On my last evening in Munich, during my trip this month, I decided to have an early dinner, and early to bed. I had a 4am Uber pickup from my hotel for a 6am flight to Lisboa. I knew I need a good night’s rest, still suffering from travel fatigue and jetlag.
My nice, but rather strange hotel receptionist suggested the Munchner Stubn for a nice, traditional German dinner. So, expecting some sauerbraten and a beer, I headed about two blocks down the street.
The joint is busy, but not crazy, yet. I was seated at a picnic-sized table with two other guys flying solo. I ordered, though disappointed they had no sauerbraten. But I ordered another of my favorites, the pork knuckle, and a lager (Oktoberfest style).
As I enjoy my meal, I ask the guy next to me, obviously another American, where I might find a sports bar with an NFL game. He seemed to know about a few “American” sports bars and decided we might head over there later. All of a sudden, the guy across from me, who I thought was a local, turns out to be another American and a football fan (Cowboys). So, I do the normal thing, and buy both of them a beer.
The guy across from us decides to leave, leaving me with Todd, from Ohio, a big Ohio State football fan, and an engineer on a business trip. We decide to start with some shots of some German liqueur, followed by a tall glass of beer. We also decided Todd needed to try the famous German pretzel with cheese dip.
Unknown to us, two “locals” are seated at the end of our table. Todd starts talking to them, offers them some shots, and the party begins. It turns out one is a former German jazz singer, and her niece is a mucky muck with the Four Seasons Hotels. The niece is traveling throughout Europe, staying at various Four Seasons hotels, and enjoying the good life, while working remotely! The Aunt lives in Frankfurt, where they are headed next.
Now, the shots and beer really start to flow. They buy a round, Todd buys a round, repeat, repeat!! I lost count. By now, I have forgotten about an early dinner, and early to bed. I can barely stagger to the water closet. And I did not realize each combination of shot and beer was about 20 Euros, so about 80 Euros a round for four of us!
After talking about music, the greats of jazz, of course, the subject turns to the Four Seasons. I ask if she can get a “Friends and Family” discount at their 5-star locations. Of course!!! In fact, I am eventually landing in Istanbul, where the Four Seasons was a former prison. I want to stay there!!!
Meanwhile, Todd and the younger of the “local” pair get quite chummy. I get the feeling it is time to leave, but I am not sure I can walk two blocks to my hotel!! The Stubn is closing and making their “last call” around midnight.
Just then, I had a sobering moment. As I stumbled to the water closet for the last time, I saw a huge TV monitor on the wall in the hallway to the water closet. It was the airline departures for the Munich airport, with my 6am flight listed near the top!!!
I have no idea who paid the bill, or how much we spent. The two ladies walked me halfway to my hotel, and I staggered the remaining portion myself. As for Todd, he seems to have disappeared after paying the bill. I have no idea what he paid!
Since I could not sleep, and it was already 1am, I decided to stay awake until 3am ( my alarm was set for 3am). In other words, I pulled an “all nighter” just to get to the airport at 430am!!!
But I did fall asleep several times on my way to the airport. But the flights to Porto were the longest, and most uncomfortable flights I have taken in many years. I wonder why?
On the spot, I re-established Rule No. 1 when traveling solo: No more all-nighters in the bar before an early flight the following morning!!!!