Some Things Refuse to be Simple

We’re in Berlin for a conference. The hotel was already paid by work, as far as we knew, all we had to do was drive the 4-5 hours. Fairly simple.
We get to the hotel and are informed that not a single room is available. Apparently we should have called 2 hours earlier to confirm our arrival. Not to worry. There’s a more expensive hotel down the road that only has a smoking room available, they will kindly hold it for us for 15 minutes. We scramble.
Perhaps he’s an omen or just added to the atmosphere of the night but after checking in we return to the car for our bag. There’s this guy circling the cars on his bike, looking into the windows. He approaches us and starts sing-talking in German what roughly translates to,

“A knife in the eye,
A knife in the head,
I swear to god”
(It does kind of rhyme in German)

We’re almost at the hotel door. He’s across the street and whistles at us. Ingrid says she’s calling the police. We tell the hotel girl about him. We cannot leave our car there, he knows which one is ours. Luckily he’s not visible when we go back out. I’m pretty sure I didn’t see a bike parked next to the car before though.
We safely move the car to another area and sleep a little in the smelly room.

Welcome back to Berlin


Hannover Oktoberfest

It was interesting. Quite different. Yeah, they have the German standard of amusement rides, carnival tricks and games. They also have fireworks, beers and security patrols. The crowds were quite large, but they weren’t sitting, drinking the beers. Most of all the tables were empty for almost all of the night that we continuously circled around the place. More on that to come.

First off, let me introduce our journey, we had finished all of our usual Friday things and were free to enjoy whatever it is our fancy took the form of. We had researched trains and hotels and decided that it was really a bit too expensive to go to Hannover and stay there. We thought that driving gave us some flexibility, provided one of us didn’t drink so much. Our drive took us to Oldenburg, where we had lunch in a restaurant that Ingrid will apparently never forget. She had a pasta with truffle butter and was wild, completely frothed and rabid over it. I had something completely different that was ‘merely’ ok. We completed our drive and managed to get a decent, most importantly free, park spot near all the action. History tells us that we naturally then headed the wrong direction.

There was a jobs fair on, we didn’t know this.

Let me explain. After we got out of the car and began walking up the street we spotted a Biergarten. Naturally we drank a large beer each there. That started our quest for more and different beers! We left the Biergarten and followed a crowd of young people, they should be going to Oktoberfest, where else do young people go?
Jobs fair. An answer neither of us predicted. It did grant us the chance to walk into an extremely large, grandly decorated palace-like building that I don’t think either of us would get to enter normally. They also served beers for the people who wished to have some as well as simple snacks, Bratwurst and similar. A stand out for me, because I agree it’s necessary to have people work in this industry but I cannot see too many teenagers being wow’d by it, was the bus. They would allow an ordinary person to walk all over the bus!! hahaha
This time when we left we looked at the map.

Oktoberfest was quiet to begin with, there were a lot of younger adults around, but it was easy enough to move around. There also weren’t any queues for rides. We did an exploratory lap of the place and decided that there were 2 roller coasters that we had to try. The first one presented one of the most genius ideas – there are basic obstacles on the way to the ride; if there were a queue it wouldn’t feel so bad because you could distract yourself, at least long enough until you moved onto the next obstacle. Watching the few other people use the roller coaster did not prepare us for how much it felt like the whole ride was doomed to fall apart and you were going to plunge to your death. That was genuine fear. I managed to get a pose that made a great photo, which we bought, as a trophy of conquest. The second roller coaster had the gimmick that most of it was all in mostly darkness. It was cool but without seeing things it seems to make you feel safer, or maybe it was just the way the ride was… safe. The darkness inspired us to enter a haunted house thing and I ruined it for the poor guy, who was really the only scary thing in the house. He appears and talks to you, touches your shoulder, all when you’re not meant to be expecting it. I was expecting all such things and greeted him as he approached, I’m a jerk.
Our hunger for rides had been defeated and our hunger for food and beers was brought forth with great wrath! We had some spit roasted pork that was great, a Bratwurst that exploded what I can only assume is hot fat, when it was bitten into – naturally it’s terribly unhealthy, so tasted great. There wasn’t a great deal of different beers on offer, luckily it seemed like nobody was much concerned with drinking, which seemed odd, but was still better than the masses that fight to drink in Munich. My error was I ordered a half litre of beer and then later went to order the “Maß” beer, which I thought was different, but means that it’s 1 whole litre of beer… still, I smashed it.

