August 4, 2010

The Politics of Blogging, Birthday Parties, Hiking the Bavarian Alps, and Yet Another Friendly PSA

It’s been a while since I blogged. And yes, I realize how nerdy it sounds for me to say that and, at my own expense, I fully embrace the nerdiness within me. It’s a beautiful Wednesday morning here in Munich and I’m stuck inside doing laundry and vacuuming. But I’m listening to iTunes on shuffle - Radiohead at the moment (Videotape is a hauntingly beautiful song) - and enjoying ice cold water. Which, believe it or not, is really a blessing because nowhere in Germany do they provide ice with their beverages. This is why I make my own ice water by using the freezer. Efficient, isn’t it?

Things have been great here in Deutschland but is that much of a surprise? I have yet to feel like I made the wrong decision by coming here. I’m actually starting to think that my whole life has led up to this experience. Is that thought too grandiose? It’s amazing. I don’t know how many times I could say that.  It’s all true. Even if I don’t end staying here in Germany, I am never going to forget or turn my back on the memories and friendships that I’ve made here. I am so blessed!

This past week was busy. Well, kind of. Okay, not really. I think it’s a joke to say that the life of the au pair is “busy.” At least the life of this au pair. I always get crap from my other well established au pair friends because apparently, my au pair job is a joke and they are much worse off than I am. If you say so!  The only reason I hint at the fact that my week was only a little bit but kind of not really busy is because Die Kinder had their birthday on the 31st. So, in this household it was a busy event. The Frau really put herself out planning for this one. Considering she told me about it in January when I was still in California and had yet to wrap my mind around the fact that I was even going to Germany, let alone hanging out with German twins on their 6th birthday. And now the moment’s past and it’s crazy to me to think that the things I once imagined are now actually happening.

Anyway, back to the story. Die Kinder turned 6 and in Germany that’s pretty important because it’s the age when they leave kindergarten (which is different than in the states) and go to elementary school. The girls finish kinderhaus on August 14th and start elementary school on September 14th. So, they celebrated their rite of passage in style. On Saturday morning (their actual birthday) the Frau had their grandparents (Oma and Opa) come over for breakfast and presents. I attended this event and mostly just sat there while they all talked in German. Which is pretty much all that I do in this house when the family’s all together but hey, immersion is the fastest way to learn a new language, right?

The party planning was split up between Saturday and Monday. Their friends came over on Monday after kinderhaus for a real celebration. Helen and I both helped out with the party which was mostly just cake, snacks, games, and chaos. And a lot of German kids. I couldn’t communicate with about 85% of the kids but it was okay because all I had to do was dance around and point at stuff and they usually figured it out. Nana was freaking out for most of the party – not sure about what – but the poor girl was really going nuts. Her whole head/face turns bright red and she screams and cries and kicks and hits at her mother and drags her around. She does this quite often – I was just sad to see that she let her own bad attitude ruin her birthday party. Poor kid. She needs a chill pill. I tell her that all the time and the Frau looks at me like I’m crazy. She’s probably thinking, “She wants to medicate my children?!” Ha.

DSCN3604 Me and Helen with Nana and Ina. Au Pair spectacular!

Overall, the party was a success. It went from 3:30 until about 7 or so. After that, Helen, the Frau, and I sat in the kitchen and drank champagne. And the Frau gave us each 50 EUR for helping. Woo! I love free money. The stupidest presents that they got: unicycles. Logic is still lost on this one. After the party, I went out with some friends for bier because let’s face it, nothing takes away the stress of a chaotic birthday party like some good German spirits. 

I guess that’s a good transition for me to comment on my drinking habits as of lately. I already wrote a little PSA in a past entry and a few people apologized for leading me to believe that they were nagging me or judging my behaviors. But for others, apparently that wasn’t enough. It is true that I have been doing a lot of ‘partying’ here in Munich if you were me - a 23-year-old college graduate experiencing Europe for the first time in the brewing capital of the world – wouldn’t you be doing the same thing? The only reason it seems as if all that I do is go out and drink is because on Facebook, most of my photographic documentation occurs during these nights out. I don’t take pictures of the nights when I’m in reading 100 pages of whatever book I’m currently enjoying or when I’m sitting at my computer for hours at a time, obsessing over Facebook, or Skyping with my best friends and family members. I don’t take pictures of myself playing War or Crazy Eights with 6 year olds. I don’t take pictures of myself making dinner.

Yes, I will admit that I haven’t been getting out to see the sights as often as I could have but that’s mostly just because it’s been raining and because I’m lazy. Hey, at least I can admit to it. Plus, I keep going by the thought that I’ll be here for a year. What’s the rush? Sure, it’s summer time but it’s hot as balls in Munich and that doesn’t make me want to wander around outside with a camera strapped on. But, I promise, I won’t die of alcohol poisoning. I may do some stupid things like end up in the hospital with stitches, kiss way too many boys, get lost and walk home at 3 am, or stay out in the rain all night. But seriously, I’m okay. You are my friends and family and you love me, I get that and I totally appreciate and understand your concern but when I get to the point that I feel you should be worried about me, you’ll know it. So let me live my life the way that I feel like living it. I promise that I won’t pass judgment on you for the things that you choose to do either. I’d hate to have to start creating privacy controls on Facebook so that everyone will stop commenting on my drunken photography. Let’s not make it come to that. I love you, I swear!

Anyway…. I hate that I had to do that AGAIN but, whatever. It’s done and I won’t say it again. I have so much more to write. Why does it feel like this entry is ridiculously long? Whatever. It’s my blog. I just wanted to say that I went to Garmisch this past weekend and it was awesome. I hadn’t traveled out of Munich yet (not including Starnberg) so it was so nice to get out. I went with Helen, Laura, and Sara and we got a Bayern ticket and took the train. The weather was perfect, the Alps were gorgeous, the hiking was great, the day was a success. I got eaten alive by horse flies which sucks now because I’m covered in itchy bug bites but it was so worth it. I can’t wait to go back to Garmisch to see Kathe (family friend).

DSCN3465 Hitting the trails

The epitome of German charm.


I love my camera.


This weekend’s upcoming trip to Hamburg has been canceled, seeing as all of us are poor. But I’ve substituted the lost trip for a day trip to the Neuschanwanstein castle. Hopefully the planning works out and we can get enough people to go. So far so good!

Neuschwanstein_1 Not my picture but it very well could be  by next week! :)


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