It really is nice when the train station is so close to the hostel. That being said, it’s also nice when the hostel itself is nice. Jaeger’s Hostel https://www.hostelworld.com/hosteldetails.php/Jaeger-s-Munich/Munich/4274 wasn’t terrible by any means, but had some flaws. Firstly, no kitchen again so it was back to ready to eat foods. Luckily grocery stores are easy to find and are usually pretty close by. The problem is what they sell. Whenever I get somewhere like this, with not even a microwave, I always find the best stuff to make. When I get somewhere with a full kitchen, the stores seem pretty lack luster. Maybe I’m too picky.
My room was a bunker, or at least it truly felt like it. Down a creepy, dark hallway where the lights flickered on and off like some B horror movie, a heavy metal door led to an outer walkway; this further led to the room. The walls, ceiling and floor were grey concrete, with a column situated near the center of the room and brushing up against my bed space. The top bunks had plenty of head room, enough to stand up and touch the ceiling but with the bottom bunks, you were lucky if you were able to sit up. There were two bathrooms however, which is the first time I’ve had that luxury. Countering that though, one of the bathrooms had a terrible lock and often jammed. Poor Katie jiggled the lock for a few minutes, just long enough for me to get up, before she escaped. Another guy was locked in so long I had to get building maintenance to free him. They fixed the lock after that.
Before the bathroom struggle, I had some interesting company. A pack of six Frenchies, guys and girls, flooded the room. Armed with nerf guns, they shot each other for hours, laughing and yelling while another guy and I tried our best to ignore them. Thankfully they stayed only two nights and when midnight hit, they were already asleep. Either listening to music without headphones or silently passing in morning and night, most of my other my roommates kept to themselves; save one.
Katie was from the UK. Working on my novel she just plopped down on the cold floor beside me. We exchanged greetings and went through the normal banter travelers do. She told me she was an English major; I sheepishly closed my book. After a little back and forth, I let her read the first page; the only stranger besides literary agents ever to do so. Things took a turn after that, as we started to get into the more philosophical topics of romance and destiny. To my surprise, she invited me to her bunk (which to be fair, she’d been sitting on the concrete floor for an hour now and my bottom bunk had little space) and we just started talking. We gave up, of all things, our dating history. I strangely spat out everything at this stranger, from my high school romance to my current situation. Even more surprising, she shared the same with me. For her privacy, as well as my own, all I will say is fate dealt her a crueler hand. But she seemed ok, all things considered, and moving forward with her life. I wish I had her optimism back then. You’re right Katie, if you’re reading this, everything happens for a reason.
As for touristy stuff, I can say I didn’t see or do much. Neuschwanstein Castle I could have and should have gone to, but neglect led to not being able to make it. Katie saw it and showed me pictures of its stunning beauty and power. I did a ton of book work, plowing through a full chapter and a half while keeping up with my guilty pleasure of YouTube. The place I did visit most often and wander through was the English Garden. The presumed flourish of flowers didn’t reveal themselves with winter’s grasp so quickly encroaching. The waterways were dried up, but the rest of the park was a vast green space. I spent probably an hour walking in one direction before turning about. The leaves off the trees swept across the still luscious ground, covering the forest floor in a wash of orange and yellow. A crinkle came with each step and the chilly breeze of late autumn lifted the fallen leaves into twirling spirals.
When it came time for check out, Katie and I left together. Our trains were only an hour apart, but going in different directions, so we agreed to wait with each other. It was nice, finally not waiting in solitude at the station. My train came first, so we marched to my platform and she saw me off. I had a direct ticket to my next destination, so what could go wrong?