The Principle Remains

There’s a fairly major street that’s been closed to be worked on. Both directions are blocked by barricades. Where I cross the street are traffic lights, do I wait for the green man? Of course not. The risk is zero, unless someone decides to ram the barricades and hunt me down for my brazen actions.
Everybody else stands and patiently waits for the walking man to turn green. Perhaps some people have nothing better to do, or maybe it’s the principle. There’s an existential question behind this for sure.

Oktoberfest Comes!

We’re planning on going to Hannover to celebrate. We’ve done München and were looking at Stuttgart  (the 2nd largest) but Hannover is very pretty and much closer. It claims to be the 3rd largest in the country.
Who was the 3rd astronaut to land on the moon? I do not know.

Münster Returns

We returned to Münster, with the lord of Münster himself, Stephen. It seems like almost anytime he has time, he goes there. Naturally, like all creatures with habits, he had not been to some of the places that us lowly, new tourists had discovered when we went there. It is cool to create a tourist out of somebody who was once a local (he used to live there many years ago).
The main purpose of this visit to such a town was a fairly special event, one that Stephen assured us would be fantastic, particularly with earning us street cred with general German population. I have a great beard, I need no more street cred, I did, however, decide to increase their coolness stats by accompanying them. Yes, I sure did just turn that around and gloat. It happens sometimes, like a short guy at the urinal, keep on your toes!
Tatort is a crime show, I believe a German and/or Swedish one. I don’t care who made it first, I’ve never seen it before. This weekend was to be the screening of a movie length episode, or perhaps it was actually a movie, in which case, I think I need to talk to some people about the poor standard. That’s cool, I hear you think (I am in your mind!), but so what, why travel for that? The thing is, dear reader, that the presentation was in an open air cinema in front of the castle in Münster. Now that raises the pretty special experience bar a bit!

The Friday night before we left was a late one, which wasn’t the plan, these things happen. We were supposed to wake up and get out early. It’s a 2 hour drive and nobody wants traffic to make it worse. That all fell apart and man were we made to suffer! It took us 3 and a half hours, the hour and a half was mostly sitting in traffic. Of course we tried other routes to get there, so had half of the other people who were sick of waiting, which made all the other routes congested too. We got there though and were hungry.
Ingrid and I knew just the place to go. Drubbelken is one of the most classic and special German restaurants one could imagine! The building is ancient, mostly wood, including all the little decorations they have accumulated over the centuries. The food is on the cheap side for price, but the servings are generous and delicious, well worth the money and effort. Another thing of note is that it’s near the Pinkus brewery and they offer their beers there, but one could simply walk to the brewery and drink there too, if one wished. The service staff also wear costumes/uniforms that look of times gone by. The menus are hand written an old type-font, then photocopied. There’s a lot of effort here. Stephen had never been, he was remarking a great deal of the food quality being similar to what he remembered of his Grandmother’s – that’s a full 10 points!
So we ate, drank, paid, left.

Then came the feature in front of the castle. As mentioned before it’s a crime show, or similar, somebody dies or is killed, a detective works to solve it etc etc. I won’t write too much about it, because, well, my German is not good enough to laugh at ironic or sarcastic statements, I simply don’t understand yet. I can follow the story, the acting helps with that – but and here’s a way to relate, possibly, I could watch such a show with the sound off and still get 70% of what’s happening. There were two guys in front of us that smoked constantly, seriously, as soon as one cigarette was finished, thus began the next. That was annoying. It was funny to see one of their wives, who was complaining about people walking to the toilet the wrong way (over a short hedge), then attempt it but get caught by an event person and then try to argue about it. Take that for judging others and being hypocritical!
Justice was made that day, on film and off.

Welcome Baby!

No, not us!

Welcome to Daniel and Emily’s first baby. We’re very happy to hear that she has finally graced the Earth with her presence and are sure that she is loved by all that meet her.

Daniel and Emily, you’ll be terrific parents and when you don’t think you are, know that you are not the first to think this way and you are never alone.

Lots of love and congratulations!

Nuncle and Inni

I Need A Word

Blank post again eh?

The word I need is for an attractive guy who is probably rough around the edges but has a sensitive side. A Hollywood  (and therefore something you all know and relate to) example would be Hugh Jackman. He’s Wolverine, he’s tough, has muscles and facial hair but off screen he’s a sweetie.

I am sure there’s a slang word for it.