Saturday, January 14, 2012

The audacity of brilliance is muted by the notion of a doubt.

Life, nobody ever followed the instructions and had a great story to tell about it later...

I made it to Germany, and through a couple hundred fun-filled kilometers on the Autobahn, in one piece. Yay! 
Those who've been fortunate enough to be able to drive on these famed highways know the moment of truth at the airport doesn't come with landing, nor with getting through passport control and customs.  The moment of truth, my friends, comes when it's rental car assignment time. Yes, it's that moment when you find out what you will ride into the Autobahn battlegrounds.  Therefore, tact and good behavior must be tapped into for this.  I flashed a nice smile and said something random I don't recall right now, and with that the female Hertz employee said "Oh, I'll go ahead and upgrade you since you're 5-Star Gold Member (No, not from Austin Powers)  So then I made my way to the aisles of cars and walked past Mercedes C-Class's, gorgeous Range Rovers, Jaguar XJ's, BMW 730d's (only available in Europe), and for a moment was embarrased for the USA as I (thankfully) passed a Chevy HHR, simply shaking my head in pity for the vehicle obviously shipped to the wrong continent. My chariot for the next 3-weeks is a VW Passat Wagon; not bad at all, and thankfully not a Ford Escort or Chevy HHR. The drive from Munich was absolutely gorgeous, reminded me how much I love driving in the German countryside. Speeding along, I passed farms stretched out for miles over the lightly covered snow dusted hills, AGIP gas stations, Ausfahrt signs, and had some fun in the ever calling, ever respected, left lane. An opportunity presented itself and I accelerated to 200km per hour for a stretch, which brought back that wonderful seat of the pants feel I've not experienced since leaving here in 2006. Ah, what I wouldn't give to have my M3 Coupe here right now...


Although sucking the big time jet-lag frozen corn dog, I’m in good spirits and all settled in to the Klassik Hotel am Tor in the Bavarian city of Weiden.  My room, #61 if you’re keeping score, happens to be in the tower of a building constructed in 1466.  Like many other things in Europe, it’s old, like really old. Based on another photo in my room, Richard von Weizs├Ącker slept in good old #61 in 1988.  I did a quick “Google” (yeah, it’s a verb) of him and learned he was the Mayor of West Berlin and the first president of a unified Germany who had a ten year term in office...So that’s sorta cool. More on that guy
The room is large by European standards, a suite really, and possesses a large bed with two separate twin sized mattresses.  I never understood why they don’t simply have more queen and king size mattresses in Germany, but think it’s probably because there are few vehicles here you can fit a king mattress into when bringing one home from the store. No, I don’t really think that’s the reason, but that’s not a bad initial presumption, and may just work in a drunken trivia battle sometime.

On the flight here I watched two movies, Crazy, Stupid, Love (sweet soundtrack btw) and Black Swan.  The first was fantastic, super funny, and an overall ‘feel good’ flick with a super cool twist at the end.  Black Swan, in a nutshell, is about a bat shit crazy ballerina who is about to burst into tears the entire movie and subconsciously scratches the shit out her own back at night when she’s sleeping.

Some random things I thought of and jotted down during the flight...
They paused Crazy Stupid Love to tell me about the great duty free sale they have on Marlboro Lights (in two languages)... Am sure that really helps those who may have just resolved to quit smoking... Like telemarketers, there outta be an "opt out" for lame airplane announcements.

In other news, I bought a six pack of Bud Light on the plane for $42. #beerisexponentiallymoreexpensiveat39000feet.  Oh, and you just did a doubletake on the word sex...  Wait a tic, now that I think about it I could have simply purchased a bottle of Gray Goose Duty Free for $35 and bribed the flight attendant to let me open it early.

Lastly, in my zombified state I was watching that map of the route they show on the large screen over the front of the center aisle.  Those things are like the CNN Headline News of the skies, but soooo interesting you have to buckle in for fear you just might burst out of your seat with excitement... The info includes some useful details, like the time of arrival (#setmywatch) and temperature (#findmygloves) at the destination... Yet somehow I think the folks who came up with what to tell passengers on these neato screens ran out of good ideas fairly quickly.  Between showing the actual useful stuff just mentioned, there were also some not so useful details, such as...Cruising altitude: 39,000 feet... Um, okay, next... Outside Temperature: -94F. Yikes! Okay, I'm stupid, Spill it US Airways, and explain again why you would tell me this? Is there something I should know about where you send people who get caught “tempering” with the lavatory smoke detecter.  Yes, the sticker in the lavatory actually reads tempering.  Oops...

And so my 21 days in Germany begins, Guten Tag...