I remember the next morning clearly. It was a Sunday, about 9AM. My wonderful hosts had given me breakfast and bid me good luck on my journey. I can remember to this day, walking down a country lane, near Neuss, en route to the autobahn, and the next chapter to my adventure. After walking a few miles, with all the possessions in the world in my back pack, and my guitar, I stopped a hippie looking gentleman and asked “where can I hitch south man ?”. He said “jump in, dude”.
Got a short ride to Bonn, a man named Marcus, who was about 35, stopped and offered me a lift. He was a silent type of guy, going to Stuttgart. Quite a distance south. Some hours later, after a stop for a hamburger and a coke, we arrived at the Rastatte at Stuttgart.
I was hitching for a while, at Stuttgart, I didn’t even know where the next stop was i.e. where I was going next, I remember it was about 3 or 4PM. And, all of a sudden, a Porsche pulled up. A bearded officer of Germany’s GSG 9 unit, who introduced himself as Fritz, said “Jump in”.
Fritz was the real deal. I watched him, not saying a word, go out on the autobahn towards Münich. The rhythm as he changed gears and race changed expertly. We were doing about, oh, hmm, 200 km’s an hour at least. Quite frankly, I nearly shit myself. We were moving like the original bat out of hell. Fritz told me his full name and I figured out who he was. At one stage he was the officer in charge of antiterrorism in South Germany. Well, we were flying. An hour and a half later, we reached Münich in one piece.
He parked the Porsche in Schwabing. For those of you who don’t know Münich, that’s an area a few kilometers to the north of the city centre. We adjourned to a restaurant where he said, come on , I’ll buy you a beer and dinner. After At least four or five bottles of of German beer, and a good meal, Fritz asks me “are you gay ?”. I reply “No, I am fucking not”.
He said “good”. “Cause you can stay in the spare bed in my hotel room tonight”. “I hate faggots”. Having a good night sleep yet again, I set out for the city centre of Münich the following morning. Two hours busking gave me 30 or 40 Marks. I asked some hippies who seemed to be everywhere in South Germany in those years “where do I hitchhike to Vienna from ?”.
They directed me to Innsbrucker ring, a tube stop on the U1 as you leave Münich. At about 5PM that evening, I decided to travel to Austria. I think I thought about it for 5 minutes. I had money, 1 or 2 days food, a guitar, and didn’t give a shit. I got off at Innsbrucker ring and saw a lady who I think was Turkish, who’s car had overheated. I stopped to help, only because I don’t like the thought of a woman stranded, got her car going again with enough fluid and a water pipe bound up. As I walked away, she stopped me and put 20 DM in my hand. I thanked her and soon enough got a lift across to Kulstien, a pretty little village in the Austrian Alps. We were stopped and searched at the border.