I arrived in Munich after delayed flights that caused me to miss my workshop talk. Good thing was that I could meet Simone Santini and spend a nice evening catching up with him. We discussed lots of technical things but more important was just to spend some time with him. He is a bright person with very academic brain. His senso of humour and quest for knowledge make him a nice person to spend some time with.
Today was possibly the first little free time for me to reminisce about Germany. I spent 20 months here in 1976-78. Things have definitely changed in 30 years, but in general it is the same country. I like the orderliness, cleanliness, and general discipline. Though it does appear that discipline has become a bit slacker compared to what it used to be. The most surprising thing was that I saw several beggars on street, at least 4. This really surprised me. ANother thing that was a bit unexpected is several telephone shops for people to make calls. It was good for me because it allowed me to call at reasonable rates because I don’t have mobile phone and hotel phones are usually terribly expensive. Quite a few big Internet centers also. This is different from USA. Definitely good for tourists. ANd yes, McDonalds are everywhere. Did not see Starbucks, however.
I find that my German has gone the same way as my Marathi and Bengali. I used to speak fluent German but now I can not understand or speak. I think it will take staying here for some time to get it back. May not be a bad idea, bur definitely an unlikely one.
I am happy that tomorrow morning I am going back. WIll be home tomorrow evening.