Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Grüß Gott!

Munich's main cathedral, the Frauenkirche

George and I will be spending the holidays in my former neck of the woods. Yes, we’ll be flying to Munich to visit family and some friends and to show George around my old stomping grounds.

I haven’t been back to München since September 2001. Up until then, traveling has always been a very pleasant experience for me. But since the awful events on September 11th, traveling has become a hassle, almost a chore and I’m not necessarily looking forward to the flying part of this trip.

Interestingly enough, I always loved to fly. Flying used to be very special to me back in those days. That was when airline passengers weren’t treated like cattle. When there was still something called customer service and a certain pride to keep passengers happy. When people were still pampered by the airlines and were served complimentary meals and drinks on long-haul flights. Heck, even on shorter routes airlines would at least serve sandwiches. And remember pillows and blankets? Well, not anymore. Not only are passenger being treated like cattle, the airline industry discovered that passengers are cash cows. Now airlines charge for everything. There’s a fee to implement a fee. I wait for the day when they start charging for the usage of lavatories.

Oh wait, that already has been suggested by an Irish airliner. Oh joy!

But for now we’re just happy to have found airfares and a hotel which were reasonable. Even trying to book a trip has become a pain. When did every little pleasure in life become such a hassle?
Anyway, that part is done and we’re just concentrating on having a grand time in the Bavarian capital. Not only have I not been back in over eight years, it’ll be my first winter in almost 20 years.

Uh-oh, what was I thinking?

The Eisbach flowing through a wintery Englischer Garten

Maybe the weather won’t be as cold and there may not even be any snow on the ground. It usually gets really snowy and icy by late January and February. Then again, this may be the winter of all winters and it’ll have full-blown blizzard conditions. Since this would be George’s very first winter experience, why not go out all the way?


It’s funny how we ended up going to Germany. First we thought of visiting Bangkok and Hong Kong, maybe Japan. It ended up costing more than we anticipated, despite the really good offers we had found at first. Then we thought about spending a few days in London (my other stomping grounds) or Amsterdam.
They want how much for this dumpy looking place? Uhm...No!
Even staying in the good ol’ US of A is getting way too pricey. Americans can’t even afford their own country anymore. On top of barely getting any vacation time whatsoever and having no money, how are Americans supposed to explore the world if they can’t even make it past their own city limits?

Traffic signals in Munich usually don't stay red as long as they do in Las Vegas

Believe it or not, but Munich is a real bargain in comparison. So why the hell not? George has never been to Germany and is eager to visit. He already knows some basic German phrases. I’m sure that knowing how to say “I’m hungry” and “I love you” will help to get him through any sticky situation that may arise in case I’m not around to translate. Of course, saying “Ich liebe Dich” to the wrong person could prove somewhat perilous.

That’s the stuff of what future memories and great stories are made of.

The Maxmonument on Maximilian Straße. I used to live just around the corner.

So, my fellow bloggers, look forward to more riveting entries and prepare yourselves for breathtaking photography in the coming year. However, fantastic tales of drunken gamblers and sleazy girls must suffice for now. Not that you would ever find us in that kind of milieu. But who knows?

This is Sin City after all.


Jeff said...

Oh, you guys will ahve an amazing time!

Anonymous said...

Not only you look forward to come to Germany ... I look very much forward too and i am sure you both will enjoy the time here very much.. Susanne