Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I Left My Voice in München. Ich last meine Stimme im München.

As I write and you take no notice of your precious working vocal chords, my poor voice is wandering German wilderness in hopes of hitching a ride towards Berlin. I guess I left it underneath my pillow in the hostel I stayed in, because it was certainly with me before I went to sleep (though, in my defence it was giving out on me a little before that). I guess I will explain a little, no, I will get to that, first I will go over a boring point to point of my train ride to Munich (aka München).
It started at 7:30am and ended around 13:45 in the München HBf. I could tell you it was long and boring, but it wasn’t really, it was quite enjoyable to relax and have no responsibility whatsoever. Getting to München, I was expecting a bigger city. Or at least to see some mountains in the background, but I guess chalk that up to my ignorance. I walked around the block a few times, and by block I mean the one around my Hostel because I had to wait until 3 to check in. It was dotted here there and everywhere with strip clubs, which was odd. I kept an ear out for Bayerisch because I had heard on many occasions that it is so different from Hochdeutsch that no one can understand it. I didn’t hear any, but I did see some postcards with it on them.
Finally I got into my hostel, set down my bag and got out my trusty but extremely outdated guide book. It told me of a good walking tour that started at the HBf, which was really close to my hostel. After searching for the place for about 30 minutes, I decided to check the HBf floor plan. I found the place I was looking for on the map and made a bee line for it, only to find that it had been replaced with the Starbucks I had walked past about 15 times. I decided just to take the subway someplace cool and walk around. I ended up at Marienplatz, home of the Glockenspiel and whatnot. While walking I heard quite a bit of English. I even helped a couple find something, though I only pointed as to be mysterious and possibly German in case they wanted to tell their kids about the nice German guy who understood them.
I finally ended up back at my hostel, hoping to be caught reading an English book and thus implored for English conversation. It finally worked and I met a college kid I will call Steve, though I think his name was like Eric or Paul or something with four letters. We talked about various European cities I should visit and about how Steve was in college and a business major. The lounge was pretty loud because there was a rock and roll band playing. Also the lounge area of my hostel was a bar. Well as soon as the rock band quits playing a flashing orange light graces the air. This was embraced with loud cheers and amplified by a person in a moose suit. A miracle? No, it was just the Jägerettes. But now I can at least report that I have been to a Jäger party, even though it was really quite lame. A few free Jäger shots later I found myself pretty tired, and sat down. I was then invited to join a conversation by having half a beer slammed in front of me with the order ‚You, Drink this!’ shouted at me. Not wanting or able to cause a scene as the background noise deadened my voice almost entirely, I decided to just take the mug and at least hold it. What followed was a German conversation. A short one, but at least I understood what was going on.
The next day I slept until I couldn’t sleep anymore, which was around 9AM. I was planning on meeting my friend at 10, so I had a good hour to kill. I walked to a park and read a little, knowing I would see a bit of München that day with a proper tour guide. I was only slightly bored. Meeting my friend was a bit more difficult than I imagined, Marienplatz, where I was to meet her, is a busy place for one, plus I didn’t remember exactly what she looked like. After a couple of phone calls I was able to find her. It was an enjoyable time. I spent most of it just talking to my friend and she showed me some of Munich’s best sites. I know this because we kept running into bike tour people. The first thing I did with her, though, was to eat Weißewurst, which is apparently the Bavarian thing to do. It was okay, but I was more impressed with the mustard.
After my friend left I was hit with a wave of lonliness that didn’t quit until I was halfway finished with my dinner of falafel. I decided at that point to meet some people at my hostel. I stormed the lobby and found some English speakers. There were a pair of Canadian girls on a random tour of Europe. A couple of English people who were living in Germany working on German skills. And the most interesting, a married couple from Chicago which consisted of a Packers fan from, of course, Wisconsin, and his wife from China. I ended up talking so much that by the next morning I had a sore throat.
On Sunday I had to check out by 10AM, which gave me about 5 or so hours between that and when my train left. I check my stuff at the train station and headed out to the Deutsche Museum, which was amazing. I spent my whole 5 hours there, though admittedly I was tired of it after about 3 hours. I had no where else to go really, and I paid 8 Euros to get it, so I was going to see every dang thing in there. My favourite were a few movies about Ginkgo biloba, and a gigantic model of the inside of a cell. Sorry if you don’t like Biology, but I am a big fan.
On the train ride home, I had a seat reserved. So I found it and settled in for a long haul to Berlin. A problem arose when a mother and her 3 year old daughter got on the train. They had also reserved tickets, but the good old Deutsche Bahn didn’t deem it necessary to seat them together. The 3 year old was next to me. Luckily I did the noble thing and switched with the mother. This put me beside quite a fateful passenger: An English speaker. An American. It was a woman from Arizona that was teaching English in Berlin. We had a long conversation about the specifics of English teaching. I ended up talking the rest of my voice out (which gave me a day off of work, because you can’t teach without talking). It was cool and I got a contact in Berlin, though, I have yet to email her. But things have been busy, which is, of course, another story.

PS Sorry this is really late.


At 2:52 AM GMT+2, Blogger K-La's random rants said...


Sounds like you had a really intereting time. I dont know if Garry talked to yet. But if you coiuld email and sorta tell me about some of your time on the intermenno program. And if you have any tips/advice that would be great.



At 5:23 AM GMT+2, Blogger Maria said...

You are alive!!


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