Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bianca's back

She's been stuck in a box all week, padded down and wrapped up. But now she's out. A little meddling with the brake lines, reattachment of the pedals and tightening of the cables and she's ready for the road. Although, it looks like her front wheel is now a bit out of true and she desperately needs some chain lube. Something for the weekend.

The Himmel is blau-ish today, so a late afternoon ride may be in order. The countryside here is nice for rides - flat, with many small unpaved paths and lanes. It's time for some exploration. It will get me away from the incessant sound of construction as work-crews insulate my apartment building for the winter months.

I caught up with Franzi and her colleague Kai last night at the Studentenstadt. This stop on U6 is right next to a set of tall apartment blocks that are reserved for students from all the various universities in the area. It has the feel of urban dorms in some City college; looming oblong buildings with spare furniture and sundry stuff in the balconies, dim lights, a central square littered with paper and, the reason we were here, a bar with really inexpensive beer.

In keeping with the environs, the bar is not unlike one you would find at a college. Not really run-down, but it has the feel of a hostel to it. The atmosphere is different somehow, the sound of the conversation is different from a normal bar. Everyone is much younger of course. The only older people are drunk loners and us (Ok, thats being unfair. There are a couple of groups of professor-types). The guy behind the counter is more hardened than a regular bartender. Also, you pay for the glasses and plates and get reimbursed if you return them in one piece. I guess that's the German way to save on the waste of paper plates and plastic disposable glasses. It seems to work.

All of this may turn one away, but the beer is Euro 1.80 for a half-litre von Fass, almost half you'd pay at a regular establishment! So, of course, I imbibed with gusto. There are some distinct advantages of knowing that you don't have to drive back anywhere.

Franzi is leaving tomorrow for Leipzig to take up a new job there. Upon seeing my disappointment that she would be leaving Munich so soon after I arrived, she clarified that the job enables her to spend half of her time in Munich, starting November, so she'll be back. The new job is a good step up for her to a new, expanding company and a position of management, so I'm happy for her. She is turning out to be a good friend and a connection to a larger social circle of German people of my age. Both good things for me.

After two days of late night drinking, today will be a quiet evening, for which I am glad. Time to bring out that tandoori mix, fire up some grilled chicken, crack open a cold non-alcoholic beverage and get some work done! Cheers!

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