Munich Sounds Better With You.


mim

Hello and welcome to one of the final installments in what has been my Year Abroad adventure. You may wonder why the posts have been less regular – the reason is I am trying to ween my readers off gently, to ease them into a time without Munich Man when the inevitable withdrawal symptoms creep in.

This post is what I’ve been up to so far in August.

Thursday 1st of August was David’s Abschiedsfeier (Marcus & Markus) Englischer Garten+Jägermeister+Rote Sonne+DJ Jess+Dave’s sister. Great night. Tilmann was on the babe again, as per. He managed to get a girl’s number at a traffic light whilst we were on the way to the club. Typical Techno Tilmann. David had a great leaving party. David is someone I will definitely stay in touch with.

On Friday we headed to P1 which is the most exclusive club in Munich. Back when club meant an actual club and not “place where any old person can get in”. It was founded in 1949 to serve as a club for the American officers stationed here in West Germany. The troops found it difficult to pronounce the clubs address: Prinzregentenstraße 1, so they started referring to it as P-One. On the evening Max and I rolling up with Irina and Susanne, after a couple of rounds of drinks in Schumann’s, Odeonsplatz and greeted the promoter who is a mate of ours. No messing about, we sauntered straight in paying no entry fee and leaving a load of what I refer to as “VIPlebs” in the queue. Awaiting us inside was the gorgeous Amélie and lovely Vanessa who were partying in the VIP section. They are not at all VIPlebs. They are more like Bond girls. Baywatch style they ran over to us as soon as they saw us and we were all ecstatic to see each other hugging kissing and generally jumping around. We celebrated life by drinking and dancing all night long using our cards to fend off nagging bartenders because, quite frankly, being young was somehow reason enough. How lucky I am to have made such great friends over my time here. Every time I say goodbye to one friend, there’s always another one waiting for me round the corner.

On the Saturday after Lerchenauer See with my good friend Andreas. Munich has lakes which you are allowed to swim in just a few kilometres from the ring road. It was so refreshing to dive into the water. Later in the afternoon I met Chris at the stormy Seehaus a Biergarten which is our equivalent of the Winchester in Sean of the Dead: the Mecca of Munich. After this I cycled through the thunder and lightning and arrived soaking wet at another colleague also called Chris was having a house party.

Sunday introduced Chris to the magic of Made in Chelsea, the banker and we had general youtube session where he introduced me to the first viral video of all time: Star Wars kid.

Monday the 5th was time for lunch with Amélie, Vanessa and Techno Tilmann in the FIZ. A civilised affair, apart from Tilmann’s outrageous attempts at trying to make conversation. We’re like naughty and nice, sugar and spice.

Tuesday Chilled out boys night with Tilmann.

Wednesday was Stammtisch with all my favourite BMW interns at Café Blücher.

Thursday a proper early night. Finally. At last.

On Friday the 9th I somehow found myself in a cocktail bar with five girls of five different nationalities. Don’t ask me how. I certainly wasn’t asking any questions. Amélie, Vanessa, Frankie and Sophie as well as Annabelle. We ordered jumbos. Then to Ruby where Max and Sascha were awaiting us both absolutely battered and sitting like “the Babo” with their drinks.

Saturday Tilmann’s big weekend started at the BMW Museum with Kai and Nico. What I thought would already be a good weekend became even better as I was surprised by my good friend Simon Falk – an essential cast member in the play that has been Year Abroad. We organised for ice cold beers to be delivered to the BMW Welt from my dear Kurdish friends at the Getränkemarkt which they brought within minutes. We relaxed in the sun playing frisbee and having a picnic with the whole gang. Tiffany with the help of Craig had managed to organise a great meet up and Lauren was also in Munich at the time.

Sunday Eisbach with Tilmann, Nico, Kai and joined by Si, Tiff and Lauren as well as Julie and Miren later on. A brief Seehaus session with Chris was in order complete with Post-Ibiza debriefing.

Monday brief beer with the Verbindung. For those of yo who don’t know a Verbindung is a secret German fraternity. Good lads overall with a few small exceptions. Some great characters and budding workers.

Tuesday Auntie Sue arrived for a city break in my city.

Wednesday ate with Auntie Sue. must be BMW Stammtisch day. It was a fairly average event and I was considering heading home for an early night when my mate Auri rang and somehow managed to persuade me to go to Jack Rabbit with him and a couple of girls. The night is a hard one. Partly because of the clientele being a mixture of drug-dealers, body builders and  and the sketchy location. This was not #madeinmunich.

