"Schlaraffenland", the German Arcadia.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

7 Snapshots of Europe, Spring 2014: 5. The Ballad Of The Missing Brick

And so it came to pass that we found ourselves with several hours to spare in Munich before boarding a night train to Paris. Munich is fun, Munich is cool, but Munich late on a Thursday evening offers few diversions for a family with two children. So we took them to a beer hall.
Some Munich beer halls are exactly what you picture: long wooden tables of people swaying and singing while comely waitresses in dirndls (google that) carry giant mugs of beer and a polka band does its thing. That's not where we went. I remembered a smaller polka-free spot from my last visit, the Andechser am Dom, and I remembered that with luck we could get a table in the crypt. A beer hall with a crypt. Sure enough, the waiter led us through the packed hall, down a curving stair and into the basement where there were a handful of high tables set in dark niches. Much quieter, much cooler. "Medieval".
And so it also came to pass that Alexander brought his new Lego to that dark niche. We ordered great lashings of sausages and beer, or at least I did, and settled in for an evening of watching the toings and froings and generally soaking in the beer hall crypt vibe. This entertained Alexander for all of twenty seconds after which he began campaigning to open his Lego package. I told him, no, that's a bad idea because inevitably you will lose a piece and it will disappear on the dark floor below. The crypt was very old and very dark with lots of cracks and corners and spaces, in short a black hole for Lego.
But I really really really want to.
No, it's a bad idea. Look at the cool pictures on the wall.
Da-ad. Please please please, I won't lose any. I promise.
By then the beer had buffed my edges down to a smooth agreeable gloss.
Ok. But it's your problem if you lose a brick.
So Lego playing began on the small high table with the yawning black hole below. More beer was consumed and the evening slid along in an agreeable fashion until... plink.
Uh oh.
What happened?
I lost a brick.
See! Well, you won't find it. It's lost forever down there. I hope you learn something from this. Yada yada yada.
To our chagrin Alexander hopped off his stool and began crawling around on the floor, under other people's tables, in front of waitresses carrying armloads of beer, poking in dark corners that hadn't been poked in since 1571. Everyone was very accommodating though, charmed by the cute little boy looking for his Lego. The waiter even crouched down and used his lighter to illuminate the area.
No luck. A piece of fossilized chewing gum and an earring, but no Lego.
See! You didn't find it did you? It's lost forever down there. I hope you learn something from this. Yada yada yada.
When it finally came time to leave and we stood up to put our jackets on Alexander suddenly dropped to the ground. Before I could say anything he was up again, grinning triumphantly, holding up - you guessed it - the missing brick.
See dad, you were wrong!
So, the moral of the story is...


No comments: