crawl into bed with.” And lucky for me, you need to have the climbing skills of a monkey and reflexes of a cat to get into these high bunks. Not exactly a first choice or an easy feat when you’re totally wasted.
By the way, I am 10 for 10 on the top bunk (including one overnight train). I grow weary of the climbing, but I am glad to have it all to myself come morning.
On the bunk across from me is an adorable Scottish girl named Jean, and she’s been a lot of fun to talk to. She started out traveling with her friend, but they had a falling out, so now she’s on her own. Anyway, she told me that earlier in the month she met some American girls who were in Europe as part of a tour. Among other insanity, they asked her when she learned English. When she explained that English is her native tongue, she just has a Scottish accent, they didn’t believe her. I keep hearing these stories of incredibly stupid or arrogant (or both) Americans. I haven’t run into many Americans of any stripe yet myself, but when I come across the ones that think that Canada is part of the US, or Norway is in the UK, or have never heard of Australia, I’ll start keeping track of their origins so we can lobby for their state to get some better funding or something. We’re already unpopular (the Canadians more or less tear into me like I’m George Bush himself), so gross displays of ignorance don’t help our cause!
As for Munich, I went on the Dachau tour today. As can be expected, it was depressing. At the sight of tourists smiling brightly for photos in front of the gas chambers, I decided not to take any pictures at all. It just seemed wrong.
Otherwise, I did the usual: Walk around and check it all out. Munich has some great castles and churches and a lot of beer. However, after reading the pamphlet for women about how to avoid being assaulted during Oktoberfest, I decided I’d lay low on the beer. It’s a lot easier to fight off would-be assailants while sober. Meanwhile, (and perhaps related?) on the desk here next to my computer is someone’s receipt showing they paid euro 9.90 for SCHMUCK. I’m guessing schmuck doesn’t mean the same thing in German as it does in English…
Otherwise, I’m feeling a little sleepy and am now three days without some decent sleep. Despite the sounds of ‘I Kissed a Girl, and I liked it’ (I swear this song is on constant rotation in Europe) blaring into the room, I’m hopeful of some solid shut eye before heading to Prague on the train in the morning.