Tuesday, September 28, 2010


ToyTown Tuesday. It's a venue for the Englisch speaking community here in München to get together and have drinks. Which is why I went to Ysenegger on Ysenburgstrasse today at about 20:40. It was quite an evening and not completely in a nice way.

The pub was decent, but crowded, as a horde of Müncheners were there to watch Bayern fight (and defeat) Basel. The arc of the game kept the atmosphere loud, and this kept the couple of Englishmen in the group, loud by definition, to dominate a fair bit of the conversation. I don't begrudge them - they seemed nice, but like most loud Englishmen, were more inclined to split the group up on female oriented lines than work to bring us together. In any case, the girl from CA was very nice, and so was Kim, who isn't actually a Kim, BTW. After many beers, a split cheeseburger and lots of conversation, I accompanied the closing crowd to Rotkreuzplatz station, in the hope of catching a train back to Garching. The U-bahn took me as far as Sedlinger Tor, at which point I watched the Californian girl ride off in the opposite direction with a 17-yr old kid named Max who had just returned from his daily job doing lights for the Erotik show at Olympiapark. Ja, du hörst richtig! No, she wasn't taking him home (at least I don't think so, but, I mean, he has seen some things, hasn't he?). They just happened to be going on the same line. And, yes, he does have photos from work on his phone. Close ups, no less. Apparently, he works 7 hours a day, both soft and hardcore shows, and, whowudathunk, a lot of the "aktion" is choreographed. You think Californians are forward people? Both the CA girl and I were blushing and felt like prudes.

The CA girl said that we would talk at some point. Lets see how that goes. She is a pretty version of a young Linda Hamilton and she likes Firefly, so I'm game.

From ST, I realized that the U-bahn was not going in my general direction, so I walked to Marienplatz, by some fancy, well-lit and shut boutique stores. On the way, I put on my best American accent to ingratiate myself with a bunch of drunken American teenagers. I've no doubt that it didn't work. At Marienplatz station, I realized, with some trepidation, that all 12 of the people waiting for the train were foreigners. Three americans, five brits, two nice european girls ünd Irhen truly. On careful assessment, we realized, en masse, that the late trains were not running on account of the ongoing strike. So I talked the pretty European girls into sharing a cab part of the way with me. They were sufficiently impressed by my description of my work (the growth of supermassive black holes in the first third of the Universe's history - I mean, come on!) that an e-mail address was shared, and I hope (perhaps against hope) that a more leisurely and convivial meeting will ensue. They were pretty and smart and European. What?

Finally, the taxi driver, an Iranian man who has lived three decades in Munich, helped to end the evening on a high note. He spoke fluent Englisch with an American accent. He has never lived in the US, but had American trained teachers. This tells me that he certainly wasn't a taxi-driver's son back home in the 70s, but was probably from a well-to-do family. A refugee? Perhaps. In any case, he engaged me in a fantastic conversation about the value of science and the place of astronomy in the world, and with his obvious displeasure that his son has decided to whittle away his life as a dive instructor in god-forsaken parts of Asia.

So, 20:30 Uhr to 2:00 Uhr. Awesome! Time to finish my pasta munchies (did I say that I had many beers!) and go to bed. Guten nacht!

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