I awoke the next morning shortly before my alarm clock went off. I got ready for the day as Suave summed up the night for me. I got down to breakfast a little later than everyone else to enjoy toast and jam with assorted deli meats and orange juice. This is the biggest breakfast I'll have the entire trip sadly, and I didn't even try to savor it in belief that the following breakfasts would be even better... Let that be a lesson in cherishing each moment.
I followed Mature around the small town over to an automated bank where we got some Euros. I quickly learn the bill/coin amounts in the Euro system as I engage in my first purchase of "carbonated water" at what appears to be the only open store in all of the town; a small bakery. Most of the group members are perplexed by this strange and foreign "carbonated water." I couldn't be happier.
In my home, I grew up having club soda stocked in the fridge and learned over the years of its miraculous healing properties to my digestive system. I buy the last 3 and drink some happily at the disgust of my peers.
Several people are late to the Roaming Home and we leave 30 min. behind schedule. Pimp gives us a lecture on the importance of being "punctual" and that we're on a strict schedule. Few people actually care and I scoff at others' ignorance. Our first stop of the day is Castle Neuschwanstein.
Pimp wakes those who have fallen asleep with his own "chirp" alarm. Pimp produced this chirp from his septlingual mouth with natural ease. Unfortunately I missed my opportunities to get a recording of it during my trip. Blondy(she emerges later) once mentioned to me that she had thought the chirping sound was a call button at the front of the bus used specifically to get everyone's attention. I wondered if her blond hair was cluttering more than just her cute face.
We stop at the base of a long winding road that leads up to the castle. Apparently we're gonna be hiking up this path to get to the castle. The other tourists and local Germans using the path appear to still have their breaths so I figure perhaps it's not so bad. First, we fill up on a quick lunch to make sure we don't starve and get left behind for dear fodder. Here I become more acquainted with Great White and Rack. Rack was nice; on the border of average like Bipolar, but with a HUGE rack. I mean fuck, her tits are almost bigger than her head. I keep my composure, as always, and have a light conversation between the three of us to learn more about her and my chances of hooking up with her. I'm good at listening but I guess her breasts spoke louder because they're the only things I could actually remember about her, even now. Well, that and the fact that she was a virgin apparently.
Bandanna and some other people decide to get a beer before the hike. Knowing that I'm going to need every bit of hydration on my side, I abstain. [Note: I have still not technically imbibed in Europe at this time yet, only on the flight over, and the idea of buying alcohol legally has not yet set into my mind. It still hasn't quite set in now that I'm 21 either.]
We began our trek and I started off doing pretty well. Perhaps too well as I'm ahead of the group. I walk backwards to watch them slowly make their way up while parading my ease. As the incline increases with the same pace I start to lose steam - almost literally. Soon the group passes me up the hill and I have to start taking quick breaks to drink my "carbonated water" and catch my breath. I'm not in the best shape of course but I didn't think I'd have this much trouble. The thought of having to be at the top on time or miss my chance to get into the castle with the group worried me more than motivated me. About 2/3 the way up a horse-drawn carriage passes me with people riding comfortably drinking something that looked fairly good. I curse them out mercilessly...or at least I would have if I still had the ability to yell. I eventually make it to the top and relax with 10 min. to spare. Awesome. I look like I just came out of a shower but probably don't smell like it. Thankfully my Polo Black is holding up through these challenging conditions.
The castle is of course breathtaking and the sights are luscious...[blah blah blah, tourist ramble]. After we tour the place, Pimp recommends going to a bridge that overlooks the castle. I'm not a fan of heights but I swallow my fear. We're really high up when we get there and the boards kinda bend as you walk on it. My fear regurgitates. Mature, a mechanical engineer, reassures me of the integrity of the bridge. We joke as to how the bridge's structure could be re-engineered to instill more confidence in it's users. The walk back down gave me solace in the fact that my feet always had something solid to immediately land on. Now is as good a time as any to mention that Suave(my roommate from the night before) is on this trip with his mom. I mention this here because I took their picture together on the bridge. This tidbit of info is relevant for later.
I grab a few souvenirs and head for the Roaming Home for our next destination. We traveled to a small church in a rural area with chickens wandering around and locals trying to sell more souvenirs to willing tourists. Let's just call this church, Church #1 of ~25 - that sounds like a good estimate. I got nothing against going to churches, but there wasn't much else to do at these kinds of stops but play the stereotypical U.S. traveler type and take pictures of my surroundings. After we stole the souls of every entity within and around the church with our photography, both non/living, we retreated back to the bus and went to our hotel for the evening.
