Deutschland and beyond

Living in Germany

Amsterdam and catching up

Needless to say I’ve quickly become the worst blogger in terms of updating. New goal: update once every 3-4 days. (at least). So.. after leaving Paris, Becky and I ventured to Amsterdam for a few days. We did the touristy things, including a tour of the Heineken brewery (ice cold fresh beer there- SO good), went to the Van Gogh museum which I really appreciated since he’s one of my favorite painters- and as a bonus, there was the ‘starry night’ exhibit there at the time so we got to see Starry Night (Becky’s favorite) and Starry Night over the Rhone (one of my favorites)- and went on a tour of the Anne Frank house. At the advice, well more like insistance, of our friend Mariel (who we stayed with- another BC friend abroad, great hostess) we rented bikes for one of the days we were there and our friend Jake joined us for the brewery tour and Van Gogh museum. Earlier in the day, Mariel gave us a great guided tour of the red light district which is exactly as it seems. There are just women in the windows waiting for men to come up to them. And it’s very apparent what section of town you’re in based on the windows- the better looking women are closer to the center of the red light district since those windows are more expensive. But, we didn’t dwell there for too long. If you stare at the women, they apparently do pretty rude things, like throw cups of urine at you (according to Mariel).  So after dinner Jake took us to this GREAT little jazz place which was amazing. And I got to meet up with my roomate Steph!! She’s studying in Prague but was in Amsterdam for the weekend. It was so great to see her.

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So, Amsterdam was a great place to end our month of traveling. Despite only being known for the sex and legalized drugs, it’s a very cute city on the water and Becky and I liked it a lot.  We took a night train to Munich and arrived groggy the next morning. Over the past few weeks we’ve made our apartments more home-y. My program is JYM (junior year in Munich) through Wayne State University. Right now we’re in orientation for JYM- classes don’t start until April 20th. All of the JYM kids live in the same dorm complex, and we all have single-person apartments. It has a small bathroom, stovetop, mini-fridge, sink, bedroom, desk, and balcony. I think it’s pretty nice and actually perfect for living here. I’m not in my room that often anyways, but it does have enough space for the air mattress when guests come. Speaking of which…

Our first weekend here we already began reciprocating the favor of mooching off free lodging while traveling. Our friends Laura and Lauren from Paris came and stayed with myself and Becky (respectively). We went to a beerhaus, the Viktualienmarkt which is this great outdoor farmers market on Saturdays, and enjoyed walking around Munich. During the week we have orientation which consists of various modules. The first week was more of getting to know the city, how to do certain things like register where we live, fill out forms, etc. This past week we learned about the German political system, and this coming week will be about things to know when living in Munich.

Last weekend our friend Claire from London came and stayed with Becky. We bought dirndls! (the German bar maid-like costume) and went to starkbierfest. It’s the only time of year (lent) you can get these certain beers. We went to the Paulaner brewhaus and proceeded to drink out of mass steins (1L) and join the Germans in singing and dancing on the long bench tables.

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Prior to Starkbierfest, however, our JYM group (which consists of about 25 kids) took a day trip to Murnau, a southern German town in the Alps. We walked around outside for a few hours (it was beautiful) and went to a museum with a lot of works from the “Blaue Reiter”- a group of artists who used to live in the town. Here’s a quick glimpse of the scenery:

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Okay so now I have yet another visitor and must go pick him up! More updates hopefully much sooner.

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April 5, 2009 - Posted by | Travel

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