It’s nice to finally be back on European soil! I am now in Munich, after three weeks of travelling (Vienna and then with a host family in Dachau)
Wie man hier zurechtkommt
Munich has fantastic public transportation, nothing like this at home in St. Louis! It’s been a few times when I’ve forgotten to bring something to do, and the result was a near heartattack. If anyone has the slightest degree of self-conciousness, you’ve got to bring something to do when taking the trains around the city – anything! – a newspaper, a three-year-old magazine, a gum wrapper…otherwise you’ll find yourself becoming anxious and figgety in your attempt to avoid staring at everyone around you. Otherwise, three options are open to you: 1) creepily stare at the Germans sitting across from you on the U-Bahn, 2) hunt for cute guys or gals and flirt with your eyes, or 3) treat your eyes to the ugly gray or brown floor and dizzying signs as the train whizzes through the tunnels.
My first day in Munich was not exactly a success…my sharp photographic memory plus my hopeless passion for getting ridiculously loss did not make for a good match as I searched out the Junior Year in Munich office. After a very confusing hour or so I used my last breath to call the office and notify them that “maybe it’s better I come tomorrow” since I can’t find the place before 17 Uhr! I finally found it… three people, five maps, and a contruction site later.
The rest of the week was spent filling out necessary paperwork, enjoying free food, and getting to know the other Americans in our program. Oh…and of course, buying buying buying. I’ve never been shopping so many times in my life! A trip to the grocery store nearly broke my arms, and my poor bank account was whining the whole way home. Our dorms are located in an area called Studentenstadt, or StuSta for short, and were actually built in the early 1970s as housing for the 1972 Olympic Games here in Munich. They’re pretty nice…still the I-don’t-wanna-know-what-that-is queasiness that accompanies dorms, but a place to live in one of Germany’s most popular AND expensive cities is not easy to come by, also ich klage nicht. We also got the chance to eat in the Mensa at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen, and that was a…well, interesting, experience. Unlike the grand buildings that line Munich’s streets, this was far from it. I don’t think engineering students need a nice building, just something that stands up and in which warm and very mysterious food can be slapped on the tray at a very reasonable price.
My German Home
I have longed for a German address for quite a few years now, and I got it! Here are views of my dorm in Studentenstadt. (1. desk and shelves, 2. bed, 3. beautiful view from the window, 4. StuSta by night) These buildings housed the Olympic athletes during the 1972 Olympic Games, held here in Munich. Now it’s home to students from Germany as well as from all over the world, and is a great place to chillax, eat, meet up, BBQ on a nice day, and more. I live in the tallest building, which has proven to offer a splendid view and a quiet calm in the evening.