“We keep running as to not miss what is not really there”.
That was the quote that my new friend and roommate of the last week, Christian, wrote in my travel journal. I think that he uses it in a Buddhist context, but it hit me directly between the eyes when I applied it to my vagabonding. What am I looking for? IS it really there? I dont know, but I made a vow to myself to keep traveling until 1) I run out of money 2) I get killed 3) I run out of places to go. So far none of the criteria has been met, there were a few close calls, but I have to keep going.
So…I leave for Munich in 1 hour. I dont know anyone there, so its back to smelly, crowded hostels for a few days. There are plenty of distractions to keep my mind off of the pain, however, and lots of biergartens if the distractions dont work. I have to hang with the Bavarians until Sunday, I have a ticket booked to Brussels to meet some Dutch friends.
My week in Konstanz was awesome. Great weather, great friends, a beautiful lake, some birthday party craic, some climbing…everything a good vagabonding stop is made of. I spent all day yesterday just wandering the city centre and talking to a few people. I met an 85 year old woman that spoke perfect english. It turns out that she was a translator during the war and now she has retired to Konstanz. She was quick to tell me that she did not side with the Nazis. Being an ex-soldier, I think about the war from time to time, especially when I see the older men here, because there are quite a few retired here. They were definitely the correct age, were they in the war? Some are in wheelchairs…..I wonder if it was an allied weapon that took his leg? Morbid maybe, but these guys are living history and I would pay the rest of my travel funds to hear their stories (in English) and to get the “other sides” point of view. I lucked out and found a jacket replacement for 25 EUR, not bad. I also got a 15 EUR haircut in a shopping mall here. the girl was nice, but didnt speak much English. Other than loosing control of the clippers once and marking the back of my head, it was probably the best budget travel haircut I have received. Much better than my Laos, $1 haircut experience. With Verenas help, I managed to find a ride in a private car (free other than the ferry costs and splitting petrol) to München. It should be interesting riding in a car for 4 hours with people I dont know, I am looking forward to the drive though. The countryside will get nicer and more inviting as we get closer to Austria I am sure. Ridesharing is pretty popular here in Germany, as the buses arent that abundant and the trains are too bloody expensive. Unfortunately, nearly every German person that I have asked about Munich, did not have many nice things to say about the city. It is the most visited city in Germany, so I will try to make up my own opinions. Hopefully it wont be a bunch of tourist-pleasers like oompah bands, men in green suspenders and hats, and thousands of well dressed Japanese taking pictures of large women exploding out of their tops as they try to juggle 10 steins of beer in each hand.
Life is good!