I took a local Swiss train from Winterthur to Munich. The train was very disappointing: not only because it was very expensive (about JPY8,000), but was also very uncomfortable as there was not enough leg-room and no air-conditions were working.... What did I pay JPY8,000 for?!
After spending a few hours in the stuffy hot Swiss train, I met up with Toni and Julia at a beer-garden in central Munich. My previous visit in Munich was when the October Fest was taking place in 2010: almost two years had passed since then and I was stunned to see Julia's belly pumped. The baby is due in a couple of months. A good surprise!

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While Julia and Toni were very kind to let me crash at their place again, I came to this funky German city for two specific reasons;

1. To go and see Xavier Rudd's live
2. To try the river-surfing

The first one was easy as Julia had already made a booking for me (EUR 37.95). The live was held in a venue called "Krone", a small circus place in Munich.
Unfortunately, Toni had to go to work early the next day and Julia was heavily pregnant. I went there alone, but the atmosphere was good and I met three Austrian people who sat next to me.

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The live was somehow sponsored by Billabong (What's Billabong doing here?! They should invest in J-Bay's WCT event!)
A couple of local bands played first and then Donavon Frankenreiter also played quite a few songs before Xavier showed up. And it was Xavier who stole the show. He was groovy, charismatic and stylish.

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The second one (To try the river-surfing) was something that I was super keen on doing during my previous visit, but I couldn't. So it was a must-task to be done this time. However, I immediately encountered one difficulty: it was to find a board to rent for river-surfing; I had my own surfboard with me then (a brandnew Hellfire 5'8), but I had no intention to take it out to that fast-stream and super-shallow river. A few dings on my Hellfire could easily be foreseen.
Funnily enough, despite no sea in Munich there are quite a few seasonal surf-shops in town, most of which change to ski & snowboard shops in winter.
I borrowed Toni's bicycle and cycled everywhere to check every single surf-shop, asking them whether or not I could rent a board for river-surfing. The first three shops that I walked in told me "No, we don't rent boards." And the fourth shop did have boards to rent, but all of them were rented out at that time....

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Utterly disappointed with the situation, I almost gave up looking for a board to rent by this time, and as the very very last option of "sacrificing my own shining Hellfire" started circulating in my head, I told myself: "Just try one more shop!" So I walked into a shop called Planet-Sports without any expectations.

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There was a basement inside the shop where I actually saw at least 10 brandnew surfboards standing up against the wall. I spoke to one of the staff members there, explained my situation to him and asked him very nervously if he had any board that I could rent. He replied to me: "Ahhh.... We do, but the board is very special and it was ridden by Quirin Rohleder, a professional German surfer, you know?!" I just stared at him and: "Okaaaay. Is there any chance that you let me use this board for a couple of hours?" I begged him. Yet his reply was very assertive: "Nope! This one is in very good conditions."
We were silent for a few seconds and then he opened his mouth saying "Actually, I have one more board." He brought a board out from a stockroom in the back and handed it over to me. The board clearly had a few dings on it, some were fixed and the others were taped up. I lifted it up and had a thorough look at all of it. Then I asked him: "How much is it to rent this board for a few hours?", "Oh, don't worry about it. You can just bring it back by tomorrow afternoon." he said. "Umm? You are not charging me at all? Are you serious....?" I looked at him with my mouth wide open.

Believe it or not, this is all a true story.


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The next morning Julia and I cycled to the park and I tried river-surfing for the very very first time in my life as pictured below (The board in my hand was the one from Planet-Sports).

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After a few failures I was able to stand up on the board. In fact, standing up was relatively easy for me, but riding the stream (not a wave) was very different from surfing. That's why I look very clumsy on the board in the photo below.

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Honestly speaking, it wasn't really fun. Hahaha.
This river-surfing in Munich was quite challenging or rather struggling with cold water. It might have been easier for me if I hadn't been a surfer. I just tried it for my own novelty value anyway.

The photo below shows the most famous river-surfing spot in Munich - Eisbach. There is much more water running at Eisbach than the spot I tried at today.
Some guys say that it might actually be easier to surf Eisbach than the other spot. Oh well, I might give it a go here next time!

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Munich is so vibrant and it's been great fun visiting this city and hanging out with Toni and Julia again. I owe Toni and Julia so much now, and I must treat them to the finest Japanese restaurant with best Sushi if they ever visit my country along with their son/daughter in the future.

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