The hotel was nice and resembled something akin to a European-style Comfort Inn. This must have been coincidental though because adjoined directly with the hotel was in fact a Comfort Inn, go figure. For this night and the next, my roommates would be Great White and Tiger Shark. I was somewhat uncomfortable with this choice and was hoping to room with Suave again since he appeared to have a better "wingman" ambiance to him. Great White was the one to break the ice between the three of us as he waved Trojan Magnums under the bathroom door while I was in there and then scattered them on my fold-out couch bed. I was at first perturbed by this until I realized he had done this using his own Magnums and not my own. I pulled my batch from my suitcase to nullify his little prank; to which he replied, "Oh man, you're a Barracuda, man! Nice!" Tiger Shark explained that he and Great White had given each other nicknames in the form of sharks based apparently based on the size of our penises. Why I became "Barracuda" I'm not sure since my Magnums indicated me on the same size-level as great White. I just rolled with though, for it had a certain ring that resounded nicely to me that still does. And henceforth I became Barracuda.
Night seemed to fall rather late, at around 9 I think, but almost instantaneously when it did. With our day over, everyone tried to decide what to do with the rest of the evening. It was quite clear that we all wanted to party - except no one knew where to go in this foreign land. Good ol' Pimp came to our rescue with a suggestion of a Dance Club Strip not too far away. Yeah, there is apparently a whole strip of German-Techno clubs to dance the night away in. Mature organized a small caravan of Mercedes taxis to come pick us up and take us to the clubs. We arrive in the populated strip right by the Q Club and decide to hit it up first. There is another club right next door, but its entrance isn't a giant glowing neon-purple "Q." At this point our group splits up and I went to the Q Club with Mature, Bandanna, Great White, Tiger Shark, IrresponsibleDrunk [IR] and Responsible Drunk [RD] (Friends lol), Red, Model, Masseuse, Bipolar, Rack, RottenLuck, Suave and Suave's Mom, Yacks and OtherGirl. I saw PartyGirl mackin' on Suave at one point, otherwise I wouldn't have known she was there. The others hopped around from club to club.
I believe it was IR who realized at the door that she forgot her passport and had to go back to the hotel to get it with a portion of the group while the rest of us waited outside for their return. During this time, some local guys were trying to get what females were left of the group to go with them into the other club. The girls were smart enough to decline [Read: sober] and the guys didn't push the issue. One of them did try to pick my back pocket in what he thought was a moment where I was purely focused on his friends trying to pick up our girls. I'm not that dense, thanks, and I don't keep anything in my back pocket. And with my hands in my other pockets with stuff, there was nothing he could do without creating a scene. Although I didn't call the guy on this, I told the others so that they could be alert of pickpockets.
When we finally entered the club it was as magical as I had hoped US clubs would be. Thanks to the BS that is the Top 40, US clubs in general will never be as amazing as German-Techno clubs to me. I started off the night with shots of Jager, Tequila, and a RBV or two with the group and hit the dance floor. We stayed near each other to feel comfortable, danced, took photos and drank more. Bipolar "forgot" her boyfriend as she grinded against all the guys she could and tried to hook me up with Rack because we were both virgins. I wasn't against it, but Rack's perplexed facial expression and lack of a clear "yes" or 'no" answer told me I should forget it.
Undaunted, I meandered through the crowds looking for someone to dance with when I realized I couldn't directly ask anyone in English because they may not understand me. Now daunted, I got another RBV and wandered about some more. One thing that didn't seem to change between US and German clubs was the amount of available women [Note: my definition of "available" may differ from others]. I decided to dance up on a platform area that may not have been meant to be dance on, but the people already dancing there made it seem OK. Just as I'm beginning to kinda have fun again, some German guy starts shouting up at me to come down. He looks nicely dressed and I assume he works for the club. He doesn't look too happy with me and my apparent confusion. When I get down, he yells at me some more in German pointing to the "platform" where many drinks are and the floor where several more now lay. I stare at him in shock and silence as he repeats himself and gestures more. I grasp that he's mad about me spilling the drinks yet he doesn't seem like he wants to throw me out of the place. I finally reply with, "Ummm...I speak English?"
Angry German: "Oh, you speak English? Are you American?"
Ian: "Uh, yes?"
Formerly-Angry German: "OH! DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT THEN!"
Ian: "What? Wait, didn't I spill your drink there?"
Formerly-Angry German: "No! My drink's over there. Come, I'll buy you a shot!"
He introduces himself as Chris and acquaints me with his buddy and girlfriend. We have a round of Jager at his expense, make small talk and take a few pics. When I tell him that I'm leaving town after the next day he offers me a ride to the airport. It took a while for me to explain that I wasn't taking a plane and I didn't need any ride. I don't think he ever really understood my situation. Regardless, I returned to the group to find that half have already gone home and IR is being seduced by four Germans to go back to their place. Mature and I decide it's time to leave soon after and we gather the remaining people outside. RD has to drag IR away from the Germans almost kicking and screaming about how she "can handle herself and there's nothing to worry about her going home with them." Right... She hates all of us and we don't care. Mature and I give a sigh of relief when we safely get everyone back to the hotel.
Tiger Shark, Great White and LadyFish are watching TV from the bed when I arrive to the room. We briefly chatted before going to sleep, and I realized that I was still buzzed from drinking at the club before I fell asleep.
To be continued in Part 3: Leaving Germany and Missing It Already