Monday, November 21, 2016

Let The Wieners Fly

A day in the lives of the DaMClark’s – intrepid travelers! On our first full day in Munich, Germany we decided to try something different and take an audio tour we each downloaded onto our phones. We like to get an idea of what our neighborhood and surroundings areas have to offer and usually take self-guided tours. We recently took an English language guided tour in Regensburg and that went well, so now for an audio tour.

We arrived at Marienplatz just prior to 12:00 p.m. to see the massive glockenspiel (clock that tells a story). It takes about 15-minutes for the chiming of the bells then the old carillons to chime in. Different levels of the clock have characters that spin around and move through telling the spiel. It was a great way to start our Munich stay. We then attached our personal headphones to our cell phones and began our audio tour. To begin with we enjoyed the history of this and that, but we had trouble following the audio walking directions from one site to the next, then I was having a lot of trouble as I hadn’t really considered what I would need to do with the audio, clicking it off and on, and how I dressed that day. It seemed I was always fussing with trying to pause and getting my phone in and out of my pocket. I realized how uncomfortable I was and figured out why it was bothering me so much. You see, normally when we head out for a day we don’t like to fuss a lot with our pockets and backpacks as that is a distraction to us and draws the attention of others who may decide all the distraction would make one of us an easy mark. Rather than ignoring my feelings, I announced we needed to go back home so I could dress more comfortably and use the proper headphones in order to pause without digging out my cell phone.

Forty-five minutes later we were back where we had turned around. Feeling more comfortable now, we walked through the Viktualienmarkt (vitals market), daily farmers market founded in the 1800s, and decided we should sit down and grab a meal prior to continuing with the audio tour. We sat outside in the sun at an outdoor cafe having the local specialty of weißwürst (white veal sausage), pretzel, and beer. When the waitress arrived she set a bowl with a plate-lid down in front of us, but in the process sloshed the hot liquid out of the bowl and onto my pants through the slats of the table. Not wanting to make a fuss I did my best to clean off the wurst of it – sorry about that but I couldn't resist. I lifted the lid on the bowl and there were four plump veal sausages swimming in what was left of the hot water liquid. I grabbed a sausage with a fork and plopped it down on my plate. We were told to slice it lengthwise and scrape the meat out of the casing, dip the meat in sweet hot mustard, and enjoy with the pretzel and beer. I couldn’t quite hold onto the sausage so I decided I would cut it in half before slicing lengthwise. As I did this half of my lovely veal sausage went flying. I ignored it completely as I knew others saw this and were probably thinking - Gut Got im himmel fliegel wursts! (Good God in the sky flying sausages), but I continued with what I was doing as if I planned it that way. The first thought going through my head was, oh well, it looked like more than I could eat anyway, but after my first bite I knew I was going to miss the other half sitting five feet away on the ground. Very seriously Dennis tenderly but gingerly commented that I really wasn’t having a very good day - I agreed wholeheartedly. I could have gotten a bit angry with the whole thing, perhaps out of embarrassment, but I decided it wouldn’t be worth it. I was just having one of those days that happen to me once in awhile, as if I'm off my game, and I knew I needed to pay more attention and just let the wieners fly.

After our meal we started up the audio tour again and saw some interesting places and learned more history. But then it kept guiding us back to big shopping corridors and the very busy Marienplatz. At one point it told us to look down the road to the old gate from when Munich was a walled city. We decided to take a look for ourselves (which was worth the walk and we couldn’t figure out why the audio tour hadn't taken us there) then we walked back up the shopping street. At the other end of the street I realized I had lost one of my gloves! Geesh, what a day. I calmly told D I wanted to retrace our steps and see if we could find it. Sure enough, there was my glove sitting outside a shop where we had stopped to look at a window display. Definitely an off day but I was just happy no dog had peed on the glove!

The audio tour continued to guide us through more shopping districts and when it guided us to a hotel Michael Jackson had stayed at, and note people continue to set up a memorial to him, that was about it for us. Dennis announced we were done with the audio tour. As we walked back home, we decided to end our day on a brighter note. So we stopped at a café near our home where we sat outside with heat lamps overhead, blankets on our laps, and enjoyed an ice cream and espresso for Dennis and a brownie and red wine for me. We watched the sky turn pink as the sun set, and we talked and laughed about our day – flying wieners and all.

I tell this rather detailed story to give you an idea of how we do things. We are trying different ways of traveling and finding what works and what doesn’t. While I was having my own issues with the day, D was patient and understanding. It’s one of those things we do best. When one is off the other works at achieving a better balance for both of us. It’s about acceptance and finding the best within ourselves on any given day. In the end we celebrated our day, and you won’t find us doing an audio tour again unless it's in a museum. We would rather pick up the tourist info maps and plot our own course even if we don’t see everything a tourist should see. Case in point, the following day to this story the DaMClark way will be posted soon at - see you there.

Photo courtesy of DaMClarks family album