Unlike my previous street corner experience, we had a rather pleasant encounter the other day. It was our first day in Munich, and we were just getting oriented with the neighborhood around the hotel. It was 20:00, and we noticed that there was hardly anything open. We were trying to find a grocery store or corner market to pick up a few things since we actually had a fridge at our disposal in the room. Well, we walked down one side and around the corner and were just going to give up when we decided to walk to just to the end of the street. We got to the corner and looked around. Nothin’. We talked about giving up and turned back towards the hotel, when an older lady stopped us with a, “Do you need some help?” in perfectly American English. Our American accents had stopped her.
I was tongue-tied, but Charity piped up and asked if anything was open. The lady laughed and said, “Goodness, no, nothing’s open after 8!” She made a few suggestions, especially giving up on restaurants as they were too expensive and said, “just go to McDonalds!” We laughed some more, and she commented on how things used to close at 6:30 when she first arrived in Munich 11 years ago. It apparently was a big deal when they decided to extend to 8pm! Ok, I swear not to use this word too much, but how “quaint”! I guess “blue laws” are alive and well here in Munich. She also advised that nothing would be open on Sunday (after Charity referred to Austrian Sundays). Basically, forget about it.
So I finally asked where she was from, and you’ll never guess… she’s from MAUI. Ha!! Talk about serendipity. Not only had we met a kind soul on this random street corner, she is kama`aina. I mean, she coulda been from Boise, and I woulda been happy to connect with another American, but heck, from HAWAI`I? Really?? Wow, small world. She’d come to Europe a decade ago looking for adventure and fell in love with a German in London. Cool.
I am thanking the Universe for random moments like that one. Out of all the street corners and people in the Nymphenburg neighborhood, we ran into just the right person at exactly the right moment. I am grateful for the randomness.