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Trips

Taiwan4
March 5th - 1 April 2017


Japan6
October 16th - November 11th 2016


Europe
May 22nd - June 13th 2016


Japan5
November 2nd - November 26th 2015


Korea2
March 3rd - March 26th 2015

Even
More
Trips

HongJapWan
March 6th - March 28th 2014

Sichuan
March 23rd - April 10th 2013

Tokyo weekend
October 25th - October 30th 2012

China again
August 27th - September 13th 2012

Japan and Taiwan
March 1st - March 22nd 2012

China
November 1st - November 18th 2011

Korea, mainly...
September 3rd - September 17th 2011

Taiwan / Hong Kong / Singapore / ?
March 25th - April 11th 2011

London, for the third time
June 25th - July 17th 2010

Japan and Hong Kong
May 2nd - May 18th 2010

London again and Hong Kong
February 26th - March 25th 2010

London
September 5th - 22nd 2009

South East Asia
December 3rd - 18th 2005

London and Germany for work with a week in Austria - May and June 2016 - Page 3

Day 10 - Tuesday, 31 May 2016

I finally got to see where I am

This evening I was able to finish work on time, and have the night to myself, to splash around in the puddles of Munich and see where I actually am.
For the last couple of days all I did was walk out my hotel door, into the station, catch a train to a station underneath a convention centre, return home late on the same train and go to bed.
So I was excited to head off in the persistent rain.
The rain is threatening to be a problem for me, as there are floods all over France and its been raining here lightly for days, I wonder what state this has left the mountain trails in the Bavarian alps where I intend to head to on Saturday.

Back a few steps, Germans cant make coffee. I think they graduated the French school of coffee. What appear to be proper cafes have Nespresso machines. The only place I have seen with a person who actually makes coffee and does the milk themselves is Starbucks - much like Paris.
For breakfast your choices are cake, sausage, pretzel or chocolate. Or all 4. And possibly with beer. Beer is very popular, I think Munich invented beer.
At work I had a fancy lunch today, for which I consumed a vegan salad to combat potential future sausage combination meals. This is not news in itself, but the waitress was rude to the point of being funny. I could not work out if it was actually a joke or not.
When I ordered a diet coke with my lunch, the waitress called me a fairy, which I may well be but still. She then seemed to deliberately forget the food orders as she was taking them...for humor.
Then when the bill came she explained that failing to leave a tip will result in being banned from ever returning.

Anyway, Munich is interesting, its like Paris, all buildings have 5 floors. There are a lot of old buildings in the old city, as the name suggests, but the whole place is a tourist area with no cars, so all the old buildings are now modern shops.
There are also brand new buildings that have been made to look old, it must be a rule enforced by the city, some look ok, but others look badly out of place, as the pictures will show.

The main station merges 4 different types of trains - intercity, above ground intra city U trains, underground subway S trains, and trams.
I have discovered that a few of the stations are linked by underground malls such as this, useful when its raining as it is now, you can walk a couple of miles along here and get lost, as I did.
Just make sure you have a zen like control of your bladder, or 1 euro coins, as it costs a full Euro to buy the right to urinate.

Now we start to see old buildings. This is somewhere hitler did something - I have no idea, but he hung out here so one could assume.

This is presumably a church, under reconstruction of course, but it has no crucifix's. Such buildings are quite common, and usually have clocks. Munich loves clocks. But lots of buildings seem to be under perpetual restoration, so the clocks are stuck at 1 minute to midnnight.

Lots of buildings that appear to be churches have passages to courtyards such as this, where they turn out to be places to drink beer instead.

The ground floor of this is starbucks, burger king etc. Not sure whats going on above that floor.
Also Germany does not have a ground floor, instead it is level 0. Very logical.

Here is an example of a pre fabricated ancient clock tower. Note the brick lines are painted on.

I had a Mexican salad for dinner, yes really. It was ok, and quite cheap. I could have got a sausage taco if I wanted.

This is where Goebbels and Goring plotted to become secret lovers.

Also under restoration.

