Over the past week I have been reunited with my good friend Ludo, viewed some houses and attended Oktoberfest, obviously.
Saturday: It was great to see the boy Ludo, we haven’t seen each other since school but by coincidence he is also in Munich this year to study at LMU. He has been looking for an apartment, so I accompanied him to a couple of viewings on Saturday. The first landlord was just a normal guy, the second was a wicked witch. Ludo obviously preferred the wicked witch of the east. We set off in the morning to get some house-viewing done, and weirdly the overcast weather had made the Fernsehturm look almost like a second-hand maraca, rather than a TV tower.
THE TALE OF OLGA THE OUTRAGEOUS
Once upon a time there was a very intimidating Russian landlady named Olga. She was older than the trees. We pressed the buzzer to her apartment and instantly knew she was a nutter because she had taken the time to etch KEINE WERBUNG in black marker next to her surname. After an initial click, the door creaked open and we shuffled inside the dimly lit entrance. In true horror-movie style, the door slammed behind us and we could see our breath in the cold, damp foyer. If you can call it a foyer. Before we could even gather our thoughts, she burst out of the lift in a cloud of dust, clutching a larg green rug firmly under her left arm whilst her right arm was confidfently outstreched to embrace me. She told us to go upstairs and wait for her whilst she took the rug to the cellar. Guessing that she was in fact preparing a lime green cauldron, we embraced our inevitable deaths and took the lift to the third floor. To make things worse, she had a proper cackle, again more signs that she was in fact a previous Slytherin housemistress. We waited outside her apartment, even though the door was wide open, trying to remember if it was Hansel or Grethel that got cooked in the stove. When she finally came back upstairs she howled with laughter at our reservation and to ease the tension, she cracked out a Chernobyl joke. Needless to say, it didn’t break the ice.
Ushering us inside, she looked like she might actually shove us into a giant microwave and stick us on high for 15 minutes, if not 20. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a rack of carving knives and wondered how many children she had previously butchered. Whilst giving us an interesting but completely unneccessary history of the surrounding area, she mentioned a grand church that was round the corner. Clearly our reaction wasn’t enthusiastic enough and she asked us worriedly whether we were Roman catholic or not. Every few minutes she would interupt with “MOMENT….langgggssam. Ich bin nur eine alte Frau…”. At which point we really didn’t know if we were being rude or whether she was just a complete nutter. Having said that though she was by her own admission completely mad. She explained that “Ich bin ziemlich crazy aber nicht soo crazy”. Yes clearly Olga, whatever you say.
“Jazz ist ziemlich modern, Doppelglas ist sehr modern.” ~ Music and construction were just some of Olga’s interests.
Olga seemed to be recovering from integrating with other nationalities as she explained how different previous tenants had used the shower. “Die Griechen und Japaner duschen hier” pointing to the floor. “Wir duschen aber hier” pointing to the bath. “Verstehst du? Ich weiß noch nicht, wo die Engländer duschen”. This was followed by a lengthly cackle whilst glancing to and from myself and Ludo showing a horrific grin when she displayed her sharp canines and and black, worn-down incisors. (All the better to eat you with). Anyway, Ludo was a massive fan and rang her the following day. Needless to say she had apparently found him too loud and on this basis had rejected him. Sad times. But hey, at least my friend won’t get boiled alive by Outrageous Olga.
Sunday: Every year the middle weekend of the Wiesn is an unofficial Italian weekend. As expected they invaded our city and effectively ruined Oktoberfest for the weekend. Ask anyone, who isn’t italian and they will agree. So naturally Munich was full of outrageous amounts of the people, bringing this time not pizza nor pasta, but bad attitudes and worse facial hair. On top of this they brought atrocious weather. The cheek of it! Thanks to the horrific concentration of them I was unable to get into a tent to see friends and instead had to wait in the rain inhaling their second-hand smoke, only to be turned away and end up going home a bit miserable. So as you can imagine I wasn’t best pleased. The Aussies, Americans and Brits may get bad names but we are definitely not the worst tourists. We may be mental and do a few silly things but at least we do so with the best of intentions. Definitely looking forward to the coming weekend which will be truly a gentlemanly and English affair.
This Tuesday we were all dressed in Lederhosen at work, for one reason and one reason only. We were all headed to the biggest event of all time: Oktoberfest 2012. A Tuesday night, you say? That seems a bit irresponsible…even by Marcus’ standards. Normally you would be right, but this Wednesday was Tag der Deutschen Einheit or the Day of German Reunification. This is to a nationwide bank holiday to celebrate the unification of East and West and the creation of the Bundesrepublik Deutschland. We had tables reserved in the Armbrustschützenzelt, one of the most prestigious tents and a great time was had by all!
And finally a huge shout out to early birds Angus, Miles and Vinnie who travelled from deepest, darkest Yorkshire to be in Munich for the next few days! We will be joined on Friday evening/Saturday morning by Simon, Sam, Scouse, Euan and Adam probably in that order but we’re not 100% sure. Definitely cannot contain my excitement. This will be the real reunification.