Even though according to ThoughtCatalog, “Catholicism is an S&M cult masquerading as a religion” they do understand the importance of holidays when Mary is going up down like a holy yo-yo suspiciously often in summer. Thanks to Mary, Thursday was a Feiertag. A visit to Dachau was planned with Auntie Sue. Two days after Angela Merkel became the first Chancellor to visit the camp. There’s obviously a lot to take in when visiting a former concentration camp – it’s just so difficult to come to terms with. Particularly disturbing for me were the circulation of the Völkischer Beobachter – the Nazi newspaper. In very simplistic terms; a lot of people must have known roughly what was going on yet few people attempted to do anything about it. Dachau was the first camp of its kind and was to be the template upon which all future camps were to be built. The first prisoners were political enemies of the state; the chairs of various communist or socialist organisations, brave journalists etc. Also incarcerated were genuine criminals, the disabled and then once the propaganda wheel was rolling, Sinti, Roma and Jews were also rounded up as well as homosexuals and others who would have at the time been termed as “undesirables”. It was hell on Earth. The torture and punishment of the prisoners was simply daily routine.

The prisoners would have arrived on trains and then been marched to the camp, stripped of their worldly possessions and photographed like criminals.

Emotional and desperate letters from the prisoners’ loved ones who had escaped to America were futile and rejected on the grounds that their release would endanger the reputation of the Third Reich. Some of these letters can be read in the main building. Of course, particularly striking was to see the iconic wrought iron gates with the cruel twisted words: “Arbeit Macht Frei”.

The 63rd Infantry Division liberated the camp in 1945 and there is a beautiful film in the Dachau Cinema of those first moments when the American liberators clothe and feed prisoners and tend to the injured restoring their humanity. The smiling children in their striped pyjamas throwing their hats into the air, knowing somehow that they were free. Many of these children still live – they just look a bit older now. Another horror is that this atrocity (Dachau representing all concentration camps and death camps throughout Europe) happened in my grandparents’ generation. That means, the perpetrators of these crimes were the grandparents of many of my German friends. Two (sometimes three) generations on they of course feel disconnected and even if they know the history of their family they are quick to say: “Yes, Opa may have been in the SS, but he wasn’t a proper Nazi”. It is difficult to imagine being related to a Nazi. But they were no more monsters than the prisoners were undesirables. The hopeless thing is they were all just people like me and you. This dark corner of history is important to remember in the hope that nothing like that could ever happen again. People are capable of anything – and that can be a good thing as well as a very very bad thing. 68 years on from the end of the Holocaust, let’s hope America can go back to being a positive role model after their recent governmental misbehaviour regarding PRISM.

In the evening, Auntie Sue and I said our goodbyes and I am pleased to report she made it safely back to London. I showed the Seehaus to Jenny & Ricardo with colleagues Chris & Mat. It was nice to relax after a psychologically demanding day.

Friday: pool session and TUM Dachterasse with Chris & Kenny. Followed by Lardy’s & Shamrock.

Saturday: We headed to the pool with Anita and also met up with Laura + sister. Seehaus with Chris, Nicole & Anita. Followed by Schumann’s & Call Me Drella where I bumped into Promoter David again.

Sunday: Chilling out in the AWA listening to Babo and a hilarious rap analysis about his song Haftbefehl. In the evening we did the Lerchenauer Biathlon with Kai, Matthias, et al which involves running to a lake, swimming across the lake, swimming back across the lake and running back home before showering once we realised we stank of fish.

Monday: Madness ensued as Tilmann returned for one night and one night only. Stefan had his Abschiedsfeier which was shut down by the police.

Tuesday was a relaxing evening with ConnectedKai.

Wednesday I had a great lunch with Amélie and in the evening was Stammtisch @ Schall & Rauch.

Thursday was P1 again with Chris. The madness continues.

Friday 23rd of August – today will be the Seehaus with people.

As you can see – it’s been pretty hectic…

Don’t stop the Munich!

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The Duck & Declaration.


This is what I’ve been up to: Firmenlauf, Kastenlauf, Ruby, Seehaus, Pacha, Ungererbad, Seehaus, Chinesischer Turm. There are some great photos and a couple of anecdotes in the post, by way of a reward to the loyal followers of this blog.

#madeinmunich

#madeinmunich

So my last post was on the 12th of July on a gorgeous afternoon in Munich. Shortly after publishing the post, I was off out on my adventures again. Friday evening got off to a fine start. After a busy and satisfying week of work, driving the European economy and pushing profits for the most reputable company in the world, we had a bite to eat and began our brainstorming by rolling around Munich in my very good friend Max’s BMW 3 Series Touring. It was a cool and breezy evening in Munich and we were pondering what to do with ourselves. As usual, the world was our oyster. We got back from our little drive and had a few civilized drinks at the Wohnheim. And if you believed that you’ll believe anything.