This street is the edge of the pedestrian zone of the old city, it is all the Gucci style shops. I believe they are basically all new buildings.

Quite a few facades have these elaborate statues depicting some kind of mythological tragedy. Which reminds me, there are lots of beggars in Munich around the station where my hotel is. Including a guy blowing randomly into a harmonica, he has a sign in English 'Is not just noise, is Greek music, is tragic, like Greece'.

Look what I found. A diet drink I have never before heard of. Its basically jaffa flavoured. Dear mezzo mix zero people, please come to Australia.

Mother on 2016-05-31 said:
The drink sounds disgusting, but the buildings look fabulously gothic. Have you seen any of my ancestors yet?

Day 11 - Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Beer

My day started really early, 4:15am. The fire alarm went off in the hotel, a regular event apparently.
So I got fully dressed and went for a walk rather than stand out on the street with 500 people and a few fire engines.
At this time, trains are still coming in and out of the main station, I spent the 30 minutes before the false alarm was declared studying the plans for the station upgrade and playing with the automatic ticket machines whilst eating a freshly made pretzel.

As soon as I went back to sleep it was time to wake up and go to work, down at the station this time I saw some real police pushing a black guy around who was kind of play fighting with them. Except these were real police carrying a machine gun. Once the 4 cops successfully kicked and shoved him across the main road they just left him on that side and wandered back.
So all I can think of is our black friend with all the gold jewellery and a white leather jacket is not allowed in the station?

After a long day of work, which involves standing all day and barely moving, it was time to head out to a beer hall and sample the local brew with a refreshing schnitzel!

Brewhouse number one seems to be in an industrial area of sorts. I dont know if they still make anything here, if its old or new buildings.

But it was so busy inside there was no chance of getting a seat, time to move on.

The path to beer hall number 2 crossed over the tracks. No rain this afternoon despite very threatening clouds. It is quite warm and I guess a little humid, hence the thundery looking clouds.

Beer house number 2 is much bigger than number 1, and if you include inside and the expansive outdoor seating areas, it can seat 2500 people!

So I decided to have a beer.
Its actually 0% alcohol beer, I was amazed they even had such a thing. I was hesitant in ordering it in case there was a mandatory jail term to be served.
Maybe its a concession to tourists and children who want to visit a beer hall and not drink beer.

Just as surprising, I had a schnitzel. Not bad and reasonably priced for such a touristy location.

A bit later and having practiced at 4 in the morning, I purchased 4 rail tickets for my travel next week. From the machines you can buy tickets for multiple countries.

Then I continued walking for a couple of hours past the Lowenbrau brewhouse. This is a pub. Its huge!

mother againh on 2016-06-01 said:
What's with the train-like tracks in the middle of the road for the tram? Are there particular crossing places for pedestrians or do they cross the actual track bits?

mother on 2016-06-01 said:
an image i never thought to see in this lot - actually two. You drinking beer, even if no alcohol and a big plate of meat with no healthy stuff on it. Did you go out with your boss perhaps?

Day 12 - Thursday, 2 June 2016

Clocks and accordians

I again finished work late, so dont expect there to be much to see.
Despite the fact it has not rained at all here today until a brief shower this evening, the news is all about states of emergency being declared in parts of Bavaria and people dying in floods.
This has me thinking my upcoming visit to the Bavarian alps may be tricky.

Anyway, for lunch today I had a bratwurst hotdog. It was pretty average, but my sausage quota is now filled.
I dont have any funny stories today, but on my evening walk I did help a person in distress.
I was standing taking a photo of some blindfolded teenagers (see below) when a girl with a huge front and rear backpack, as well as pulling a suitcase and trying to read an ipad approached me whilst sobbing.
She was from Oregon and completely lost, with no map of any kind, looking for a gallery of some sort where she was meeting her 'friends' she had never met before. She had flown in from somewhere in the USA.
Anyway, I showed her where it was on the map on my phone, not far at all and she said she had been looking for 2 hours and didnt even know which may my map was showing her to go.
It was getting dark and starting to rain, so I told her to follow me. I thought it was foolish to follow me, but what choice did she have.
Anyway, it took about 5 minutes, she sobbed the whole way, and I could barely understand her, she almost tumbled down some stairs due to her bags which she wisely wouldnt let me help her with.
Once I pointed out the name on the building which matched the description on her ipad she never even said thanks, just ran towards it as fast as she could without giving me a second look.

