May 11, 2011

An Ode to the Englischer Garten, German Churches, Good Friends, and the Eventual End of an Epic Adventure

It’s hard to believe that winter ever existed here in Munich. I’ve almost forgotten what it was like to brave the cold, snowy weather for nearly four months time. The weather, since early April, has been absolutely beautiful. It’s been warm, sometimes even hot, and the skies have been an endless blue. There have been a few rainy days but not many and even then, they are accompanied by thunderstorms and how can I complain about that? I love thunderstorms. One thing about spring that I don’t like – hay fever. Boo to sneezing and itchy, red eyes!

With this glorious weather, I’ve been able to spend a lot of time in the English Gardens, too, which, if you will remember, is my favorite place in Munich. I’ll find any and every excuse to ride my bike through there and lucky for me, I’ve had a lot of them lately because I couldn’t afford to buy a train ticket for May. So I’ve been riding my bike everywhere and I usually will use the EG as a peaceful passage between home and the city center. This, of course, is wonderful because of all of the beautiful trees and pathways and things to look at. I am still in awe of this park – I love it so much.

DSC09867I wish I could live here forever.

I’ve also been spending a lot of time with my friends at the EG, too. We’ll meet up on sunny Saturdays or even during the week if we’re available and we just lay out in the sun with books, guitars, beer, what have you. Sometimes I just take a book and go lay out by myself in the north end of the Gardens near my house. It’s ridiculously quiet and unpopulated and it kind of makes you feel small and insignificant in a really fantastic kind of way. I love it. Another thing that recently made me feel small and insignificant but with a grand gesture – the church at Ludwig Maximillian University. It was stunning. I hadn’t been into a church in Munich since the winter so it was extremely humbling to be reminded on their beauty and majesty.


I’ve been walking by this church for eleven months now and I don’t know WHY it never occurred to me to walk in. But last week, as I was waiting to meet Jennie, I thought, “What the hell?” and just wandered inside. A strange kind of fear came over me as I walked in, almost as if I were terrified of the massiveness of the church it self. A calm settled over me and I just stared in awe, completely transfixed. The church was so beautiful. Also, I’ve gotten into the habit of lighting candles for my mom whenever I walk into one. Thinking of you, ma!

I’ve been mentioning her a lot lately and yes, Jennie, is back in Munich! I first met her during our epic 22-hour trip to Neuschwanstein that she managed to narrowly escape. She went back to Canada in early September to finish law school and now she is back in Munich after eight months. It’s been nice having her back – I can’t wait until we start cooking and having fancy dinner parties at her sweet apartment. And all of the conversations! The two of us could talk all day long. And it’s good to have the girl back purely for her love for karaoke! She’s a karaoke fiend and that is always appreciated around these parts with how often we go to the karaoke bar. Also back to Munich after nearly three months of being away, is my darling Eric who I missed ever so much. Of course, all the regular cast members are still around and I’m loving every minute of my life here because of it. I have such wonderful friends – new and old – and I have been so blessed this year to have them!  And you want to know something really cool? Tiago is coming to visit me in California, less than a week after I get home! He’s one of my best friends here and it’s obvious that he can’t live without me. Haha. So I’m looking forward to showing him the sunny side of America and introducing him to my friends back home – which will be a weird transition. How do I blend one totally different part of my life with another? Of course, it’s effortless but I just can’t wrap my mind around it. Weird!

DSC09906Me and Tiago at a Studentstadt party, last Wednesday

I’ve been working a lot this spring – which I may have already mentioned – and although it can be frustrating for my social schedule, it’s still nice to be home every once in a while. I’ve been reading a lot and have made it through three or four books in the last month or two. I’ve challenged myself to read 25 books this year, before my 25th birthday and so far I’m at 20% progress. I’ve also been able to catch up on my blogs (thank God!) and do a little bit of job searching back home… which has been a huge success thus far but more on that later. ;) Also, I sleep a lot, spend a lot of time outside, Facebook more than I should, and spend more time with the girls that I care for (which isn’t always nice but we all have our bad days, right?). Hopefully I get to make the most of these last five weeks and that my host-mom and I don’t butt heads too much. It would definitely make for an interesting last few weeks if I had to stay in 4 to 5 nights every week. There’s not very much time left!

The reality is that I leave Munich for California on June 20th. I finish my au pair contract exactly five weeks from today. Five weeks ago from today, I was planning my trip to Rome with Brenna and was just getting over the excitement of Starkbierfest. That feels as if it were just days behind me – not five weeks. It’s hard to imagine that in two months I will be in California again. I can’t imagine going back to my old life. Of course, it will be different but I feel like I’ve changed so much, like I won’t fit inside of California anymore, like every part of me will just want to bust free and come back here. Ah, it’s going to be a hard transition, I won’t expect it to be easy. But, for now, I will enjoy every minute that it presented to me here and I will not think too much about what lies ahead on the other side of the world. It’s not a bad thing to go home but it’s not easy to walk away from this year abroad either. I am looking forward to being with my friends and family again but I know that I will ache for Munich and it will take a long time to stop missing the life that I lived here.

But, alas… the show must go on.


Alex said...

This gets me so excited, cannot wait to get back to Munich in June!

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