Adventures in Munich

Since I’m feeling much more inspired to write, I am now catching up on some of the major events of the last couple of weeks. First up: Munich Adventures and Oktoberfest!

Originally, I was supposed to join Catherine in Salzburg on Thursday evening and go to Eagle’s Nest with them on Friday. However, my mentor teacher scheduled a meeting at school for Friday afternoon, so my plans fell through and I decided to just meet Catherine and Sholanda in Munich on Friday evening.

After my meeting on Friday, I packed up all my things and headed to Munich on the train. I had to change in trains in Mannheim and was lucky enough to get a seat by a window for the 3 hour train ride. For some reason, there was another train that had technical difficulties, so they piled everyone into our train. The train was jam-packed with people. I’ve never seen so many people in one train. I was so thankful that I was able to sit down. After a 20 minutes delay, I finally arrived in Munich and it took me awhile to find the Starbucks aka our meeting place.

We dropped my stuff off at the hotel since it was close to the train station, it was literally across the street!! It was such a nice hotel. I’m super thankful that I was able to stay with Catherine and Sholanda.  We decided to have some German food for dinner and we ended up at the Augstiner Restaurant. It’s also one of the main breweries in Munich, so naturally I had a mass aka a liter of beer with dinner. Why not live it up? haha

A mass of beer is the best way to start a weekend in Munich!

Cheers!

On saturday, we slept in a little bit. We decided to do a little bit of exploring in the city. We visited the BMW World and Museum. Catherine really wanted to tour the factory, but they didn’t have tours on the weekend. I’m not much of a car enthusiast, but it was really cool to tour the museum and see the history behind BMW and the impact it has had on Germany. The museum was very cool because it was built in a neat way and basically took you on a tour through history as you walked through it. The weather was kind of crappy, so it was perfect museum weather. The Olympic Park was also close the BMW museum, so we got to see that too. Afterwards, we went to the English Gardens/the Chinese Tower. It was quite an adventure to find it. We ate some delicious german food and enjoyed a beer while there was some folk music playing. Overall, the afternoon was lovely, despite the disgusting weather.

The BMW offices and museum are in the shape of a 4 cylinder engine!

The place where you pick up your custom BMW straight from the factory!

A timeline of BMW Models

A view of the Olympic Park and the dreary weather

After our adventure in the city, we decided to go to Oktoberfest and explore the festival grounds. It was cool to see all the tents and the rides. Catherine and I decided to ride the Tower of Terror, which is like the Scream at Fiesta Texas. However, it was 10x better than the Scream. It was definelty worth the 6 euros we paid for it!

At the entrance of the festival

Sunday was the day we truly experience Oktoberfest! Luckily, another ETA in Germany had some extra tickets for the Hippodrom tent and I was able to snag four of the tickets. My friend, Heidi, joined us on sunday morning. Normally, it is really hard to get tickets for the tents. You have to plan months in advance!. We each paid 35 euro for the reservation and it included the table as well as a appetizer, main meal and an after dinner schnapps. We had to pay for our own beer though. Before we headed to the festival, we were able to watch a little bit of the parade. We finally arrived at the tent and were able to get inside. It took us a while to find our table, but we finally found it and it was perfect! Inside the tent, it was very festive and loud! We ordered a mass each and then enjoyed the appetizer of different cheeses, breads, cold cut and some other surprises. The main course consisted of chicken, pork, potato salad and some other things. Overall, everything was delicious! It wasn’t your typical festival food either! I managed to drink 2 whole masses, plus eat a ton of food. At the end, we had the schnapps, but most of us could only manage a tiny sip. It was very strong schnapps!

Inside the Hippodrom Tent

My first mass at Oktoberfest. I also ended up buying the glass!

Cheers to my favorite cousin!

Trying to fit in!

Overall, the trip to Munich was a blast! I’m so thankful to my cousin Catherine for being so generous! It was her graduation gift to me and it was so worth it! After the festival, Catherine came back to Mainz with me to see my apartment. Unfortunately, I had to work on Monday so Catherine just stayed home because the weather was gross and I knew she would be back. On Monday afternoon, the weather cleared a little bit so we did some sight seeing in Mainz. We managed to see all the major churches in Mainz, but the Gutenberg museum was closed. That night we made dinner together. Sadly, she had to head to the hotel in Frankfurt because she had an early flight the next day. It was sad to see her go, but I’m glad that she was able to spend some time in Germany and I can’t wait for her to come back again!

Finding Inspiration

I know my blog hasn’t been updated in about a week. I’m sorry for that. I’ve been uninspired because of a rut that I’ve been in the past week or so. One of the things, I’ve committed to this blog is that I would be honest and open, even if it wasn’t pretty. So here’s to me being a little vulnerable.

