August 10, 2010

Shout Out to the City, Epic Misadventures, and Kindergarten Van Gogh’s

It’s been exactly two months since I arrived in Munich. It’s gone by so fast and I’m afraid that time isn’t about to slow down either. Maybe in winter when the weather is cold and depressing and nothing exciting is happening, I’ll have a chance to catch my breath. For now, life in Munich is fast and crazy but so incredible. I love this city so much. I honestly don’t know how many times I can say that. Everyone keeps telling me that I won’t want to leave. I’m afraid they might be right. I’m feeling like I could become a permanent fixture around here – not this house, per se, but in the city. I couldn’t be an au pair forever but maybe an English teacher or work in a kindergarten or something.  I’m seriously considering it.

I love the history, the architecture, the people, the culture, the language, the food. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t enjoy – unless I’m feeling hormonal and moody but that’s not very often. Usually the blue skies come back and the city makes me fall in love with it all over again. There’s still so much that I have left to see, too. It can only get better and that’s what amazes me so much. Everyday I tell myself how lucky I am to be here, how smart I was to take this opportunity. I wish that I could share this experience with everyone who isn’t here but since I can’t do that, I hope this blog does suffice. I know that I spend a lot of time talking about how great it is and blah blah blah but, honestly, it’s something you really have to experience to truly understand. Like the kirches of Munich. They can’t really be explained through words or photographs. You have to stand inside them and experience their majesty first hand before you can understand just how beautiful they really are. I’m so grateful to have your attention and I hope you’ll keep reading, even if I can’t aptly describe how incredible this experience is. I will continue to try!

DSCN3923 Theaterkirche. Just trying to illustrate my point.
It’s beautiful but you can’t really know until you’re inside.


The last few days have been incredibly blog worthy. I already let you in on my clumsiness and how I cut my finger – that wasn’t fun. It’s still healing, slowly but surely and I keep a close eye on my razor these days. It’s actually kind of a scary object now. I’m slightly afraid of it. I’ve been hesitant to use it which is a new feeling. It’s like the time when I had the nightmare about the large dog that had killed and was feasting on my mother’s dead body – I was afraid of dogs for about a month. Fortunately, the prospect of unshaved legs keeps my fears from overcoming hygiene and social norms. The clumsiness, I’m afraid, has not disappeared. I spent the weekend convincing new friends of my clumsiness and proving it multiple times. Falling up stairs, tripping on city sidewalks and cobble stone, running into things. Quite the graceful ballerina, this one. Aside from my problems with gravitation pull, I’ve been doing really well.

Thursday night I went out to the usual ToyTown 20-somethings meet-up. It had been decided that we’d all meet at The Cocktail House which was a great idea because that place has an incredible selection of cocktails, as it should. I spent the evening making new friends – which ToyTown is really good for – and sweating to death in the non-air conditioned bar. But I did have a Midori Sour which reminded me of Wednesday nights in California at the Mucky Duck with Lauren, Molly, and Kathryn. It was bright green and looked like something a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle would drink to power up. Cowabunga, dude! At the end of the night, Jessica and I, and new friend Harry, went to McDonald’s which seems to the be the new tradition for ending every drunken night here in Munich. I can’t tell you how many times Jess and I have gone to McD’s for french fries and veggie burgers after downing a few beers. Thursday was a success.

DSC03462Harry, me, Chris, & Clare at the Cocktail House 

On Friday, Helen and I had a dinner party and invited friends over for beer, wine, and kaser spätzle. It was delicious and so much fun. Maybe too much.  We all got drunk and went to Kultfabrik which was, in my opinion, a definite fail. I’ve decided that Kultfrabrik is dirty and sleezy and I don’t prefer going there so much anymore. After spending most of the night in an overcrowded bar being groped and molested by every drunk guy within a five foot radius, I grabbed my drunk friend, Zainab, and dragged her home. I was drunk before but an hour long journey through train stations and the dark streets of Munich really sobers a girl. Gives her time to realize how ridiculous she is on multiple beers and shots of Jaegermeister. I’m not the most debonair drunk girl. I say stupid things, embarrass myself, and ultimately, screw myself over. Maybe all my past “PSAs” were not so far out of left field. Let’s just say that this week, I’m choosing to take it easy on beer for a while. Practice some self control now because Lord knows, when Oktoberfest comes around that self control will be so far out the window you won’t even be able to see it anymore. Ha.

Saturday was kind of a lazy day. I did laundry which took FOREVER. German wash and dry machines are ridiculous. I hadn’t planned to go out – I’d had a bit of a bad night on Friday and was turned off from ever drinking ever again – but Jessica and Eli convinced me to go out to a German BBQ with them. Eli’s friend Andy knew the people who were hosting it so we traveled clear to the other side of town and hung out in this adorable German apartment with about 10 or so 20-something Germans. We didn’t socialize much but they did give us free beer, which was nice.  After the BBQ, we met Helen and Zainab at Jaeger’s Youth Hostel for cheap beer. Which turned into a night of wandering around the streets of Munich with some guys from the Netherlands, looking for a club that would let us in. Eventually, a few of us just returned back to Jaeger’s. Like always. I eventually left and went home, tired of the same old scene. At 6 in the morning, Helen and friends returned and Charne, our charming South African friend, climbed into bed beside me, drindl and all. Made for an interesting morning.

