Manning and friends were to arrive around 15:30, which gave me an entire morning to snooze, find a croissanterie, take my rings to the park and have a nice lazy workout in the sun. If you bring your gym with you, you never have to worry about finding a gym!
I focused really hard during this trip on calibrating my circadian rhythm with sunlight queues. Up at a reasonable hour, sitting at a café in the sun by 09:30 to get loads of sunlight in my face, and then being out biking as the sun went down. Worked exceptionally well, I was calibrated onto local time by the second day, almost trivially (helps that I kicked the process off by eating an unreasonably large amount of THC edibles to knock myself out on the flight from Portland to Reykjavik. Before I passed out, I did spend what felt like an eternity being Far Too High in the window seat.).
I got a bunch of cheeses and cured meats to welcome the boys after their trip from Frankfurt.
Regardez! Paradis du fromage:
Eventually the Alexes and Victor arrived, and we were off to the races! Everyone mounted a velo-steed, and we proceeded to procure Budweisers and various big-brand beers at the kiosk. Alex had recently swapped clips on his bikes for flats, and while carrying 2 or 3 liters of beer in his hand, lost footing on his bike, dropped the beers, and nearly sliced the tip of his finger off. This lovely gentleman appeared out of absolutely nowhere, and staunched Alex’s bleeding just enough for us to bike over to a hospital and get the repair process started.
Alex is notorious for injuring himself on his bike during adventures.
The remaining three of us posted up on the banks of a nearby canal, drank our beers, and trolled swans (humans in this shot are not in our party).
Bless their souls, the fellas had lined up dinner with a friend of theirs in venture capital in Berlin. We got jumped to the front of the line at a hot Korean fried-chicken joint, and I challenged myself to rise to whatever spicy level the Koreans wanted to eat. Lo, did I sweat.
Apres, the Koreans invited us to a literally-and-figuratively underground karaoke joint, poured endless Heinekens into our faces, and insisted on shoving vodka shots down as well. Gracious me, but do those folks love to drink. At a certain point, I had to bow out of the drinking, but realized that entailed leaving a beer 3/4ths unconsumed so that they’d not try to push another one on me. One of our compatriots had sung opera for many years before going into tech recruiting, and it was amazing to hear her pick up on pop-song melodies for songs she’d never heard before and harmonize on the spot. Humans are amazing!
At something absurd like 3 in the morning, with Alex fully exhausted from several hours waiting for glass extraction and re-stitchment of his hand, we emerged from karaoke and biked home. On the way, I discovered precisely what Germans think about American food: