when i arrived back home late last night, i got to unpack the birthday present my brother send me from london.
it's a pink t-shirt from fcuk that lists "love/sing/sleep/dream/eat/fcuk/laugh" in bold arial down the front. it's lovely. i know that "fcuk"/"fuck" thing is getting kinda boring in the uk, but this ain't the uk, so why care? i like it.
apart from the "fuck" thing, i think did everything listed on the shirt, these past few days. and more. a whole lot more.
it's been a while since i had days that were as packed as these without being stressed out. it was a good seminar, this one. exceptional, actually, and my ultra-brief stay in munich with dirk's friend martin was highly enjoyable, too.
i left the city late saturday morning, packed into a tiny corsa with 4 other people heading to the seminar and lots and lots of luggage: not the kind of roadtripping i like. as if that wasn't enough, the other 4 seemed to have only one topic of interest: preparing for law finals. those fuckers. put more than 3 law students in one place, and within less than 10 minutes they will discuss finals, review classes or not, exams ad nauseam. i slept instead of partaking in this boring exercise.
the driver, the aforementioned girl i would have preferred to avoid, almost killed us twice, alas, with no success. after 6 hours of being squeezed into the corsa and a brief stop at germany's only feng shui resthouse, i was dropped off at martin's place in downtown munich. martin and i, we wasted no time and immediately took off to a party that ended up incorporating 3 locations (a lakeside/garden bbq/rented bar) and lasting 9 hours. a grande celebration, indeed.
it was the combined birthday/graduation party of one of martins snowboard teacher friends, and yeah, it was an experience, not just because i (obviously) didn't know anyone but martin.
it was a surreal/twilight zone type of experience at times: everyone was good looking.
the group of friends that was partying that night (close to 100 people or so) looked like out of a clothing shoot for neon or something. everyone was *hip* in that pretentious but effortless-looking "i don't care about clothes at all, i'm just coming back from the beach/the slope/something equally cool" leisurely, sporty easy-going surfer-style. i know it's just as fake, just as planned as any other style people and cliques choose, but it still had quite some appeal. much more appeal than all those law people wearing burberry, trying to be all upper class at least.
i don't know whether all the non-perfect people the birthday girl knew were not invited, but i don't think i have ever seen that many really good looking people in one place. it was odd, but fun.
one bloke in particular, a snowboard-teacher/physiotherapist (how come i like physiotherapists all of the sudden?)/student called harry was especially exceptional. at location #1 (the lake), he was jumping around in bathing shorts that could not have hung an inch lower without exposing his dick, and good grace, this man had THE BODY.
i think i've never seen that kind of body in real life before: it was perfect. absolutely perfect. perfectly rounded. perfectly muscly (no bodybuilder-ugliness). perfectly firm. perfectly proportioned. perfectly six-packed. perfectly hip-boned. perfectly veiny stomach.
breathtaking, that body.
harry very obviously knew about his bodies' perfectness and showed it. jumping around, shaking his bum. doing sports. shaking his head just *so*. he had this physical-ness and ease about himself that made me all envious and goose-bumpy and getting a girly hard-on.
on top of that, he had the arrogance to go with his perfectness. what fun. he kept making playfully arrogant sidestatements to me, and i kept kicking back.
didn't have my usual level of verbal skills available though: i simply could not stop admiring this perfectly bodied arrogant prick. it was estrogen at work, i'd say, or maybe it my genes that were telling me to procreate with that body to give my children a better chance at life. how good that i have my estrogen and my genes under control and don't listen to them. at least most of the time.
at the end of the night, just as martin and i were leaving the party, i actually told harry that he had the most beautiful ass i had laid my eyes on in the last year. yes, this was a sexist statement, i know, but i had to say *something* to acknowledge that he had won (and won me over). and well, he appreciated the comment, and seemed pleased. i bet he had heard that before. and more than just once.
so yes, it was fun that party, for more reasons than the visual appeal.
being out of my comfort zone is good for me, most of the time, and it surely was good this time: i got to sit and wait and observe and realise that all the cool people where not that cool after all, because they were unable to approach and make smalltalk with me. when i had enough of that, i chatted up some new people and enjoyed myself.
strange how i forget during my reclusive times how much i actually enjoy interaction with others and that i am actually good at it, too.
