Monday, June 4, 2012
This is Part 10 of the Wir Gehen Nach Deutschland series, which is, apparently, a series now, because I just called it a series, just now, and there are eleven of them, which is bonkers.
After we decided Salzburg was happening, I got all riled up for it. I was ready. I was prepared to just light my euros on fire so I could do this, and I resolved that I would win, I would win, I would win so fucking hard that all other wins that everyone had ever done ever, including Work War II and American Independence and that one time my cousin won the the relay on The Bozo Show would seem worthless in comparison to how hard I was going to win at Hitler's Casino.
We basically guessed which train tickets we had to purchase and when we climbed off the train it was like BAM! we're in Salzburg, like we apparated or something. I immediately hauled over to the tourist information desk while MoLinder and Katsisch ran for the bathroom (I braved the train bathroom and advised them heavily against it).
After snagging a few maps of Salzburg I hopped into line and got to scouring. The castle was easy enough to find, and Mozart's house, and the Sound of Music fountain for singing and dancing in a chain. So Hitler's Casino or whatever its real name is...that would be...um.
Where was it?
As I stepped up to the counter MoLinder and Katsisch arrived, fresh and emptied. I laid the map on counter.
"Hi. I mean, um, Guten Tag," I stammered out, "Sorry. I mean, um, es tut mir leid." which was how I greeted basically every foreigner. Saved me from looking like an American Asshole while blatantly letting them know I did not really understand their language, I just took some classes one time, years ago. And retained goddamn nothing. "We would like to know the best way to get to the casino."
"Casino? I am unsure if I know what you mean."
"We read in a book that there was a casino. Um, I think it's, um...Schloss Kless-something."
"Oh, that casino! Are you...positive you mean that casino?" She furrowed warily. "It is not really in town."
"Oh, we know that, we just want to know how to get there."
"You have several travel options," she pulled out a pen and started drawing shit all over the map. "One is walk and follow this road. It is about four kilometers this way"--she scratches an arrow leading off the map, along a road surrounded by nothing but green which means nothing, mapwise--"but I would not advise for you to do this. We also have a train--did you just arrive?'
"Yes, from Munich."
"Yes, we also have a train that you can take one stop and walk for near funfzehn minuten to get to Schloss Klessheim. Your third travel option is to hire a taxi."
"How much would that cost, would you say? Because, um..."
She smiled, almost guilty. "If you fret about the cost of a taxi, you should not be affording this casino."
"There is a price to go inside, and you must spend it on...on...on, um...games."
"Do you know how much it costs?"
"I believe it is one hundred euro."
"Also they have a standard of dress."
Oh. "Oh." I turn to Katsisch and MoLinder. "Well, it looks like this will be quite the adventure."
They were sniggering.
"Thank you so much for your help."
"You are very welcome. Good luck."
We left the information desk giggling like idiots.
"You guys," Katsisch laughs, "I think this is going to be expensive."
"I think it's going to be rad," MoLinder says. "But a hundred euro?"
"I don't know...I don't know if I'm prepared for this," I say, dismayed. "I thought I was, but..."
"But you're discouraged."
"I am definitely discouraged."
"Well, did Hitler ever really gamble there?"
"No, it was his conference home or something," MoLinder explained. "So if we don't go, then it's kind of like we refuse to even deal with his bullshit."
"Because he's a racist," I agree.
"Exactly." MoLinder says sensibly. "We could just walk around and decide later."
So we did. We walked and we walked, and we never made it to the casino because we ran out of time, and there are no regrets...
Because let's face it: I am a terrible goddamn gambler. I love it, and I love the math and the excitement and the everything, but I am terrible at it because I never really believe I will win.
So instead, we have Salzburg.
Salzburg was a fond breeze, a white city built for wandering aimlessly, because it is impossible to get lost since you can always see where you are in relation to the giant hilltop fortress castle thing. We took wrong turns down alleys that morphed into gems of cobblestone streets, we strolled through parks and sat on stone unicorns, we wandered through churches, we explored the fortress and museum, we watched people playing giant human chess and traipsed through graveyards. We sat in the sun, although it was cool outside, and we drank beer.
"When people describe how they feel at the beach, I will think of Salzburg," I said to Katsisch.
"When people describe how they feel at the beach, I'll get jealous and wish I was reading at the damn beach," she replied.