January 16, 2011

Happy Returns: One Week Later, the View from the Top, a Lazy Sunday, and a Foreign Language Dilemma

Friday, January 14th
Week one of my return to Munich is over and in good time too! It was a rough week coming back. I felt incredibly antisocial for some reason. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I’ve been sick which invariably lead to exhaustion and a general distaste for anything that involved cold weather and unnecessary exertion. I haven’t had German beer in over a week. I think that’s a record since I arrived in Munich. I haven’t been homesick necessarily, just anxious to get home. Does that make sense? Not really. Either way, I love Munich and I am happy to be here until June but I just really want winter to be over. Winter is rough. It’s so dreary and depressing here right now. It’s been raining and stormy but with some 50, 54 degree days. It’s crazy how much it reminds me of the first few days that I was here. Even though it was the middle of summer it just rained and rained and was cold and wet. It’s somewhat reminiscent of that now.

Yesterday it was storming like crazy. I had to go pick up the girls from school and take them to their music class like I do every Thursday and when I checked with my host-mom about doing it in the rain and wind she never got back to me. So I made my way through the rain to their school and then the three of us braved the walk around the corner to their lesson. We tried to use my umbrella but it was so windy that it just swept inside out and I could barely hold onto it. Umbrella fail. Eenie thought it was hilarious and couldn’t stop laughing. Silly girl. We just ended up walking really fast and while they did their lesson, I sat in a nearby café and read Jane Eyre and ate a chocolate croissant. Oh, the life.

The family has left for Austria for the weekend and I’m unsure of the weekends plans. Tentatively, I am supposed to go skiing with some friends but I’m ill prepared, I’m afraid. I don’t have ski pants or any proper snow clothes, really, and I’m worried about paying money for something that I won’t be able to do the right way. Hopefully everyone will go skiing again because I do want to learn but I think I just need to better prepare myself. In lieu of that trip, I hope that my friend Bria and I can go in Garmisch and go hiking instead – through the partnachklamm or up the mountain. The weather is supposed to be fairly nice and I will be able to see my Oma Kathe, too. Which is always nice. So, we will see!

Saturday, January 15th

On Friday night Fio and Laura came over for dinner and we watched half of a movie because we were all too tired to finish it. I made the decision that night not to go skiing and organized a hiking trip to Garmisch with Bria instead. But I got up early on Saturday morning anyway since Fio had stayed over and was getting up to go skiing. Bria and I met at Hauptbahnhof at 9 and jumped on the 9:30 train with our Bayern ticket. Oma Kathe met us at the train station and took us back to her house for a recap of our game plan and some baked goods. Bria and I thought about hiking to the partnachklamm but, at the last minute, decided to ride the cable car up to the top of Eckbauer instead. Once we made it to the top we had some breathtaking views and were reminded just how wonderful our lives here in Germany really are. I felt so blessed to be standing there – in the middle of so much majesty. The Bavarian and Austrian alps surrounded us on either side and it was so peaceful and serene. We were glad we made the right choice in going up there.

DSCN3941Riding the cable car from the Olympic stadium

DSCN3949The Alps off in the distance

DSCN3987At the top of the mountain, there is a café and Bria and
I just sat here and enjoyed the warm sunshine and peaceful moments.
Two California girls, completely at peace.

DSCN4008I think this is my favorite picture that I took while we were up there.
Such a gorgeous place to be.


Oma Kathe took Bria and I to the US Army Commissary after our excursion and we snagged some pretty coveted treats – like ranch dressing, French’s yellow mustard, Ruffles Sour Cream & Onion chips, Thomas bagels, and Bria bought Valentines Day cake mix and pink frosting. We were feeling deprived of American goods. Ha. We hopped back on the train to Munich at 4 and were back in town with time to spare before heading to a friends “Welcome Back” house party at 10. Once there, we were able to hang out with friends that we hadn’t seen since before Christmas and had a good night of German beer (I broke my no-beer streak) and random street wandering. Fio and I finished off the night with Turkish döner kebaps and retired back to my house for good sleep and a late morning. Saturday night success!

Sunday, January 16th

Fio and I didn’t do much of anything today. She was tired from her skiing adventure and I was just ready to enjoy the day. It was beautiful outside with blue skies, sunshine, and even some warm weather. We lazed around for most of the morning – I cleaned, she Facebooked. She moved into her new apartment today so we took some of her stuff over there and she lives in such a great location in the city. I’m excited to help her get used to her new place and explore! Afterwards, we attempted to meet up with friends but we took too long and missed them. So we just ate pizza and walked around in the English Gardens. A worth end to a delightfully wonderful weekend.

DSCN4100The English Gardens never cease to make my camera very happy.

DSCN4088A peaceful, easy feeling in the EG.

In other news, I’ve made the decision to forego taking German lessons while I’m still in the country. My reasons behind this are justifiable. In my opinion, anyway. I’m not going to be here for much longer and I feel that I’ve had enough immersion thus far to be able to survive the language barriers for another five months. I have a Berlitz language program here with me that I bought at Barnes and Noble before I left and, so far, it’s been helpful in keeping me at a steady pace with the language. I’ve been using it a lot more often and will keep it up until I leave. Therefore, I don’t think that a language course is necessary, especially since I probably won’t use German later in my life. I am, however, going to attempt to take Spanish courses over the internet. In doing job research recently,I’ve found that most jobs that I want to apply to that fit my degree have bilingual requirements. Spanish is a beneficial language to know when living in California and since I’ve taken more than 4 years of Spanish language courses throughout high school and college, I feel confident that I can relearn the language and finally become fluent. Wish me luck, I’m going to start doing it soon! Luckily, ToyTown Munich hosts Spanish-speaking stammtisch so Fio and I will try attending a few and practice what we know of the language with other people who speak it. Should be fun!


Post a Comment