Late start for me this evening, but I was able to have train station vegetarian Thai green curry vegetables for dinner for about $8. Great success.

Not a lot of big shopping mall areas in the Munich city, this one is already for christmas.

Clock towers are everywhere.

Look up and you can see a strange man in a blonde wig. He is yelling out poetry to the onlookers below who find it to be absolutely hilarious.

The mighty Isar river.

More clock towers.

This is a group of young people, blindfolded, standing near a homeless person and his dog, forming a kind of joined conga line whilst roaming around the city. Because, Germany?

Yet another clock tower.

Scary witch type thing.

Beer stein world, there are lots of competing stores selling your beer stein needs. Almost all have a busker out the front playing a piano accordion. Those things are damn loud! I didnt take a photo because I am too cheap to pay buskers.

Nothing would stop me from taking a photo of a pipe smoking stuffed mini bear thing with antlers and wings.

Cuckoo clocks are also very popular. They are very subtle.

adriana on 2016-06-02 said:
i don't need a cuckoo clock thanks, or any presents. The floods have made the news hear and in Japan as well.

Day 13 - Friday, 3 June 2016

Scene comparison

Different work day today, so I have time for a wander this morning. This involves coffee, so I was at a popular American chain waiting in line listening to the German staff speak English to an American girl.
This girl was here looking for a 'scene' that best matched her needs. She googled something and described the two different 'scenes' she was attempting to infiltrate to compare that have a presence here in Munich.
The German baristas amusingly asked her if she knew what she was talking about, and that they were surprised someone so far beyond the edge of common culture would drink coffee in a starbucks. I was trying not to laugh out loud, because she didnt know they were making fun of her.
Anyway, she went on and on to discuss how her previous scene had become polluted by people who had strayed too far from the core ideals, of doing very little and complaining about it whilst reading books and smoking (thats what I think she said!). She eventually realised by now she was talking to herself. One of the baristas then asked me if I was in any kind of scene, to which I replied 'rubbish trucks'. My new barista friend replied 'this I understand'.

This is the ancient Roman part of Munich. Caesar built a grand library here to honor Zeuss and Ramses III.

It is also a large amphitheatre for hosting of Cypress Hill concerts where Hitler once delivered his 'I have a dream' speech.

In this part of town, this is a typical German street. I suspect I am in the nicer part of town.

However every corner has a cigarette machine. Smoking is very very popular, with all blonde haired blue eyed tall slim young people smoking outside of universities. Some have gone for elaborate vaping machines, but the majority are huddled in groups of a thousand or more in the designated smoking area puffing away.

I walked to what was said to be an excellent large market. It had 9 stalls in the corner of a small playground. No male public toilets, only female (this is common), just guys hanging out in the park near the children playing.

The market was very disappointing. 2 coffee shops, 2 flower shops, 3 fruit stalls, and a couple of places selling old smallgoods.

Some of the old gates surrounding the royal part of the city remain, despite bombardment in world war 2 by the Swiss.

This is the 'English style Garden' which is actually just a large field in the city with horse trotting paths running through it. It is very large though.
In the far corner is a horse sausage factory to recycle any horses that dont make it back to the stable.

The most famous, original beer house.
Now also a Starbucks and Hard Rock Cafe.

I was enthralled by this rubbish truck which is like a cement mixer body. I followed it for about an hour.

There are a few large department stores, each has a nice basement similar to David Jones. Only everyone sounds like Commandant Klink.
They dont show Hogans Heroes on German tv that I have seen, but they love dubbed 80s US sitcoms, the most popular being Home Improvement with Tim the Toolman Taylor. I remember seeing years ago that was the favourite of all Germany, and it still apparently is, theres a channel dedicated to it.

