Traveling alone is always an experience, especially when you don’t speak the language. To me, the German language sounds like a rapid-fire of sneezes. Talk about foreign. Pick a word, and then add “platz” or “schultz” to the end. Needless to say, Logan was confusenplatzed.
After a few airport mix-ups, Sarah and I were separated. Upon arriving to Munich, I embarked on the adventure to my hostel alone; I’ve always enjoyed figuring out public transportation. The subway system is like a puzzle – a long, complicated puzzle.
My flight landed at midnight, prime Oktoberfest time – the festival ends at eleven. As my train roared into central station, I peered out the foggy window. Thousands of Germans descended into the underground station from the Oktoberfest grounds. The escalators over-flowed with people of all ages dressed in lederhosen and dirndl. Yes, the Germans actually do wear lederhosen! The swarming crowd, obviously a few steins deep, happily chowed on sausages and pretzels. The station smelled like a brewery and sounded like a beer garden. I sat in awe of my surroundings, a true spectator of this iconic movie scene.
I carefully followed my dad’s google map directions to the metro stop. Outside of the station, I found myself on a cold, dark street corner. An eerie breeze chilled my neck. It was now nearly 2 AM in a foreign city, and I was lost, alone, and American.
Then, I spotted the gates to heaven down the street. A pair of McDonald’s Golden Arches shone like beacon lights. Come to me, Logan, land of the free wifi. Come closer. Come. I sprinted to Micky D’s. Once inside, and after a few failed attempts to access the Internet, I decided to ask the cashier for directions.
“Do you speak English?” I asked. The only reactions that I received were a dozen blank stares. A dozen blank, I-have-no-clue stares from the late-night, lederhosen-clad crowd.
“Yesssum! I from Mississippi!” I bellowing voice yelled from the back of the line. English? What? “Come with me, hunny pie,” a plump man assured me in a thick Southern accent, “I’m heading toward the youth hostel.” Helpless, I followed the short man and his skyscraper German girlfriend out of the restaurant.
“Where yo suitcase, woman?” he asked.
“Right here,” I said, pointing to my over-sized purse.
“Dang, giiiirl, das light! You gunna be smell-y dis weekend, day’s fosho.”
I tightly clenched my cross necklace in my fist and said a prayer. Please dude, don’t kidnap me. I was scared but couldn’t help but laugh to myself. The man made casual conversation while his model girlfriend scarfed a Big Mac.
“Well, dis is home!” the odd couple chimed, “The hostel is right up dere, past dah light. Goo luck girl!” They turned the corner into a pitch-black alley, disappearing into the darkness.
Thank God for McDonald’s.