Munchen Adventure!


My travel to Munich was eventful. With a life-changing moment in week 1 and a life risking event in week 2, I woke up to the rays of this fresh and cool morning sun of Austrian capital city Vienna. The Austrian airliner from Vienna to Munich took less than an hour flying over the lush green European countryside. Munich airport sounded almost deserted on an early Saturday morning. I landed with lot of suspicion in mind; first of course was the immigration formalities. The lady at the information desk told me that it was already over at the Vienna International Airport (no wonder why that old lady at Vienna Airport stared at me for sometime before giving me the passport back..she should have told me it was the European immigration counter and I would have given her some more respect I guess)

The problems were not over yet; I was not quite sure about my hotel reservation at Munich. First thing; call up the destined hotel to find out if I have a reservation for me. Oh, but how do I make the call without any Euro coins. Yet another information desk came to the rescue. This gentleman was kind enough to give me the subway map of Munich. The lady at the Hotel, Verena talked good English and confirmed that I indeed have a confirmed reservation. Thanks to Horst and Munich MSC Reception.

She asked me to take a train from Munich Airport to Englschalking station and from there; someone will pick me up. Buying a ticket was easier. Only thing you need to do is to stamp the ticket at the subway entrance and the ticket becomes valid for whatever duration you have purchased it.

Station names first appeared to be confusing. To make things worse, there are two directions to which the trains were departing. Without thinking much, I got into the first train that came by. Once the train started moving, my mind started to work better. There was an announcement in German and I soon realized that they were announcing the name of the next stop (btw, “Halt” in German means “Stop”). Now I re-opened my Map and found that I was in trouble. In fact, I was traveling on a totally wrong direction. Not much time to rethink; immediately, got down at the next station.

This incident gave me much more insight about German Subway system. They have the destination station tag in front of each train. And, the map is color coded for easier understanding of each type of trains. Before long, the next train came in and I got in. This time, it took me safely to a country-side railway station. The trouble was not over yet.

I got down and started searching for a public telephone to call up the Hotel folks to come pick me up. And the fortune sometimes does not favor a traveler; a young guy told me there was a street where I might find one public phone. I dragged my 20Kg bag and yet another 10kg laptop (Gosh! they should rename Dell Precision series a Desktop rather. It really is heavy!). Finally, after 20 minutes of dragging the luggage on a German village, I found a T-mobile public Telephone booth. The lady at the Hotel said she will come by in 5 minutes and to watch for a white colored car that has Am Moosfeld written on it. I waited and waited, minutes changed to hours and still there was no sign of Mooseld!

I called up the Hotel again. The lady said, she sent someone who came by to the station, found nobody and returned back. I was stunned. “I asked you to come to the Post office and not at the station, right??”. Then she was like, “but there is no Post Office in Englschalking. For God sake lady, I was standing right in front of this post office. So, I started to spell the name of the street which of course was in German. I could hear the lady laugh at the other end hearing how I was struggling to spell out and pronounce the name of this stupid street. Okay, enough is enough, I asked the lady to sent someone again to the back to the station. I had yet another long walk left back to the station.

Here I was, walking back or rather dragging back the 30+Kg luggage to this little known Englschalking station. Adventure got over finally; as a messenger of God, appeared the white SUV with Hotel Am Moosfeld written all over it.

Verena apologized for all the fault; but, I knew it was not quite my day. She had arranged a nice little room for me with a kitchen and a mini-bar. There were so many varieties of alcohols n bottles of different sizes. I took a shower and decided to head for lunch. The incidents in the morning had made me physically tired. Also, I was very sleepy with the late night flight taking away much of my sleep.

The fun continued; the Hotel restaurant was closed by the time I reached there. Verena was no longer at work, the new fat lady told me to take a 15 minutes walk to the other direction so that I can find a Bavarian restaurant. Somehow, I managed to drag my tired legs to further four-five blocks more. I headed to the first restaurant which was a mom-and-pop shop. They were done with the day’s work and cleaning up when I rushed in. So, they told me something in German which I think meant there is no lunch for you today. I went over to the next nice looking pizza restaurant. I was in double mind to enter into yet another Pizza adventure with what happened a week back clearly in memory. The well dressed gentleman ended my confusion telling me that they were closed for the day already.

Those were the only other restaurants in the nearby area. I remembered my Navodaya days for a moment. The days when I had to skip my breakfast when they serve Kanzhi (which is made by adding water to last night’s leftover rice) and there was nothing else around to eat. The countries change, your profile changes but a human can be rendered helpless regardless.

Across the street, there was a chain food store called “Plus”. I desperately went inside and found they had at least some fruits that I can buy. I took some bananas, grapes, a big bottle of sprite, a can of milk, half-dozen eggs which looked brown in shell color (these were the only things I could figure out buy its appearance and what was written on the envelope; everything else was in German).

Back home, ate whatever I could and slept for a long time. Evening, got up little energized and went for a stroll again, this time around the MSC Office direction. Took some pictures of MSC office and got back to the Hotel Restaurant early not to miss the dinner timings.

Oh, I liked the vegetable soup they served. But the main course Turkey in some stupid sauce was disgusting. Anyway, I called it a day with the FA cup highlights of Chelsea winning over ManU, of course with German commentary!!!
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