in the course of the night, i teamed up with peter, who was a guest who knew almost no one else as well, and we chatted about the usual things people who meet like we did talk about: football, women, men and sex. those are the eternal issues, aren't they? apart from that, there was some decent drinking, watching the football, being sad because freddie won't be shooting any more goals this euro and dancing to ragga (is that what it's called?).
at 2:30am, martin and i cruised home in his grande old mercedes. it was a string of perfect moments, that cruising home to downtown munich, listening to air and coldplay and talking about personal matters. strangely enough, those perfect moments reminded me of driving home through melbourne with evan. munich isn't melbourne, martin ain't my boyfriend, and that mercedes was surely more comfy than the mg, and i have never talked that openly with evan about what about that long distance relationship did, what i let it do, to my mental health
right after that conversation, i had one of those brief moment of being scared about being so wide-open and honest and talking so much, as i often do when i finally talk to people without the usual joking and punlines and cynicism, but i told martin about that feeling, too, and that moment passed, and it was all fine.
we slept in on sunday, had breakfast and then our time together was over and i headed out to catch my ride south to the chiemsee at noon. - didn't get to see much of munich, really. - it was a fantastic "first" impression nonetheless. i loved the vibe of the city, the look, the feel. i could live there, i think, and live there well. i would love to live there, i think, not that i'd know how to afford it, but there's plenty of ip to be done there, so it's something i will surely keep in mind.
the one hour journey down to the chiemsee, this time with just three people in the tiny corsa, was uneventful: i sat in the back preparing the case i had to present, avoiding any further discussions on law finals.
arriving in gstadt at the ferry, i could finally escpae the eternal law final discussions of the corsa crew, as a couple of fellow seminar people and our lecturer max were already waiting for the next ferry, eating ice cream and enjoying the glorious weather.
last time i was there, in november, it was all quiet and serene, bright blue skies and sunshine and the alps in the distance, no one on the ferry but us. this time we had the same bright blue skies and the alps were still there of course and there was sunshine, too, but it was also more than 25°C degrees, there was lots of lush green and flower displays on the island and there were also throngs of tourists on the ferry with us. it was cliche germany, cliche bavaria at its best. the only thing missing was some bavarian music, or maybe some wagner.
one of the people waiting with max for the ferry was christopher, max's only "leftover" doctorate students from munich. at first sight, he totally reminded me of my friend timm, who i met through the student exchange program. it would turn out that that was an accurate first impression: christopher is quite similar to timm in some ways, not just looks-wise, but personality wise as well.
it was eerie in a way, as it made me miss timm who i lost touch with over the past years, and because i sometimes thought the person who was there was timm, not someone else altogether. i actually had to apologise to christopher at one point during the seminar, because i was just mixing him up with timm in my head and once i quit that, it was much better. no need to mix someone up with a long missed friend, when that person is fantastic already. while definitely not timm, christopher turned out to be much more than good looking and funny: he's extremely smart, spontaneous and fun to be around. - anything but your average law student. no discussions on law finals were had in his presence.
we kinda clicked in some ways, and ended up spending a lot of our time together during the seminar. i wish max imported him to freiburg. - i don't think there's a man like him to be found at freiburg uni's law faculty. i wish there was. or maybe not, because crushing on him would be kinda taxing in the long run, ogling him in the library and not getting any work done. he. :) it was fun while it lasted though. i could do with need someone like him around.
so what did we do all these days?
law wise, there was lots of work. max gave some brief overviews on important cartel and competition issues and we ended up discussing specific competition issues relating to unfair advertising in great detail and with great enthusiam. lots of time was spend doing case work and hearing lectures by participants. i would have liked some more detailed discussion there, but time was limited, so we rushed through some parts.
my little case presentation went well, especially considering how little time i spend preparing it. overall, i learned a fair bit these past few days, realising that competition and cartel law is the other law subject besides ip that i enjoy. i guess i can love law on more days than just thursdays.
life wise, it was a mini holiday, really.
