A little while ago, I wrote about my scariest travel experience and it was a hit! So today, I thought I’d lighten it up a bit and write about my funniest moment. In the moment it wasn’t that comical, but as the night wore on, my friend and I kept asking each other if we were on a prank show or something, because it kept getting more and more absurd.
It all started on a trip to Munich with my friend T. She had never been to Germany before so I was excited to show her around Munich and some of my favorite German dishes (halloooooo Käsespätzle!). We arrived in the early afternoon, met with our AirBnb host, and got settled in. Then we hit the town and explored the area. We started with the Marienplatz (of course), then eventually stopped for dinner at a restaurant inside the Marienplatz, called Gesund & Köstlich. While at dinner we witnessed some questionable interactions between two men and a young woman, tried to intervene, but were given the cold shoulder by the woman. BUT that’s not where our story takes places. Our story begins after dinner, while sitting on one of the main streets of the city, people watching.
We had just snagged two seats along some flower beds that ran the middle of the walkway. It was a wide walkway, the size of a street & sidewalks, but it was solely pedestrian. We were relaxing, enjoying the view. I was facing one way, but T was facing a slightly different direction, which is why I was the only one to see what happened next. We were sitting somewhat central on the walkway, but there was a brick wall the ran along the one side of it, to my left. I was looking down the path as a couple approached, walking along that brick wall toward us. The woman was in front with the man close behind. They were clearly arguing, and the woman seemed to be trying to walk away from the man. She was walking briskly but he was much taller and keeping up pretty easily. She also appeared to be pretty intoxicated.
Now the next part of the story is pretty serious and not where the “funny” in the title comes from: The guy was carrying one of those classic German-style, glass beer mugs, the really big kind. He picked up his pace to catch up with her and raised it above his head and brought it down on the back of her head. She immediately fell to the ground. She made some small yelps and was mumbling/slurring out words. I looked around and a few people had taken notice that the woman had fallen and were rushing up to help the two of them. They were all speaking German and I had assumed they witnessed the same thing I did, so I kind of stayed back and watched, as I knew I wouldn’t be able to communicate all that well with them.
As I watched on, the man was trying to pick the woman up (she seemed to be both intoxicated and dazed from the hit) and get her out of there. At one point he was practically dragging her. This was catching more people’s attention so more people gathered to help. I slowly realized that no one saw what I saw – they think she’s just really drunk and having a hard time walking/staying conscious. I approached the crowd and tried to ask someone if they’ve called the police, “Haben Sie Polizei telefonieren?” I tried in my rough German. I figured as long as I know the police are on their way, I could explain what I saw to them. A few of them looked at me and basically just shoo’d me away, the police had not been called.
I joined back up with T and we tried to figure out how to explain what I saw. We googled the verb “to hit” in German, shlagen, and I went back in to try again. This time, I pulled aside a middle aged-woman. I hoped she was a mom because that’s the type of person I needed to listen to me. Again, I asked “Haben Sie Polizei telefonieren?”. She said “nein.” I said, “Er shalgt sie mit da (He hits her with that).” Again, my German is rough. I pointed to the boyfriend and to the glass mug that was now on the ground. She looked at me for a second and then her face completely changed. She called over to her boyfriend/husband who was one of the men trying to help the woman stand and spoke to him quickly in German. He looked at me then stepped away from the crowd. She told me he was calling the police and to wait here until they arrive.
A few long minutes go by while I prayed this guy didn’t get away. Finally a police car and an ambulance arrived. The EMTs escorted the woman into the ambulance to check her out. The woman that I had spoken to brought one of the police officers over to me. Let me pause the tale here for a quick second to tell you that this police officer was one of the most gorgeous men I had ever seen. I’m talking tall glass of German sparkling water. Okay, resume: I asked him, “Sprechen Sie Englisch?”. He kind of chuckled and said “nicht sehr gut (not very well).” So then I knew I had a task ahead of me.
