Notable things about Munich:

1. Security personnel, sub-cops i suppose, armed with clubs and guns. They don’t dress or walk or stand like cops, they just look like rent-a-guards on the minimum wage, but apparently it’s okay for them to have handguns. i find this alarming and bizarre, and repeatedly experience the urge to pre-emptively seize their guns and shoot them in the head, lest they suddenly go on a killing spree.

2. It is common to read books in public here, i have even witnessed people reading as they walk down the street or take the escalator. In England, a few people read on buses etc., but inevitably always Dan Brown, and it is a little horrible to see so many people all reading the same dreck, all with the same expression of fascinated “I never would have believed it! The Roman Catholic Church is really this huge conspiracy!” etc. etc. In Germany, they mainly seem to read thrillers of some kind, judging from the covers, but at least there is variety, it’s not all the same book, and in any case there are thrillers and there are thrillers.

3. Old people here occasionally go up to seated young folk on the train, and say “can I sit?”, generally grumpily – and whereas the young in England would immediately glass their elderly persecutors and then kick them to death, and perhaps film it for youtube, here the young promptly vacate their seats, with a fairly good grace. However, it’s rare for anyone to offer their seat without being asked – on the occasions i’ve stood for some frail-looking Bosche, they seem (pleasantly) surprised that anyone would surrender their seat.

4. The U-bahn stations in Munich are surprisingly attractive, each decorated in different colours and patterns, one always plays classical music, another has replica Ancient Greek statues in glass cases. There is something stunningly strange about such displays in a mere U-bahn station, and i approve. In general, i approve of the stunningly strange, as long as it’s stunning in a good way. Stunning in a bad way – the kind of vomit-inducing, twisted gut horror of most modern art/literature/music/humanity – no, no, that will not do.

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