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Updatey Anniversary. Wee!

In Munich..

I realized yesterday that it was a year since I left home with an open
ticket. That also chainbrained me into realizing I haven't updated anything
in a long time. (So here we go!)

I've been in Munich for the last three and a half months. It was supposed
to be a couple of months, but I guess that's the same I thought in Adelaide
Never happened. I ended up staying with Michael (ee!) and applied for a
visa that lets me stay about a year. It was pretty epic, I nearly cried in
the office when I went one of the times. The man said I likely wouldn't be
able to get it (long story), and had to apply to his boss to ask her. I had
to argue my point so I could stay...and it kinda worked. But I kept having
to come back to the office with more paperwork and junk. The second time I
came back, I told the man in halty German (I'm studying German!) that the
man from the same office told me to come back (which he did) and when the
guy responded in mumbly German (no idea what he said), I apologized and
explained I didn't speak German. That was when he made a very
annoyed/arrogant face and said 'Schlecht!' - which means 'bad'. Erm...not a
bit rude? Michael came with me the last time and the first (and nice!) man
was there, so I got my visa.

I've taken two German classes so far, 1A and 1B. The first one had a
teacher I quite liked..she would snort-laugh in the weirdest way at the
strangest things (that aren't funny at all, really) and was so cute, you
wanted to eat her. I still see her in the hallways here and there. The
teacher I just had in the last course was nice but couldn't teach. I took
an online TEFL course (allows you to teach english abroad), which basically
gives you a crash course in english grammar and the do's and dont's of being
a teacher and teaching. The lady that taught me in the second level did so
many of the dont's...it's amazing. She was really annoying me by the
end...as before, when I was excited to go to class, this time I dreaded it
and couldn't wait for it to end. I did learn something still, but blah.
Ranting will not continue on this subject here.

I didn't travel very much in the last few months. We went to Austria once,
Innsbruck, for a party (Alps so pretty!). I went to Frankfurt to surprise
my dad during his overlay - returning was exciting, I was driving back with
a potential rapist - Michael googled his name on the internet and my dad
took a photo of his car and liscense plate. The guy was really nice,
though, and I think I talked the crap out of him, so even if he was a
rapist, he would rather have gotten rid of me. It was great to catch up
with my dad - I haven't seen him for a few months. We've gone down south of
Munich into the country - an area where he and many of his friends grew up.
It's really relaxing and brilliant to be away from the city for a bit, even
though Munich is pretty calm as cities go. I've met his family, all of whom
are really nice. He's got many little nieces and nephews, all of whom are
are equally insanely cute. We babysitted several of them once and I found
myself trying to read a baby book in German to a little girl who knew German
animals better than I did. I read quite badly and had no idea how to say
anything else but point and go 'dog!' in German. Unluckily for me, there
weren't that many dogs in that book. Still. Cute! Many times there were
Beergarden outings - it's nice especially on a really warm day. Whole
families go, and some even have playgrounds for the kids. My favourite so
far is the Chinese Tower one, which is next to - said Chinese
Tower - in a big park. There are no fences, but many trees...there are a lot
of people there, and a lot of tourists, but we usually stay a bit late, so the
crowds thin out a bit - and then it's so calm...I enjoy that particularly.

http://www.reiseagentur.de/Travelogs/MUC/Bgarten/jpg/166.jpg

What bugs me is that when people hear 'Munich', they immediately go 'beer
and sausages!' or 'Oktoberfest!'. There is so much more to Munich than
beer, sausages, and Oktoberfest. When I was coming here, those things
didn't pop into my mind at all, they were on the side, but I had a clean
slate. No stereotypes, I guess. No one ever mentions about how
bicycle-oriented Munich is - how most of the sidewalks are split up or
connected to a lower sidewalk that's for bikes - or the numbers of bikes you
see parked infront of nearly every institution.

http://velo-city.org/bike-parking/CIMG5917.jpg

No one describes the city,
how it feels more like a home than a monopoly - how they don't have so many
highrisers to block out the sunshine. I haven't heard anyone talk about the
standing wave for the surfers on the Eisbach (small, creek-river thingy in
the center) - these guys surf on giant waves created behind this bridge.
It's a small area, but pretty popular - many people come to
watch.

http://www.23hq.com/MartinaWeber/photo/4595191/large

The buildings have a particular style in this city, it's different than I would have imagined it from other European cities. I've been to several
parts of Europe and the cities have all reminded me of each other - but this
one doesn't. The buildings have a different look to them, looks sort of
like this.

DSC_0115.jpg

And many have engraved images on the walls of the buildings - like
this.

DSC_0120.jpg

There are many parts of the city that aren't mentioned, and really should
be.

The other day, we went to the Eisbach to swim. Not really swim, it's more
like tubing without a tube. You jump in at a point several hundred meters
behind the surfers and the current is so strong is carries you down... I
never went before, so it was a surprise to find the grassy patch from where
you set your towel and make your jump - to be completely crowded and full of
people. Many were teenagers and there were bottles on the ground this time
around - garbage. It seems the spot either became more popular, or everyone
took advantage of the nice day to go on...and some people put on bad house
music :S - but I enjoyed jumping in - although I couldn't have done it
properly without Michael, as you have to know when to spread out, dive,
etc...or you injure yourself properly. A few people died there in the last
several years. We went to a lake and rented a paddling boat yesterday. It
was from a rental place that was sort of hidden, I think. It was basically
a yard where there was a whole family, from babies to grandparents - lazing
around, swimming, etc. Michael saw an old man change infront of him,
accidentally. The lady seemed unperturbed that we were taking the boat and
when we were coming back. But we returned it in good time, anyway. It was
really nice being in a boat in the middle of the lake - much calmer and less
traffic than on a beach. It looked something like this.

DSC_0340.jpg

DSC_0353.jpg

Here's some me (with chin fat!) and Michael rowing.

DSC_0357.jpg

DSC_0309.jpg

Here is the giant ferry that looked like it was going to run us over but didn't.

DSC_0366.jpg

I won't be taking German classes for September and October, as we'll be
going on vacation for a week or so at a time - and even a day of missed
class means a lot. We're going to Croatia for possible camping in August,
and perhaps Italy or such for possible camping in September. I'm pretty
excited about it. I love the city, but even more the outdoors. Otherwise,
my schedule was pretty simple. School, homework, go out somewhere, eat,
sleep. I love it where I am now, although I miss my family and friends.
Never expected to end up staying in Munich - but now that I am - I couldn't
have wished for better. Hope that everything is going well on the other
side :)

Hugs and things from the south of Germany!

Kat

PS Write, you bastards, write!

Posted by Buttfish 09:00 Archived in Germany

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