Saturday I headed south from Berlin to Nürnberg, something close to 4 solid hours on the train. Luckily I managed to get two seats to myself.
Unluckily, as I was checking into my hotel, I realized that I had a massive, massive headache, and no Tylenol on hand.
At that point I was about 50% intelligent: I went to the Bahnhof Apotheke, where I paid Bahnhof pricing for a box of 20 paracetamol tablets—acetaminophen. For the price I paid in Germany, had I been at an American drug store, I could have gotten 100 of the buggers. The lady behind the cash register was kind enough to warn me to take no more than 6 in any given 24 hour period.
It was at that point that I was stupid: I’m actually on my way to Augsburg for an event on Monday and Tuesday, and I’d decided to make a “weekend” of it by stopping somewhere between Berlin and Augsburg to enjoy local scenery.
My two choices came down to Jena or Nürnberg, with Jena being eliminated because the people I really wanted to see were inconveniently out of town this weekend.
So I went – which is why I say I was about 50% intelligent: at least I realized I needed the paracetamol, even though I didn’t take it.
Instead I foolishly went to the biergarten, ate lunch and drank about 20% of a beer.
Sitting at the beer garden, I felt terrible – I actually felt like I had a fever, although, in retrospect, I accidentally sat in a sliver of sunlight. I just did not want to be there, or anywhere, to be honest.
So I headed back to my hotel, detouring by way of a grocery store in order to pick up a couple bottles of Lederer Bier. Back at the hotel, I took a pill and immediately fell asleep for a two-hour nap. After my nap, I ate a quick meal at the nearby train station, wandered through a tiny, tiny fragment of historic city center Nürnberg, before returning to my hotel and taking another pill and another nap, waking up just past midnight.
Strangely I can remember two other instances of having headaches like this while traveling: once was as I got to Bloomington, after a transatlantic flight. I’d parked the car and walked into the hotel, only to realize as I was standing at the check-in desk that I had a headache. The hotel sold me two Tylenol in a package that made my pills here look inexpensive – had the clerk had actually put the charge on my room bill, but they didn’t. I think the clerk took pity on me. I went directly to bed after getting into my room.
The other time was after a train ride from Weimar to Halle – I got off the train feeling fine, walked to my hotel, and arrived at the hotel with a minor headache. That time I was an idiot – I did not buy drugs – spending a few hours wandering around Halle before giving into the now massive headache and going back to the hotel where I took a long nap, waking up to find my only decent food option at the train station was a döner shop that was on the verge of closing for the night.
It’s a shame that my time in Nürnberg was wasted with a headache, as it is a charming city – or at least it was on my previous visits – and I was really looking forward to wandering its streets.