football was watched on sunday night. christopher, jens and i sat on a landing stage late sunday evening drinking beer, as lightning flashed over the kampenwand, thunder rolling in, rain falling down on us. only as lightning was coming closer and as the rain got heacer and heavier did we sprint back to the convent, huddling under the gate to the courtyard. during our lunch breaks, various groups would trot over the island, admiring the gardens in full bloom and the little ducklings and swans and being envied by tourists when they realised that we were allowed to go inside the convent. mealtime was always good, too, excellent chats and good food (vegetarian but very much non-vegan. they had a list and i marked myself as both vegetarian and non fish, so when they served fish for everyone, i got meat. it caused much confusion because in bavaria, vegetarians apparently all eat fish. duh.).
the evenings were long, and there was little sleep. late monday night, as the entire group including max sat on that landing stage, getting drunk, there was a technicolor, miami vice style pink sunset to be observed, and funny conversations to be had. yet another string of perfect moments.
long after midnight the hardcore few of the seminar (nadia and i being the only girls) went skinny dipping on the northside of the island. the water was nowhere near as cold as expected, and it was just lovely to swim under the starry sky in the silence of the lake, later sitting on another landing stage, talking for a few more hours.
i went to morning laudes on tuesday morning, at 5:30am, which was, like last time, quite a spiritual experience. it was the only chance to again observe the lives of the nuns living in the convent. it's a life so very much different to any life i will ever live, so different to any life i'd ever want to liver, but with an appeal that i can relate to.
right after mass, i went swimming with christopher one last time to start the day (not quite skinny dipping this time), and that was yet another perfect moment.
it was still totally quiet, the sun was coming up through some light clouds, there was mist hanging over the alps and a lone fisherman was out fishing. the water was cold and nice and refreshing and i felt alive and happy and well. why i never liked swimming naked or topless until last year, i don't remember. - it feels so much better.
so yeah, overall, i had a great few days: intense, on many levels, and it wasn't just the competition law.
it was strange to face that girl that totally triggered me on so many levels, but i dealt with it, catching that ride and even sharing a room with her. it was alright, not just because i realised that she has flaws, too. i felt pretty good about being me these days, so why try to be someone else? good question, isn't it?
i spend good time with people old and new, not just christopher, but nadia, too, who i will be hanging out with later today to watch the football. it was fun that till and reinhard were there as well, and there were more folks who were enjoyable who i will be seeing at uni. who knows, these 3 days might be the basis for a friendship or at least some coffee company for uni. - whatever will be, will be good; i'll feel less lonely in the crowds. there were some good conversations all around during meals, and it was good to once again interact with law people again, making me realise once again that there are some good people among the psychos.
when it was time to leave yesterday after lunch, i would have loved to stay longer, even if it had meant more work. despite the workload, it felt like the holiday i needed so much.
i got to catch a ride home with reinhard and till (no final exam preparation talks this time), and we road-tripped through bavaria, extending that little holiday of ours. we looked at one of king ludwigs castles (schloss linderhof)and its venus grotto (the place where he listened to wagner, all alone), having an awful, rushed guided tour there that was designed for the attention span of a "see-europe-in-5-days" american audience. it was overall ok nonetheless, because no matter how awful that castle with its kitschy grotto was, the landscape was grande. and it's "location. location. location." right?
i'm even more sure now than after seeing herrenchiemsee, that ludwig was not a mentally healthy person. listening to wagner in a fake grotto dedicated to venus? pardon me.
we hopped over the border to austria to get petrol, speeding with till's tiny nissan micra over curvy roads along glacier lakes and back into germany through tiny villages that looked just like people from overseas think germany looks like. neuschwanstein was the distance, which we will visit in november, when max heads out to the convent again for a true ip seminar.
we drove home via lake constance and it was past 11 when i got home. walking towards my flat, from martin's gate, i got a serious case of culture shock from all the people still sitting outside and being on the street. - it wasn't that i hadn't seen that many people during those past days, there were the tourists, after all, i think it was the change from country to city. where are the mountains? where is the lake? it didn't help that i was totally zonked out and tired and unable to communicate at all. - dirk was quite upset at me being so out of it. when i'm tired, i apparently appear angry, even though i'm not, and he still can't recognise it.
all is fine again today. - i spend the morning at uni listening to max holding the lecture in front of the commission that might give him the job to head the chair for commercial law. now there's organisational stuff to be done, boring things like clean the flat, and a lecture at 4pm that i am not motivated to go to. but i will. go me.
so what did i do these past few days?
listen/road-trip/be-friend and more.
i'm happy, yes. very much so.