107 – Berlin Beckons

“The longer I stay in one place, the more of myself I leave behind there.”

On the bus to Berlin now and writing from my phone again. I thought about waiting until I reached Berlin, but I don’t know what the night has in store for me so I wanted to just write this now. The only plans I have are to check into a new hostel, shower up, get some dinner, and maybe grab a drink at the hostel bar. Last time those were my plans I ended up at a night club with new friends. 

The walking tour I took yesterday turned out to be one of the greatest decisions I’ve made this trip. Not only did I learn some history about the city, but it helped launch a memorable farewell to Munich. Munich, by the way, was almost completely destroyed after the wars. When they went to rebuild, they found all the plans from the previous design of the city so they had a vote. Should they recreate the city in its previous image, or should they start over with a new, modern city? I think they made the right choice by keeping the image the same. #TheMoreYouKnow Also learned about how the city itself was originally founded and how the Oktoberfest was founded, both very cool stories. I won’t share them now because writing on a phone isn’t the most convenient of methods, but perhaps in the future I shall. At the end of the free tour, when it actually became a 10 euro tour after tip, I had another choice to make. I could continue about my day and just check out some of the few remaining sites on my list, or I could linger around and see what others were doing. The couples there went off on their own way, but I noticed one group that seemed to be composed of other solo travelers, so I slithered over to further investigate. I said, “hey guys, what were you thinking of checking out next?” “We’re heading to the Englischer Garten to check out the surf spot, you wanna come?” Boom, just like that I was in. Technically I had already explored some of the Garten, but I didn’t see the main surf spot and I was in the mood for some company. 

I haven’t fact checked it yet, but I’ve heard that the surfing wave was created after the Second World War by American soldiers. Apparently they were in the city and wanted to surf so they created the wave. #TheMoreYouKnow After watching some people surf, and some completely wipe out, we decided to head over to the beer Garten in the park. My group today consisted of an Indian girl visiting the city to see if she wanted to attend Uni (the international slang for college, short for university) there, an Indian guy from Mumbai on a music festival circuit and backpacking trip, and an Australian girl from Melbourne, also simply backpacking. I feel like all other cultures are so much more well traveled than Americans. And we really aren’t prepared for life outside of the states either. (Especially considering the fact that we refuse to join the metric system) The beer Garten in the park was awesome, not too crowded as it was only Monday afternoon, but it can hold 7000 people so I’m sure it would take some kind of an event to get it to feel crowded. Beer was great there too, served in 1 liter steins of course. We sat drinking for a bit and exchanging tales of where we were all from. Apparently in India, getting a drivers license is as easy as, “ordering a beer”. Maybe that’s why we have the stereotype of Indians being crazy drivers. Oh and Aussies really do use the phrase, “yeah no”, like all the time. #TheMoreYouKnow

Almost forgot to mention my lunch that we got on the tour, cheese sausage (the cheese is in the fucking sausage!) sandwich and a beer for only 5 euros. Would have never found that spot either if it weren’t for the tour guide. I think I’m going to start my Berlin trip with a walking tour. Anyway, after finishing our beers (I finished first by the way, just saying) we went back to the hostel to shower and change up. Wait no, we had one stop in between there. We went up this old tower, 500 wooden narrow steps, to check out one of the best views in the city. Munich is even more gorgeous from above. After we changed back at the hostel, we lost the female Indian, but gained a new memeber, a guy from Seattle. Went to dinner at the Augustiner beer Garten to try probably one of the most exclusive beers in the world. Well, they aren’t exclusive in Bavaria as they are one of the big six breweries there, but they don’t export their beer anywhere, not even to other parts of Germany. Interesting facts on them, one year Munich had a heat wave so there was a big shortage of beer. The city asked Augustiner if they could produce more to help out, and they declined saying quality would suffer. They chose to value their product over their profit. Also, 51% of all their profits goes to charity, so it’s basically like you are drinking for a good cause when you visit. #TheMoreYouKnow

It was funny, as we were walking to the beer Garten, someone pointed out how empty the streets were and mentioned that Munich must shut down early. No, all the people were just already drinking. We found a few empty seats at a table with some Ukrainian young professionals who turned out to be quite welcoming. They even recommended some good food options for us. Went to another beer spot after that, then went back to the hostel to unwind at the bar there. The stomach can only physically hold so much liquid, so I was done drinking by now, but I still opted to hang out for some conversation. Two new girls joined the table, but they had really negative energy so I was trying to tune them out. One looked like a witch from a brothers Grimm horror tale and kept talking about all the drugs I needed to try in Berlin. No thanks, you can keep your shitty life choices to yourself creature. The other girl, whose face looked like the moon in super Mario world that gives you three lives, was one bad event away from clinical depression, and kept trying to bring up family members that committed suicide. Thankfully I was saved from this terrible tag team by last call, so I said my goodbyes and went off to bed. 

I think the bus is about an hour outside of Berlin. About two hours ago we pulled over at a rest stop area and two police officers boarded the bus. I couldn’t understand if they said what they were looking for, just that they were checking everyone’s passports. When the officer opened mine he goes, “Schroeder? You speak German?” I told him only a little bit and he just went about on his way. I swear I can’t make this up, I feel like having the name Schroeder in Germany is equal to having the name Kardashian in Calabasas. I’m just as excited now as I was for Munich. My original plan was to walk from the bus station to the hostel so I could see more, but I didn’t take into consideration the fact that I’d have all my stuff strapped to my back. Think I might just brave the train system instead. 

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