July 4, 2010

Thunderstorms, Starnberger See, and Americans in Munich

It’s Sunday night, just after 10, and I am sitting in my window seat watching the thunder and rain. And lightning! Although I have the window open and the rain is coming in on me. But it’s really cool anyway.  Especially because it’s the coolest breeze I’ve felt in over a week! Not that I am complaining – it’s a beautiful summer here in Munich but it’s taking me a long time to adjust to the heat. Not a big fan of being sweaty ALL THE TIME. Over the last few days, it’s been storming almost every night and then the days or humid and hot. But I love to fall asleep (and sometimes wake up to) the thunder.

This is just one of the little things that I love about Munich. How can I love it and loathe it all at the same time. Although that’s not even true. I don’t loathe it at all, I just hate the hot weather. I’m not a summer or a winter girl. I like spring and fall, where it’s right in the middle. I suppose I can’t really complain though! I’d rather be hot, sweaty, and sun burnt in Munich right now than in any other place in the world. I’m really, really enjoying myself here. It’s such an incredible experience. I’m so grateful to be here. And every day brings something new.

The rest of this week brought good and bad things. But mostly good. I made that Parmesean recipe on Wednesday and it was a huge hit. Both the Frau and Vee loved it. Eenie wasn’t a big fan, she didn’t even want to try it but Vee’s already asked for it twice more. Except she calls it, “that salad that mama made.” So I’ll definitely be making that again.

On Thursday I had a “day off.” After 9 am, anyway. So I didn’t really do much of anything. I went into town to get a train pass and to top up my phone credits. And I was supposed to meet this guy from ToyTown to have lunch but he definitely stood me up and never showed. Too bad for him, I’m not giving him any good reviews to other ToyTown goers. What a jerk. It took me a while to come back from that – I was really pissed off and I was hot and sweaty from having waited outside in the sun for an hour. So I came back to the house and was in a dark mood. I got really homesick and felt like crying about it but I didn’t. Eventually I just sucked it up and made plans for the evening. I hung out with some new ToyTown friends and we drank beer and socialized at Tollwood - a summer music festival with beer tents, bands, and delicious food. I made a few new friends through this – especially with Lauren who is also from California and Clare who is a darling girl from England. Yay for new friends!

DSCN2608Calamari, bier, and pommes frit!

DSCN2609 Open air and fading daylight.

DSCN2624Me and Lauren at Tollwood 

On Friday it was still incredibly HOT. And in this house, being outside in the heat is way better than sitting around in my third floor bedroom where it’s always hot. I went out with the Frau because we had to go pick up my membership card for the pool from the “headquarters.” She bought me a membership so that I can take the girls but at the same time, I can go alone, whenever I want. Anyway, we went by bike and she showed me all of the places where the girls go for this or that – their music class, recorder lessons, their soon-to-be elementary school, their favorite playground, where they once took an art class. It was so cool going through the city streets – they’re so pretty. And it gave me a better perspective on my location. I’m starting to see how things connect and can figure out where I am or how to get home from there. And because we live right next to the Englischer Gartens, I can just cut through and enjoy the scenery too! After our errands, I went “down to the river” with Becky, a friend from ToyTown. I met a few other girls, some of her friends, and we just laid out in the sun and attempted to enjoy the Isar River. It runs through the Englischer Gartens and at this particular point, the “down by the river” location, there are tons of people just laying out. One the other side of the river there are naked people. Mostly old wrinkly dudes. It’s pretty much just naked penis all the time in the Gartens. Awesome!

DSCN2634 Down by the river.
See the naked guy strolling along?

DSCN2632 Enjoying the sun and the river.

On Friday night I went out with Helen and her friends and enjoyed the Munich night life some more. We spent our money at this youth hostel bar called Jaeger’s which is ridiculously cheap. 3,50 Euro for ein maß. And two pilsners for 3 Euro during Happy Hour. Needless to say, I had a good night.

