I wasn’t originally planning on going to Munich, but due to the season and typical me making it more complicated than it probably was, I decided to go. I have already done Munich on a previous trip, but it was still nice to see some touristy parts again and of course spend more time with my friend that I celebrated New Years with and another friend I haven’t seen in a long time.
I got off my train in Munich’s main train station and went to look for transportation tickets to get to my friend’s, B, apartment.
It hit me that this was so comfortable for me. They say traveling puts you outside your comfort zone, but no one has ever mentioned, what if traveling is in your comfort zone? Granted, due to stereotypes coming from some truths, navigating a train station in Germany isn’t that hard since everything is in order, but I started laughing when I realized I loved this fact. If this is my comfort zone, I hope I never have to step out.
I get messages from friends saying I move around a lot and see so many places. One friend said he couldn’t do that- step into the unknown. But like anything, it’s all practice. At the end of the day all bus and train stations are a like especially in big cities. So it’s not really the unknown, which it what I realized walking around Munich’s main train station. I had never been there before, but yet I had.
I found the information desk and the worker was actually from the Czech Republic. She saw my korunas when I went to pay for the city map (50 cents). She was very excited that I spent a lot of time there and spoke to her in the few words I know. She also gave me a transportation map and a brochure on the museums in the city.
I made it to the apartment building and met B’s friend and neighbor, K, who let me in. I was still under the weather so I took a nap until it was time for K and I to go into the city to meet B for dinner.
The restaurant they wanted was closed due to the holidays and so we went to another one, which had such a cool decor. B couldn’t talk at all because of being sick and loosing it from New Year’s in Bratislava. So K ordered for us she explained to the waitress about B’s situation. Then she ordered for me. The waitress paused and asked her if I couldn’t speak either.
K and B started laughing and K explained that B couldn’t speak due to her throat and I couldn’t speak because I’m English and can’t pronounce the words. The waitress smiled and nodded at me. I smiled back.
A little later, we were working on a final project for K’s art studies, which we had to do this performance art dance film thing in different spots. I filmed while K and B did the work. It was fun and I got to see the local side of the city as they took me to where the students go.
In one building, the security guard asked what we were doing, I believe because he was bored and what we were doing was weird. Again, K spoke for the group, but this time she said,
“She can’t speak and she’s English.” (All in German, this isn’t a direct translation just the summary). The security guard nodded and walked away.
Outside the building we came across a big landmark that had lions on top.
“There’s a bathroom in this building that one of the stalls has a window looking out onto the lions.” K said as she pointed across the way to the building. “It’s one of those small windows.”
“It’s always so awkward because you are worried if someone will see you.” B said.
But the window is at a weird angle and so small that no one from the street can peer in. We had a good laugh as B attempted anyways.
The city was so beautiful with the fresh snow, but it was so cold. The wind was really harsh.
We stopped and got a hot drink to warm up and I met an aspiring, wonderful artist named Maggie W. This is her instagram name: maggiewiltschk and FB profile: Margareta Wiltschka. Her art tells her life stories.
We returned back to B’s flat and they showed me some traditional videos they watch around the holidays such as Sisi (Empress Elisabeth from Austrian-Hungarian empire) for Christmas. They have also turned this movie into a drinking game- every time your majesty is said. I actually saw parts of this movie in the Sisi museum in Vienna.
Then Dinner for One, a British short video, that they watch on New Years. It’s quite funny. There love for these traditions makes me want to incorporate them into my own life. Maybe next year!
The next day, I met with another German friend I haven’t seen in 7 years. We grabbed coffee and went dirndl shopping (the traditional dress you see for Oktoberfest). I was invited to participate in Oktoberfest so it was cool seeing what options were available for when I have to buy one. They are all so pretty! She too was trying to teach me some German words.
While I was waiting for her, I watched the clock in the town hall in Marienplatz ding noon and saw the little statue performance. As much as I like Prague, this one was much better. It was also longer.
I then met B at Scholss Nymphenburg and we walked around there. It was so calm being a bit outside the city center and the snow around the palace (Schloss) made it so beautiful.
Up the river people were curling, skating, and enjoying the frozen water. We met a Brazilian couple and they were asking B if it was OK or safe. She said yes and the man who appeared to be in his 60s smiled like a little boy,
“Good because I want to jump on it!” He demonstrated as his wife laughed. We bid them a good night with smiles on our own faces. It’s nice to see such joy at small things.
Due to the 6th being a holiday for the 3 Kings, we went grocery shopping because everything will be closed. There were so many people. Sundays are also a day where everything is closed in Germany and Austria. A thing to keep an eye open for.
We then got dinner at a traditional and touristy Bavarian food beer hall. Bavaria is the state that Munich is in in Germany. We got beers with lemonade, a German thing that is very good, and I got pork knuckle with potato dumpling and cabbage salad. The dumpling is basically a potato ball and has no connection to Asian dumplings. The cabbage salad was like Cole slaw. It was all delicious!
B got a cheese dish with a pretzel and piece of bread. There was so much food we couldn’t finish everything! Also, like some other English words that we have taken from German (for example, beer and bier). Pretzel is actual Bretzen. I don’t know why we had to change it to a p instead of a b, since it’s basically the same….
On our way home though…..was interesting….we were having a good time on the tram, talking and laughing about nothing in particular when a woman a few seats away from us leans out and looks at me,
“Maybe they call you fatty?” She said it with a smile on her face. I give a nervous chuckle,
“What?” I wasn’t sure she said it or if she was talking to us.
“Maybe they call you fatty?” She said again, her face hardening.
“You!” She pointed. Thinking she was making some weird joke, I give another nervous laugh,
“I hope not.” She looked me up and down and snarled and shrugged. I was taken a back. This woman just said I was fat. B and I look at each other and we weren’t sure what to do.
We started whispering in English and in Spanish, but that bouncer from Bratislava (see previous post) who knew Spanish scared us. We weren’t sure of she would know what we were saying in Spanish. She was wearing a jacket with the Italian flag on it…
The tram stopped and during the on and off the woman moved from her seat to stand right next to us and started speaking in German. I didn’t make eye contact as B was talking to her.
She finally left the next stop, but glared at us as we drove away from the window. B explained,
“She said we wouldn’t be laughing in the end. And I said we don’t know what she was talking about and she said we did. I told her just because your having a bad day doesn’t mean you have to put it on us.”
We decided the only logical explanation is that she thought we were talking about her and or she has some mental illness like paranoia. Well, if she didn’t want us talking about her that’s all we did the rest of the tram ride. It was so creepy.
We returned to the flat and watched some episodes on Netflix before falling asleep.
The next morning we had a big breakfast and lounged around for my bus to Karlsruhe where I will see another friend I haven’t seen in a while. My bus was almost an hour behind schedule, but everything went well.
It was great seeing B again and I’m so excited to see her in a few months for dirndl shopping and then Oktoberfest!!
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