Saturday, May 31, 2008

Ze Deutscheland : part3

So these posts will be a little weird chronologically .. I am doing the parts that I feel I remember more about. In this case, it will be the Augsburg portion of the Germany trip. Part 1 was Berlin, and part 3 was Munich, which will come later. Yes, I keep promising these "later" posts, but they hardly ever happen. Well, sue me ! I own this blog, and retain the right to be as lazy as I want to be.

Anyway, I took the IC (2nd in rank after ICE, but before RE/RB) train from Munich to Augsburg Hbf (stands for Hauptbahnoff, or main railway station) on Sunday the 25th. What I did not realize was that I had to reserve a seat also .. and had to spend the entire 40 mins journey sitting in the space between the compartments. Not a big deal, but did bring back some memories of Indian Railways journeys in unreserved bogies.

I had had 2 litres (yes) of beer in Munich, and that also made the journey bearable. I was kinda dozing so was glad I could get off at the right place. Train was 5 mins late (causing a majority of the germans on board to grumble about the deteriorating state of their railway systems - or maybe they were just having polite conversations, i could not tell). Dani was a very welcome sight on the platform, and Tobse even more as soon as he informed me that we would be heading to a beergarden for dinner.

This was again turning out to be one of those days where you are surfing .. on a high. Had another litre of beer, along with some great schnitzel (Dani - I am counting on you to correct me in these matters). Caught up with each others lives, and with those of various acquaintances. Gossip, philosophy, lifestyle were all discussed, continuing into the night at Dani's lovely apartment over vodka.

Dani had taken the next day off, so we started the day with a great Bavarian tradition : Weiss beer and white sausages for breakfast (I love Bavaria, reason # 3). We walked down to the town square through these cobbled alleyways, with small canals running alongside. Love these small european towns. After that, just wandered aimlessly (well, the aim was to discover the next drinking place) around town, drinking more beer/coffee. Went into the church where Dani's parents had gotten married. Saw Lia's old apartment. "And we talked about some old times, and drank ourselves some beer, still crazy after all these years" (Paul Simon)

Tobse volunteered to cook some excellent Thai noodles for dinner, which we had (with candlelight, mind you) on the smallest balcony to have ever seated 3 people. Next to the flower beds. On newly laid wooden tiles. Yes, Dani is officially a Spiesig. I did not say it. Its straight from the horse's mouth.

Woke up really late the next day. Puttered around, catching up on email and stuff. Went with Dani to her parents' place in the evening. Was great to see them (and this time was actually able to talk to them, because the last time i was stoned to my gills). Had some excellent bread with sourcream. And of course, more beer. Basti (her brother) (Dani, I hope i have the name right) announced that he was supposed to take part in a radio sponsored contest on Thursday. A sort of walkathon. I have never before met anyone who has participated in any one of these contests. Check one off the list. I think he liked me, as he decided to grace us with his presence at the beergarden (did i mention that tuesday is again beergarden day ? did i say that i like Bavaria ?) that evening. He is the first German i met who speaks english with an american accent.  American media will one day rule the world.

After Tobse came home we walked to the other beergarden. on a hill. with walls where people sit and almost vertical drops. I wonder how many folks have fallen backwards. I guess not enough to be able to threaten the popularity of this serious beer drinking establishment. Julia joined us there (Hi Julia).  It was a Reif family bonding session ! Dani had to go home because of a headache, but Basti, Julia and I decided to continue on. We went to the town center, where Basti pointed out all the cool spots, and seemed to know all the cool folks. A hi to a cute girl here, a flirt with a waitress there. I think he is doing well in the Augsburg social circle. Quite a cool guy actually, told me everything there is to know about the happenings in this town.

Julia bought this very nice looking girl with her called Michelle (pl excuse the american spelling) (and the possible beer goggles). Who I later found out hates Dani. And is quite conservative, and is studying Christian theology. (Another check off on the list : meeting someone studying religion). Did manage to shock her with some of my remarks on gays and lesbians, but in my defense, she started it. The evening ended with the ideal food for the occasion : Doner Kebabs ! Yum !

The last evening deserves a whole post of its own, and this is one i will definitely do. Because I will introduce a very entertaining personality, along with some (apparently) Bavarian aphorisms. Tcheuss for now.