I wouldn’t say that I’ve been depressed, but I’ve been struggling a little bit these past few days. I’ve had Fall Break from school, which sounds wonderful! We had a full two weeks of no school!! Break started off wonderful with a birthday party and the movies. I want to dedicate a full post to my holiday adventures because it was mostly positive. I didn’t make any plans to travel because I hadn’t been paid yet, and didn’t want to be in bind. So for most of break, I didn’t do very much. I just stayed in Mainz and hung around my apartment or walked around the city. One day, I managed to go for a run because it wasn’t actually cold. Overall, it wasn’t exactly the most exciting break. I could feel myself becoming down and more worried about money, because I still hadn’t been paid by the second week. Plus I was getting even lower on money, so I had to ask my parents for money, which I HATE doing. Luckily, both were willing to help me in the bind.

With their help, I was able to take a short trip on the last weekend to visit a friend. It cost me about 40 Euro for the train ride, but it was completely worth it! I really needed a chance to get away from my apartment. After this past weekend, I feel refreshed and reinspired to write more on the blog. I don’t think I will necessarily re-write everything. I know I still owe an Oktoberfest update, so that will happen this week. Plus, I do want to talk about the good things that happened during break because there were some highlights!

Well, I need to do some work for school tomorrow, but I will be writing some updates this week. Promise!

First Week of School

I’ve been absolutely horrible about writing blog posts. I am exhausted at the end of the day and just want to sleep. Hopefully things will get better! I am going to try not to make a novel out of this post, but no guarantees!

Monday 17 Sept: First Day of School 

On Sunday night, I didn’t get much sleep due to normal first day of school jitters. For as long as I can remember, the night before the first day of school I never slept well. I was always too excited about the next day. It wasn’t much different here in Germany, in fact I think it was worse. Everything was new and a whole different first day experience. I had never even been to the city where my school is located.

Monday morning came early and it was time to get things started. Sunday night I picked out an outfit because I was concerned about not dressing appropriately. I decided gray pants with a nice shirt and my heels would be the best option. I also had forgotten to go shopping so I didn’t have anything for breakfast. I left extra early to grab something at the train station.

As I was sitting on the train eating my delicious chocolate croissant, there were a million thoughts running through my head: what does my school look like? are the teachers nice? what are the students going to be like? am i going to enjoy the school? oh crap, i didn’t even think about bringing a lunch. oppss. does the school teach british or american english? and about a million other silly little worries about the school, the students and the teachers.

All my anxieties were eased once I met my mentor teacher, Betinna! She was wonderful and spoke mostly english with me. She picked me up at the train station in Ingelheim. Once we arrived at the school, she took me straight to the secretary and the principal. I had lots of paperwork to fill out and important information that I needed to know. I also met lots of teachers, but i can’t remember everyone’s name. I also visited several classes. The german school day is very different from the American school day. In Germany, the school day starts around 8am and ends at about 1:15. They have 45 min lessons with 2 big breaks. I think its kind of cool. The one bad part of the day: I wore the wrong shoes. Heels=bad idea when you have a 20 min walk to the train station. I learned my lesson.

Tuesday 18 Sept 

I woke up extra early to register with the city, which I was dreading for the longest time. I had wanted to do it Monday afternoon, but it was already closed by the time i got home. Luckily, it was nearly as bad I imagined. I was in and out of there within one and half hours and I didn’t have any trouble either. However, I was a bit late to school, but that didn’t matter too much. With my letter of official registration with Mainz, I could open a bank and get my appointment with the Immigration Office.

I went to school and attended a few lessons. For the most part, the lessons were entertaining. I basically introduced myself to the class and explained why I was there and then allowed them to ask me questions. Their questions mainly consisted of asking about: my age, the weather in Texas, my hobbies, why I picked their school and a few other basic questions. I met a really nice guy that was doing an internship with the school and he helped me figure out the bank times and everything. I also managed to get the assistant bike from the school and get a lock for it too!!

Once, I arrived back in Mainz, I went straight to the bank and opened an account. It was a bit difficult because the lady wanted to charge me, but I knew better than that. Luckily, everything worked out and my card would come in the mail in a couple of weeks. This was by far one of the most productive days in Germany.

Wednesday 19 Sept 

I woke up feeling horrible, so I didn’t go to school. I stayed home to rest. I think it was just something I ate because I felt much better after resting and drinking fluids. I also managed to do some laundry, which was quite an adventure.

Thursday 20 Sept  

Since I finally had my bank account, I filled out all the necessary paperwork to get paid, which is super important! I attended a few more lessons. I had hoped to leave that day for Salzburg to meet up with Catherine. However, my mentor teacher had arranged for all the English teachers to get together on Friday to talk about my schedule, so I felt obligated to stay and come, especially since I missed Wednesday. Anyways, that was probably for the better because I was able to pack and everything.

Friday 21 Sept 

I came in for one lesson and then had the English teacher meeting. It was very different than I imagined. Basically, my teacher just had a piece of paper with the lesson for each day and the teachers just came by to sign up for a lesson. In reality, I probably didn’t need to be there, but it was still good for me. I’m still working on my schedule. Once, I have it figured out I will post about it and explain the German school system a little bit. After the meeting, I was done for the day and it was off to Munich to meet up with Catherine and Sholanda! More on that soon! 🙂

Here are some pictures of the school:

This is the main entrance to school!

 

The Front part of the school to left of the main entrance

 

The Auditorium that also doubles as hang out space for upperclassmen during the breaks and free periods.

 

Another angle of the auditorium