The store I choos to browser had excellent Ramen. I noticed Japanese chefs and all Japanese customers. Very happy with my choice.
Now I have work to do.

Strawberry Salad

The rain finally came to Munich in the form of an awesome thunderstorm.
There are floods everywhere but until tonight it has barely rained at all here. It was all over in an hour or so, and right now after I have returned home early at 8:30pm due to rain...the sun is shining.
Anyway, whilst I was standing under a building watching the rain in the city square, a funny thing happened. There were lots of little stalls with canvas roofs set up in the square, these were filling up with water. A store owner used a broom stick to push up the middle of his canvas roof before it collapsed under the weight of water.
This sent an enormous torrent of water off the back of the roof, onto the head of a sheltering midget. You might like to call them little people, but whatever hes called, he was now as wet as someone who had been completely submerged in a pool, and furious!
Its hardly the store owners fault, he paid for the roof, and its not like you could see the little guy, he was lower than the top of the counter.

This is the large open area where they stage Oktoberfest. Or a large part of it anyway. In October this is all beer, 100,000 people per night.
I tried to take a photo of lightning but failed, there was a bolt every few seconds, thats why I am standing in the middle of a field with a camera above my head.

Another impressive monument, made of copper. Not content with my open field thunderstorm antics, I decided to go stand by a massive copper statue.

More of the Oktoberfest field area. It needs a field marshall to control it all. The rain came shortly after this. I had to run.

I mannaged to get on a train and come up in the open in this square. More running.

Then it rained harder, so I took photos of rain.

After peak rain, this group of protesters came out to play a song on their drums about aids.

Then I decided on salad for dinner. The special was Chicken vonzliegenstrauberschnell or something, so I got that.
I did not expect it to have chicken, melon, and strawberries, in a vinegar dressing.
It didnt matter, I read the news on my phone whilst eating it and therefore didnt notice what I was eating.

jenny on 2016-06-03 said:
Fruit salad.

mother on 2016-06-03 said:
Your scenes are becoming more and more bizarre. luckily some of us get the references. Ramen looks good.

Page 4 is now a thing you might like to click on.

Contents

Latest Update

Day 1 - Sunday, 22 May 2016
  First of many meals
  Internet in the sky
Day 2 - Monday, 23 May 2016
  Dubai airport is quite large
  Manchester airport is quite old
Day 3 - Tuesday, 24 May 2016
  The cold light of day and night
Day 4 - Wednesday, 25 May 2016
  Cold and damp
Day 5 - Thursday, 26 May 2016
  A real city
Day 6 - Friday, 27 May 2016
  Trafficus horribilus
  London is quite familiar
Day 7 - Saturday, 28 May 2016
  Washing and walking
  Olympic food court
Day 8 - Sunday, 29 May 2016
  Victory lap
  British queues of madness
  Now in Germany
Day 9 - Monday, 30 May 2016
  Raining and busy
Day 10 - Tuesday, 31 May 2016
  I finally got to see where I am
Day 11 - Wednesday, 1 June 2016
  Beer
Day 12 - Thursday, 2 June 2016
  Clocks and accordians
Day 13 - Friday, 3 June 2016
  Scene comparison
  Strawberry salad
Day 14 - Saturday, 4 June 2016
  Gargamel-Patentkitchen
  Kartoffel
Day 15 - Sunday, 5 June 2016
  I made it in 9 hours
  Shut
Day 16 - Monday, 6 June 2016
  Now in Austria
  Time for shorts
Day 17 - Tuesday, 7 June 2016
  Thousands of flying creatures
  I promise no mountain photos
Day 18 - Wednesday, 8 June 2016
  Smallest hotel room ever
  Cliffs
Day 19 - Thursday, 9 June 2016
  Record saturation
  Supermarket is the only healthy option
Day 20 - Friday, 10 June 2016
  Dog piss department store
  Please buy us beer
Day 21 - Saturday, 11 June 2016
  The museum is overrrated
  Dinner time
Day 22 - Sunday, 12 June 2016
  The short flight