Day 9 – Part Drei – The Voyage Home

25 Sep

The train from Milan arrives in Verona on time. I need to stay awake for the 5 1/2 hour trip to Munich. The goal is to be exhausted by the time I get on the overnight train at 22:10. This way I can sleep the whole way to Berlin.

I have a seat reserved in a 6-person cabin – which turns out to be empty. The cabin next to mine has two young ladies in it. I introduce myself and say I’m traveling alone. I ask if they want to hang out for a bit and they say sure. The other seats in their cabin are reserved but not till we get to Austria.

Tessa and Chelsea are two sisters from a far-away land called Victoria BC. They were in Italy for a wedding and now they are heading to the Oktoberfest for a few days of fun before going to Barcelona or Greece or some place like that.

Blame Canada. It's what I would do.

We get to some town in Austria and this elderly German-speaking couple have reservations for the two seats by the window. The girls appear visibly annoyed as the man has some rather serious BO. As for me, after you’ve been on a three-day Chinese riverboat tour stuff like this tends not to bother you. The couple seem pleasant enough but they’ve got way too much luggage. I offer to lift their bags up onto the storage rack. I give one a test lift, it must weigh 60 kilos.

I do a quick risk analysis on what would look worse: dropping the bag on my head or asking for assistance. Chelsea takes one end and we hoist it up over our heads. Tessa helps with the other suitcase. If the train crashes, I know how we’ll die.

The ticket guy comes by. As he leaves he closes the door. Our plan was to keep it open. Oh well. The train stops again and another bunch of people get on. A woman explains that the previous train did not arrive. Nice. The guy whose seat I’m sitting in shows up and I have to move to the next cabin. Some of the other passengers have shown up. It smells like bananas.

When traveling by train, the sign of a new country used to be a boarder crossing of some sort. Now, your mobile provider sends you a text welcoming you to Austria. Unless you’re leaving Austria. Then it says something else.

I like visiting Germany Junior, every time I’m here I usually have fun. The scenery is beautiful and the Austrian accent is pretty funny. One thing that makes German a great language is the accents. Swiss German is probably my favourite. On the Simpson’s, the German foreign exchange student is named Üter. In the German-dubbed version of the show he’s speaks with a Swiss accent. I love it!

Don't make me run! I am full of beer!

While writing the previous paragraph I realized I don’t know how to spell “Üter”. I ask my travel companions for help but we are unable to come to a consensus. After a few minutes of discussion we cannot even agree on the pronunciation. When we finish they remain unconvinced that it’s even a real name. I stand firm that it is.

I had no idea that Austria had so many mountains. For some reason I thought it was flat, like the Netherlands. It must be because former Austrian roommate Clara never spoke of this subject instead preferring to talk about topics of a political nature. This is all fine and good, but next time a foundation of trust should be established on top of the physical attributes of the nation and then we can move up to politics.

Die Bergen

The police are on the train now looking for smugglers and bandits. It’s impossible to tell if these cops are Austrian or German. They are wearing coats but it must be 30 degrees in here. The badges on their sleeves have a some sort of mythological bird.

The train does not crash and we arrive in Munich unmarked. As I stand to exit the cabin I notice that the heater is turned on. I switch it to cold and everyone laughs.

My plan for the Oktoberfest is simple

  1. go to the Oktoberfest
  2. find a table where I can drink beer and eat a whole chicken
  3. order a mass of beer and a whole chicken
  4. eat the chicken and drink the beer
  5. order another beer
  6. drink another beer
  7. return to the main station not dead

I think a simple plan is important. I’m all about reaching for the stars, aiming high, blah, blah, blah, but in this instance the lack of planning and five-hour time window have made me seek a more modest outcome. If my goal is to have the best time of my life, I’m going to be disappointed no matter what happens. But with achievable, well-defined goals (food, drink), I’m bound to be pleased with the result.

I am also a bit concerned because I don’t have any sun screen and the sun is really shining. Sorry mom. But it’s after 16:00 now so it should be getting dark soon.

4 Responses to “Day 9 – Part Drei – The Voyage Home”

  1. Bene September 25, 2011 at 10:31 #

    This is soooo fun! I hope Clara is reading your blog! See you in Berlin then!

    • Die Hard Three September 25, 2011 at 10:54 #

      I’m in Berlin now. I still need to write up the Oktoberfest post. The last 36 hours have been pretty intense.

  2. Amie September 25, 2011 at 21:00 #

    Hey Jason,
    it is fun reading your way from Italy to Munic… via Austria… I just returned from there (Graz) myself… I had to laugh when you said you thought that Austria is flat…. it is the country where most German go for skiing… Switzerland being very expensive … so you might wanna keep that in mind 😉
    In case you wanna see the German coast… think about Bremen and me 🙂 I would love to take you on a trip for a some real North Sea crabb meat and some good Beck’s beer and Korn 😉 …. If I happen to be in the big B within in the next couple of months I ‘ll let you know. So far: have fun in our capital, and welcome back here

    • Die Hard Three September 25, 2011 at 21:03 #

      I think I now have three people to visit in Bremen. I will have to make it there!

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