The young woman receives me with a friendly smile and tells me “we will be a small group tonight.” She adds “you know Bayern München are playing Manchester United tonight.” There are indeed very few in the hall in which I am to read from Die Schatten der Vergangenheit sind noch lang. Turns out that I am after all not Champions League material. The woman confesses that she is quite nervous, explaining, “authors are sometimes difficult.” I try to reassure her, promise that I will not be difficult, and hold back from pointing out that the football game is due to start later in the evening, only after my event is due to end.
It goes well and the questions show interest. The organisers say goodnight and do not offer to take me out for dinner. I don’t know anyone in this town and go back to my hotel. The restaurant is closed and I can only get snack food at a bar full of loud Bayern supporters.