Downtown Munich – today!

Between the games at the “Allianz Arena” I want to show you a bit of what’s going on in the city and for that purpose I went downtown this afternoon … and was in for a bunch of surprises!

When I left the subway at Stachus, I went up via escalator which reaches the street-level right near “McDonalds”! The whole place was packed with people, some standing around, sitting on or by the stones, heading toward the gate in direction pedestrian zone (Munich’s most famous shopping-stretch) … and right there, I noticed something one would NOT expect in Munich – a riksha-driver, waiting for a customer! Did you know we have rikshas in Munich?

No? Well – since a number of years the students discovered this fairly lucrative (but physically most demanding) business and firmly hold it in their hands! It does not only provide them with the necessary cash – it does keep them fit and their lungs pumping at full capacity as I can not imagine, a heavy smoker would be able to do that! For a tour inside the very center they charge 15 Euros … a rather extensive tour I was told, which takes a good hour or longer! They assured me, explanations would be included …
They make short “trips” as well … Central Station – Stachus or Marienplatz … an approximate fifteen-minute trip !
Initially it was a very weird sight and one was tempted to wonder if they maybe missed the right country … but we got used to them – and their “terminal” – right at Marienplatz!

At the pedestrian zone I heard all of a sudden deafening loud rhythms behind me and dashed aside … only to discover a band from Serbia/Montenegro starting to walk right in the middle of the way (regardless of who was standing or walking there before), playing their brass-instruments, waving flags and loudly supporting their team, which – I have to add as explanation – just started to play at 21:00 against the team of Ivory Coast!

Well … that was Serbia/Montenegro … and if you think Ivory Coast was NOT represented – you’re wrong!

About half-way to Marienplatz I found their dancers, fantastic acrobats, showing their art which did, in my opinion, strongly resemble “CAPOEIRA”, the Afro-Brazilian martial art which was developed initially by African slaves in Brazil starting in the colonial period in the 16th century.

Some thirty meters down the road then it was impossible NOT to notice the large drums, impressively getting across the message that their home-team, Ivory Coast that is, enjoys at least AS strong support that the adversary!

When I finally succeeded to make it to Marienplatz itself – I was in for another surprise – Korean fans, loudly chanting for THEIR team!

This way we covered half the globe … from Ivory Coast all the way over to Serbia/Montenegro – and till Korea! That makes it so great – and then to watch them all sitting together, chatting and laughing while sipping either a cool beer or a coke or juice is nothing short of heartwarming! That’s what the spirit of sport is all about …

On my way back to Stachus I secretly wondered if the decisionmakes of this planet should have their own championship .. in which everyone has to play against everyone and be judged for fair-play, compassion and justice. I’m afraid they would pitifully fail … most likely ALL of them! I just HAD to mention that …


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