In my broken German I explained what I saw. I was flustered, so I forgot the different words for running vs. walking and how to conjugate for past tense, so I started to mime out what I saw: “Sie lauft (She walks, as I mime walking) und Er LAUFT (he WALKS, as I mime running). Er hat das Glas und er shalgt sie mit es (He has the glass and he hits her with it).” He continued to ask me questions, such as how his arm was positioned, how fast they were going, etc. and I stumbled through them as best as I could. At one point, he complimented my German and I was like, “well, thank you, sir *wink*”, except not really.
I’m not sure if the following is typical German police procedural, maybe it was because they wanted to make absolute sure they understood my broken narrative, but they then asked me to use T and act out everything I saw. They took us over to the wall where it all happened and pulled out a digital camera. At this point, the guy had been taken over around a corner, handcuffed, and the glass had been bagged like in Law and Order. I then began to coach T on what to do (she played the role of Female Victim while I portrayed Male Assailant). As we acted the whole thing out, they stopped us as points to TAKE OUR PHOTOS. This means that, somewhere in a Munich police station, there are photos of me pretending to bash T over the head with a glass mug and then drag her body away. Oh, also, I’m pretty sure they gave me the mug or something similar to use as a prop, so this was like a full-scale reenactment.
Now, I’m sure you can imagine this has caused quite a scene. In the middle of a pedestrian-only walkway, there was an ambulance, a few cop cars with lights still on, a gathering of cops, a man being arrested, and then two American girls pantomiming some absurd scene with digital camera flashes going off every few seconds. At this point, despite what we had just witnessed, which of course was not a laughing matter whatsoever, me and T were busting up. They were putting that camera right up in our faces while we were frozen mid-hit and mid-drag trying to document what we saw. It was honestly absurd.
Flash forward a few minutes after we’ve finished our performance, and another gorgeous police officer asked us if we can come to the police station to formally give our statements. We agreed, of course, because we wanted to see this through to make sure this guy got what he deserved. So they put us IN THE BACK OF THE POLICE CAR, lights still flashing, and let us sit there for 5/10 minutes or so until we pulled away. So, I’m sure, to everyone walking by, they saw all this police activity, and the two of us in the back of the car, and assumed we did something. We were just bewildered at this point as to what the night had turned into. While we sat in the car, we also both shared our amazement how literally every single police officer was drop. dead. gorge. We started to wonder if this wass all some type of prank show because it seemed to be getting crazier and crazier. I also took a moment to call my mom and explain that we were headed to a police station as witnesses to a crime, in case this was all some elaborate kidnapping scheme.
Finally we pulled away and the (really cute) officer who was driving us tried to make small talk about where we were from, what we were doing in Munich, etc. Bless his heart. We arrived at the station and it was kind of dark and gray. We literally walked by jail cells (thankfully no one was in them) and they led us into a conference room. T and I were sitting in there while different officers trickled in and out to gather our info, scan our passports, etc. I kid you not, every officer that walked in got progressively more and more gorgeous. Like these men could have been models. T and I just kept looking at each other wondering when the cameras were going to come out to reveal it was all for show.
They let us know they were just waiting for an interpreter and then we’d get started on the formal statement. A woman arrived a few moments later and greeted us in German-accented English. She explained that we’d need to re-explain everything we saw. They then started placing some of the evidence on the table including the glass mug in an evidence bag. I recall having to draw out the layout of where we were sitting in accordance with where the two people where, explaining in detail how he raised his arm, how high, at what angle, how fast. They would talk amongst themselves in German, then the interpreter would ask me follow-up questions. I could somewhat follow along with their discussions, so I’d chime in when possible, which I think surprised them.
I think we may have been there for about 30 or so minutes, maybe more. We finally finished with the statement and they told us to keep an eye on our phones/emails as we may have to come back to court to testify, maybe in a few days, maybe in a few months. We just kind of laughed and said “okay”, because what could we really do? Yet another handsome officer and his handsome partner then drove us back to our AirBnB and that was that.
We never heard from them again for any further testimony, but that definitely would have been an experience (and probably a second blog post). But hey, as long as they would have paid for my flight, I’d be happy to testify in a German court.