I got up early to meet a group of friends at Hauptbanhof for our Neuschwanstein castle adventure. Ten of us ended up going on the trip and after a failed attempt to make the train, we hung around until we could catch the next train. Eventually, we arrived in Füssen, Germany only to be greeted by pouring rain. Which pretty much came down off and on all day. We didn’t end up touring the inside of Neuschawnstein because the tours were all booked up but we did go to Ludwig’s smaller castle, Hohenschwangau. I thought it was more impressive from the outside – it doesn’t really look all that authentic inside because of light switches and electricity and tour guides. But I enjoyed it anyway. After the castle tour, we ventured up the mountain to the big castle and toured the outside and the inner courtyard. The castle is BEAUTIFUL. It was used as the model for Sleeping Beauty’s castle at Disneyland, too. So even though it was my first castle experience, I’d seen it a hundred times before. Ha. Also, the castle is seen in the best flying car movie ever, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Eli, Harry, and I made a split decision to sneak in the back entrance and so we did a reverse tour of the castle up until the point when the tour guides started giving us dirty looks. It was cool though – seeing everything inside. After we made it back down to the ground, we trekked up the mountain a bit more to see the castle from Marienbrücke. Which is this rickety little bridge with an incredible view.

DSCN3825 Neuschwanstein

Courtyard of Neuschwanstein

View of the valley from the trail to Marienbrücke

Neuschwanstein from Marienbrücke


Me, Harry, and Eli on the Marienbrücke*

Once we made it down from the castle and were back in the village, things started to get a little chaotic. We missed the last bus simply because we didn’t know that it was the last bus and there weren’t anymore coming, despite what the time table says on the schedule at the bus station. Bavaria has this fascination with lazy Sundays, apparently. So, after waiting for over an hour for the missing bus and consequently missing the 8 o’clock train back to Munich – we ended up getting taxis back to Füssen to wait in the city to make the 10 o’clock train. After a pizza and bier dinner, we headed to the train station only to find out from a train conductor that the train would be an hour late. This is what he told us. So, we wandered back into the city to find a bar to pass the time. Nothing was open, of course, so we went back to the train station around 10:40 only to find that all of the tourists who had been there before were gone. Everyone was gone. After questioning a local taxi driver, we found out that the connecting train to Munich was going to be late. So, we were officially stranded in Füssen, the ultimate tourist trap. The taxi driver directed us toward a Füssen youth hostel. “Just follow the train tracks,” he said. Oh thanks. We almost got run over by the last incoming train. After wandering through the dark streets of Füssen, we found the hostel. And it was all booked up. So we had to beg our way into their good graces and they agreed to let us stay in their family room for 50 EUR. We each paid about 7 EUR and had a place to sleep – mattresses on the floor. A Sunday night sleep over and the promise of a 5:30 am train the following morning. After a 4:30 am wake-up, we trekked back to the train station and made the 5:10 am train (thank God we didn’t bank on the 5:30 am time!) and were back in Munich by 7:30 am. I walked in the door for work at 8:01. Nicely done.

39101_1455334276343_1622910047_1066120_98050_nMiss your train to Munich? No big deal! *

Make-shift hostel experience*

Even though it was chaotic and unorganized and ridiculously unlucky, our trip to Neuschwanstein was a success. In my opinion, anyway. I was having fun the entire time. I bonded with new and old friends and I can’t find a single thing about the day to complain about. The best part about it – I hadn’t had anything to drink. It was clean, sober fun. The best kind, apparently.

39835_1321282964857_1614300034_764299_576148_n Eric, Clare, Harry, me, Tomas, Eli, and Jess.
Weary travelers. Misadventure complete.**

This weekend was, quote possibly, one of the best I’ve had so far in Germany. Minus the embarassing drunk behavior, of course. That’s pretty normal for me. Ha. Unfortunately, most of the people who went on this trip are leaving at the end of the summer because they’re on summer placements doing internships and what not so I will have to say goodbye to some really good friends. Jess is staying until December and returning in March so I’ll have to live for three months without her. Sad face. But Eric (whose blog you should definitely check out because we’re living in Munich together at the same time, woo!) will be here for the rest of the year so at least one of my fellow Füssen misadventurers will be around continuously.

Tonight (being Tuesday night) I was invited to Tomas’ leaving dinner but, unfortunately, I do not think that I will be attending. I had to babysit tonight and since Helen showed up early from wherever she was, we did a joint au pair babysitting night. Vee and Eenie had their way with us and it’s official, after their artwork, neither Helen nor I will be going out tonight.

DSCN4116Helen was supposed to be… something. And I was supposed to be a cat.
We’ve got some Van Gogh’s on our hands here.


And that’s the end of this one. Finally.

* I definitely stole these pictures from Harry’s Facebook because his Nikon is infinitely better than mine.

** I definitely stole this one from Clare. Thanks, Clare bear!


McGriddle Pants said...

Looks like a great time!

I never made it to Neuschwanstein, but some friends of mine did, and they ALSO had train troubles (and bus troubles too... i remember them walking like 4km from the train station)

Glad you had fun!!

Eric said...

Awesome blog you've got here :) And the mention has been reciprocated!

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