The Munchen Penta

Throughout most of the 1980s I worked for Siemens, the giant German conglomerate, and managed their Optoelectronics business in the US. I made numerous visits to the headquarters on The Balanstraße in the center of Munich and usually stayed at the same hotel. The Penta [i]Now the Holiday Inn Munich – City Centre was just across the Isar from the Deutsches Museum ,[ii]Museum on the left – Penta on the upper right arguably one of the best science museums in the world[iii], and I think the largest. It was also no more than a few blocks from one of the many Paulaner Biergartens in the City and a short walk to the Englisher Garten. There was a Stube, serving Weisswurst and pretzels in the lobby, a Porsche dealer next door where I could buy parts for my 1974 Targa, and the underground Rosenheimer Platz U-Bahn station was down a couple of flights of stairs in the same building – all combined to make this the perfect spot for me.

On one particular trip, one of my bosses [iv]In German companies it is not uncommon to have a technical boss (mine being in Regensburg, Germany), as well as an administrative boss (mine being in New Jersey) and of course the so-called Kauffmann (mine in California with me), with veto power over all the others. was in town at the same time. He had asked me to stay in the Four Seasons[v]Vier Jahreszeitento be closer to him. The Four Seasons is a pretty classy (and expensive) place but I was happy to join him there.

After checking in I went immediately to my room, which had recently been fitted with a magnetic stripe card reader. My room key of course was the now-familiar credit card sort of thing with a mag stripe on one side. I had been fiddling with it, trying to get the door to open when a chambermaid passed by. I guessed her to be in her mid-twenties – tall with short blond hair, sparkling silver-blue eyes, and the shape of the classic Bavarian Fraulein.

“May I help you”, she said quietly in perfect English. I probably said something like, “Duh”. She then came up from behind and took my hand in hers and guided the card into the slot while quietly saying, “Poosh in slowly but gently with feeling, und hold for brief moment, zen pool out quickly”. As the door popped open, I turned to thank her and we came almost nose-to-nose. I stuttered to say “D-d-d-unka” and she just smiled.

I never saw her again but The Penta quickly dropped to second place on my list of favorite hotels in Munich.

By: Jim
Written: October 2021
Published: October 2021
Revised:
Reader feedback always appreciated.

 

footnotes
footnotes
i Now the Holiday Inn Munich – City Centre
ii Museum on the left – Penta on the upper right
iii , and I think the largest
iv In German companies it is not uncommon to have a technical boss (mine being in Regensburg, Germany), as well as an administrative boss (mine being in New Jersey) and of course the so-called Kauffmann (mine in California with me), with veto power over all the others.
v Vier Jahreszeitento