On Saturday I went to Starnberger See with Helen and some of her friends and other Toy Town goers. We took the SBahn about 40 minutes out of the city and the lake was absolutely GORGEOUS. I’d been wanting to go and I almost turned it down because I was so tired from two nights of drinking and staying out late. But I’m glad that I did! We rented a boat at 35 Euro per hour and had it for two hours. So it ended up being only 7 Euro per person for the ten of us that took it out. We basically just drove it around and listened to music, enjoyed the lake and stopped a few times to jump out and swim. It was so much fun. There were gorgeous sailboats all around us and although we couldn’t see the Alps, the surroundings were gorgeous anyway. Lake houses and trees and all the cool German architecture. After the boat we all laid out on the grass and went back and forth between swimming and sunning. We also BBQ’d sausages and steaks. After that was the Germany vs. Argentina game but, unfortunately, I did not watch it seeing as I had to get home to get ready for babysitting Die Kinder. But I heard many good things about the victory – 4:0 – and am so proud of Germany for doing so well, especially while I’m here to witness it!

DSCN2662 Starnberger See

DSCN2674 Enjoying the lake with new friends

DSCN2682 Where the girls set up camp to watch the football game. Gorgeous!

Saturday wrapped up with some old fashioned babysitting tricks – arts and crafts projects. Die Kinder are making their own invitations to their upcoming birthday party and so for an hour and a half we sat in their room and made cards. I did most everything. Cut the paper, folded the paper, drew and cut out hearts, polka dots, clouds, lightning bolts, and stars in whatever color of paper was asked of me. And in the end, we came out with 16 beautiful, hand-made cards from two very proud five year olds. I put them to bed after that, which is SUPER easy. I read them a book (or five) and then turn on a CD and they lay in their beds and fall asleep. Eenie laid in there for almost 2 1/2 hours before she finally fell asleep. Just laid in her bed and listened to the CD two times over. Didn’t get out of their beds at all. I’ve never met kids like that before. It’s so weird. Haha. Also, on Saturday evening there was an insect massacre in my bedroom. All the gnats and lightning bugs from the Englischer Gartens love my lights and so if my window’s open (which it usually is) and my lights are on (they usually are) then they all swarm into my room and I have to figure out how to kill them all. Definitely found and used up all of the bug spray. But hey, no bugs! I vacuumed up their dead carcasses this morning. Suckers. Also, best thing to come out of Saturday: frozen water bottles. I’m going to do this every night. I carried a water around today that stayed frozen ALL DAY because it had a giant frozen ice cube at it’s center. Ingenious, I know.

Sunday (today) was fun too. I met up with Lauren and Mikell and we went to an Americans in Munich 4th of July potluck. Of course, this is my first Independence Day not being in the states so it was nice to go meet up with other people who don’t get fireworks and enjoy some good old fashioned American potluck food. We were there for almost 5 hours, I think. It was a good day! After drinks with Jessica in the evening, I am home now and a new weeks is about to begin!

Three weeks in and still so much more ahead. The homesickness comes and goes. It’s been really hard lately because most of the people that I’ve met who are established in Munich are leaving and there is a lot of talk of going home and it makes it very hard not to think about my own return someday. I don’t really want to come home but it’s inevitable to miss it. But, like I said, it just depends on the day.

For now, I am happy to be here and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the rest of the summer and the following seasons.

Ich liebe Deutschland!


Anonymous said...

Wow, the views of the lake look awesome! I was watching the Germany game on tv here and when they won, one of the things I wondered about was how everyone over there was going to celebrating. hehe

By the way, I must have missed you first discussing ToyTown because I ended up googling it to find out what it was. The posts make a lot more sense now. :o)


Dmbosstone said...

Ya I didn't realize what ToyTown was the first few posts but I assumed it was a store.

I want to go to Germany now because they apparently have the biggest Calamari rings I've ever seen!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you're adjusting alright to your new life in Germany!
I arrived in Italy last week, and i can totally relate to the "being hot and sweaty ALL THE TIME" thing! seriously, it's brutal!

great photos!


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