A Cold Day in Munich

In January 1976 I was in Munich freezing my butt off. My wife and I were traveling across Europe, but, having lost most of our dough in Rome (Details here) we had no money. We slept on trains at night and arrived in a new city each day, deciding our next stop by looking at the schedule as we arrived for a train that left about 9:00 PM and took overnight to get to its destination. So we went to Munich, partially becasue it was an overnight journey from where we were the night before, and partially because a guy we had met in Rome was a student there. He told us to attend the opera.

We did. Our first opera. Even at student rush prices, it took more than our allotted $3 per day each. And it was probably the worst opera with which to lose one's virginity. I am pretty sure we saw Janácek's "From The House of the Dead", a lugubrious contemporary work about a bunch of prisoners in a Czarist prison camp. No females, no arias, it was one gloomy minor key dirge after another. We were not dressed for it; we had dirty jeans and heavy winter coats we could not afford to check and would not have done so anyway as we would have revealed even more inappropriate attire underneath. When we found our seats, the people to our left, a tuxedoed and begowned elderly couple, looked sneeringly at us. They were not there after intermission. I don't know which was more frightening, the opera or their neighbors, but they didn't hang around.

We left town after the opera and went to Zurich, which was just as cold and blustery. But was an overnight's journey away.