The Morning My Travel Buddy Had an Emotional Breakdown

We got on a train in Munich with plans of going to Berlin, but during a transfer in Mannheim I realized that I was in a city I didn't even know existed, and thus should explore. Sure, we lost money on the ticket to Berlin and the hostel that was already booked there, but I convinced my travel buddy that hostels and beds were overrated; "We're just going with the flow, bro," I told him. 

And so we left our bags in the lockers in the train station and set out drinking in the city of Mannheim. You can drink on the streets of Germany, so to my buddy and I it was like we were back in Korea, during the alcoholic prime of our youth, fighting an everyday existential war against our livers. But it was the case that I had been in Andalucia the Unsober preparing for our trip to Germany, while my buddy languished in New Jersey trying to save money and obeying strict drinking laws.

I don't remember whether we were in Munich for five or for fifteen days, and the reality is that I have decided not to write in detail about Munich as of yet because of concerns about the statute of limitations of certain incidents and lawsuits that may or may not surround these incidents, but it's clear from financial data that we were consuming on average 20 liters of beer per day. During the course of those dozens of liters, I saved my buddy from getting stabbed in the forehead by an irate Afghan veteran, and during another incident took a blow to the jaw that was probably aimed at him, and which eventually succeeded.

So, besides receiving two blood-inducing blows to the jaw and almost getting stabbed, we had a relatively incident-free Oktoberfest: I didn't even protest. However, my buddy decided to protest in Mannheim over what I consider to be a much more timid incident.

So, it was Monday at 2am and we had been drinking and walking around Mannheim. I still haven't bothered to Wikipedia the city, but it looked post-industrial and like the whole thing was under construction. So, my buddy wanted to be in Berlin but I was happy to be drinking in the streets of a strange city. Eventually we asked for directions to a packed bar and managed to get into the groove quite well. 

I think the bar was called "El Diablo" and that immediately made it sound like the kinda place where we'd want to go drinking. Yea, so we were there a few hours and socializing with the locals while my friend was hitting up a German chick. Eventually she says something about Americans not speaking languages, and then I got into an argument about how I was American and could speak more than one language. I'm generally the most rabid anti-American writer that I know, but for some reason Mannheim turned me into a flag-waving CIA fan.

So, it was closing time in the bar and I was pissed to the second power in both Irish and America when we exit the bar and the German girl gives my travel buddy her name and number in a piece of paper. However, her anti-American radicalism made her inadequate in my eyes, so I grabbed the paper, ripped it up into tiny pieces, threw it on the ground, stomped on it, and then spit on it. My buddy and the German girl just looked at me in disbelief. Somehow, as she and her friends were walking away, she still managed to say: "do you want to join us in the next bar?" but I immediately replied to her: "why the fuck would we want to hang out with  people like you!?"

So, yea, it was 4am and she knew what other spot was happening that night, but I convinced my friend that we could just walk around and find something, eventually ending up in a liquor store near a bridge after wandering around drunk for hours, buying cheap booze. We had left our bags in the lockers and hadn't bothered to book hotels, so while stumbling across the bridge, I suggested a nap. I used my buddy's leg as a pillow, and after about an hour or two he starts moving his leg up and down, complaining that it had fallen asleep. By that point the nap had helped some of the booze wear off, and I just wanted to sleep, so naturally I was extremely agitated that he was moving his leg, and thus waking me up.

So, as the sun was rising and we were getting up from the bridge, I grabbed a bottle of booze that was lying nearby and still had some stale juice, and offered it to my buddy. I thought he would be happy about the adventure we had in a strange city, but he started shouting: "I didn't work this fucking hard to sleep under a bridge! I didn't work this fucking hard to sleep under a bridge!"

He started hyperventilating and pacing around erratically, but I eventually managed to calm him down and convinced him to stay in Mannheim another day. The next day things would repeat themselves, and I would lead him to sleep in a underground alley, before making our way to some cardboard boxes near the train station.