When I’m pondering what to do in Munich, a good idea is to see what Niklas is up to.  Fate was such that Niklas was also pondering what to do after a few Maß in the Augustinerkeller he gave Doctor Marcus a call. My instincts came to me and it turned out to be a night of wonder at Christophe’s recommended club of choice in the Bavarian capital. I prescribed a night out a Ruby’s at Stachus which is a guaranteed night of relaxed hip-hop counterbalanced by slightly overly aggressive bouncers of indeterminably Mediterranean origins. I was thrown out for being asleep, which doesn’t really make sense when you think about it. I mean, once he’d woken me up I expressed my gratitude to the bouncer and proceeded to stand up and continue to dance and drink. This was however, never going to happen, as apparently slipping out of consciousness is a crime against clubbing and I was bundled out of the club faster than an Albanian at a border crossing.

Ruby

The night was declared a success, posthumously. After a fairly heavy night out, probably the last thing that’s a good idea to do is a beer marathon. Although on the other hand, since it’s not a proper marathon, proper training isn’t necessary valid. The photos of “Kastenlauf” show the beginning and end.

My mate Jeff and Kat.

Tiffany is in Munich and I made her partake in this traditional Bavarian beer Marathon. We even managed to get in some great Guerrilla Marketing for the blog. This event sums up my year abroad. Beer and running have both been regular activities. A minimal 8km doesn’t sound too bad at first – what’s all the fuss about Marcus? The fuss is having to run around the Englischer Garten carrying a crate of beer and having to complete alcohol-based challenges at five checkpoints along the route.

Me and Tiff  proudly promoting the blog.

The heat was unbelievable and led to our swift intoxication. Those Spanish students who organised it were totally crackers.

A very upbeat Spanish guy. Of course he was – he wasn’t in Spain.

Afterwards there may have been a few girls who I threw into the river. All in the name of good sport. They loved it really, even though they protested at first. Like when you offer them more chocolate cake.

Thursday – Firmenlauf

Disco Dave has now officially moved out of the Wohnheim and is off going travelling in August. He will be sorely missed. one of our final achievements together was B2Run. It’s a 6.2km Fun Run around the Olympic Park and is basically a massive corporate jamboree. Still though, the atmosphere was great and we were fed and watered and generally looked after. We got T-shirts AND medals!

firmenlauf

Everyone’s a winner!

Techno Tilmann has been doing another one of his mental downhill races (last week) here is a video of the race in which he took part involving loads of mountain bikers falling down a mountain.

Friday 26th July.

Seehaus

Seehaus again

Last Saturday was Max’s birthday. We trotted down to Pacha and Max treated us to a very civilized evening. Cheers mate! It was very Made in Munich.

Pacha #madeinmunich

On the Sunday evening I enjoyed a Maß with the boss at the Chinesischer Turm. All was well, although the weather did turn a little too English for our liking at one point. The main event was a couple of quite attractive American girls who were putty in my hands as the British accent was rolled out.  I took it upon myself to do a little more Guerrilla Marketing and went over to the table. Furthermore, I had the displeasure of running into a rather uncouth Australian last night. He seemed to be shouting about how he worked for Audi, which I couldn’t understand. Firstly, is that something to show off about? Secondly, was anyone impressed? As I was sporting a BMW Product Genius T-shirt (thanks Kevin) it became clear that I was about to be picked on. Sadly the Aussie didn’t have the charm to disarm and he was bowled out, just like his fellow countrymen in the Ashes. his tone was unappealing to me and in a rather ungentlemanly manner he made his biggest mistake of the evening. He interrupted me mid-chat-up. There are many things I will let slide, but interrupting the Fabian routine is an unforgivable crime.

“So youuu work for BMW, right?”

“Er..yes.”

“Oi wiirk fa’ Auuudi.” – he sat back and crossed his arms, a faint breeze of satisfaction blew gently over his face. I thought I must have misheard so I raised the question to my colonial brother in arms:

“Sorry I didn’t catch that, do you mean the budget cars or the budget supermarket?”

He was a sitting duck, you could go as far as to say that I’d bowled him out for a golden duck. He was lacking in the comeback department and his mates laughed him out for six. Hey, hey – I didn’t start it. After that I let him be. He had had a lot to deal with. The Australians who I’ve had the discomfort of meeting tend to go one of two ways sadly. There’s the positive way: the guy with a tattoo of the outline of his country tattooed onto his arm and tells you where Perth is even though you already know, they’re nice but slightly dim. Then you’ve got the second path: the smart-Alec. Unfortunately for this particular specimen he was one boomerang short of a hunting trip and suffered duly under some basic wit.

In my personal life I’ve also met someone who’s completely changing the way I think about everything mainly because she’s gorgeous and talented and modest and makes me laugh. She knows who she is. If you are reading this now then I guarantee you know who you are. Yes, yes it’s you. So there you have it. Now she’s now been written about and made me look like a right Charlie. But there it is. There I said it. That’s life. Life is complicated but you just have to embrace those challenges and be thankful that you had the chance to spend some time with the right people.

I’m still loving Munich and I’m making sure I enjoy every minute I have left with my great colleagues, friends and everyone else. I’m definitely not ready to leave yet.

Oh, alright that’s your lot. Get out of here.