Monday, November 17, 2008

The Otto Story

So now, in hindsight, this story doesn't seem as funny as it did when it happened but since I mentioned it I now have to tell it. As you know from my previous post, we were only in Munich for one and a half days. We flew out of Denver on Saturday morning, arriving Munich Sunday mid-morning and we left Munich Tuesday morning. So we were there for 5 meals. Sunday we had lunch at a nice local place near the Marienplatz (yummy schnitzel & I had chicken curry), Sunday night was dinner at another local place, this one near our hotel (more chicken for me and pork for Dick). Tuesday morning breakfast was a croissant for Dick and a big, steaming latte for me and lunch was another fun local restaurant (pumpkin soup for me and I think more schnitzel or something like that for Dick).

By the time Monday evening rolled around, we had been shopping all day and were really ready to kick back, relax and have a nice, romantic last night in Munich meal. Which, by the way, had to include apple streudel because despite our mission to have it, neither the right moment nor the right streudel had arrived. We had packed our bags and didn't have a early flight on Tuesday so we were really planning on making a night of it. We didn't know where we were going to go but we decided to head out near the Opera because it was such a nice area.

First we ended up in this really fun Weinstube (small, homey restaurants known for their wine and food). It's very similar to a beer garden...communal tables and a really fun atmosphere. So, there we are enjoying our wine...chatting over what a great trip it had been and just having a really good time. Soon we were starting to get hungry and decided to venture out to a nicer restaurant for dinner. At this point, I noticed that someone had left a pair of eyeglasses on the table next to us. I mentioned it to Dick then we headed outside. We immediately ran into a couple who I recognized from the table with the eyeglasses. They were out talking and smoking with an older, traditionally dressed German gentleman. Well, Dick speaks pretty fluent German so he asked if anyone had left their eyeglasses on the table.

This is where it got kind of weird. Dick was positive that he was asking the question correctly and even repeated it....explaining it in more detail. The younger couple who had been sitting at that table "acted" like they didn't understand what he was saying. The older gentleman however, immediately latched onto the face that we were American and started speaking to us in mixed German/English. He seemed like a nice fellow....asking about Obama and how we were enjoying our trip. Then he asked if we had gone to dinner and we told him that we were heading out to do that right now. So he then proceeds to tell us that he'd love to show us a little of the real Munich and show us to a nice restaurant. Well, there was really no way to say no because he kind of just latched onto us and started out to the sidewalk. At this point the other couple made a beeline for the Weinstube retrospect, not surprising! So we are realizing now that the three of them were not together....hmmmmm....ugh oh!

Well, Otto...yep, his name was Otto....pointed out a few interesting facts along our walk and then we ended up at a restaurant (can't even remember the name) that we had considered for dinner so we all popped inside. Okay, at this point, I expected one of two things to happen:

1. Otto knew the restaurant (and people), was a regular and was going to introduce us as his friends (apparently that was too much to ask) or

2. He was going to drop us off, tell us to enjoy our dinner and be on his way.

You can probably figure out that neither of those things happened. And....duh...the waitress was much quicker to catch onto the fact that perhaps he was a little inebriated. So, we all sit down at a table....and Otto proceeds to talk about the U.S., his family living here, and a whole lotta things that were depressing and going downhill....AND to make it worse, he and Dick were talking in German/English so I couldn't understand half of what was said. I could tell that the subject matter was not pleasant and was none too happy that my nice romantic dinner with my husband had been so rudely interrupted by a drunk German.

Luckily, alot of Germans still smoke, so it was just a matter of time before he had to go outside. Dick and I agreed (with plenty of pressure from me) order appetizers and a glass of wine and get the heck out of there. Ugh...even that took forever...3 Otto smoke breaks to be exact. With him coming back every single time saying "in 15 minutes, I will be on my way home and you can eat your dinner." And to be truthful, every time he went out for a smoke break, I tried to convince Dick that we should run out the back door!!!!

Never happened...finally, I had to say "I don't feel well, we have an early flight and we really need to get back to the hotel." So, there we went...leaving him still nursing his beer at the table. By this time, we were stuffed from the wine and appetizers that weren't even that great! We trecked back to the restaurant where we had lunch because they had a really, nice cozy interior and I just wanted something cozy and romantice. We finally got our apple streudel and yes, another bottle of wine. So all in all...not the night I was expecting but an evening that ends with apple streudel can't be all bad!!

In retrospect, Otto was a very sad, lonely man and I suspect, just wanted someone to talk to. Dick, being the generous sweet soul that he is, was much more patient than I and speaks German so could communicate so much better.

So, that's it...that's my Otto story!


Jenny said...

Wow, what a crazy story! Otto was lucky to have had your company for that night. I wonder what story he had to tell.

Pam said...

Funny story...Very amusing!

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