For the next month I am staying at the Meininger Hotel in the Olympiapark region of Munich, which is about a five minute bus ride away from the Hoschule Munchen campus. I’m living with three roommates, Jose Carlos, Fabian, and Owen. Like me, they are taking courses in the summer school and come from across the Atlantic Ocean. Jose Carlos is from Juarez, a school in northern Mexico right across the border from El Paso, Texas. Likewise, Fabian is from Mexico, living in a smaller city in Central Mexico. Owen is from Hawaii, but studies at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo.
Living in Munich has definitely been a change of pace from the time I’ve spent in Pittsburgh, but most of the differences that I’ve seen so far have been positive. For instance, there are bike lanes throughout most of the city that overlap with the pedestrian sidewalks, which has caused some fright a couple of times. Hearing the bell of a bike when you aren’t expecting it can be pretty terrifying, especially when you have to figure out which way to jump to avoid getting hit.
Another thing that has pleasantly surprised me so far is the accessibility and convenience of public transportation. For nine euros I was able to buy a pass that allows me to board all local and regional public transportation for a month. A trip I took to Salzburg, Austria was covered by this ticket, which blew my mind, since it’s two hours away and in a different country. All of the transportation has arrived on time and has been very clean so far, and I’m worried that I’m going to get spoiled here and be in for a rude awakening when I have to rely on Port Authority buses again.
The changes to my diet that I’ve experienced should have been pretty obvious in retrospect, but still surprised when they occurred. I’ve been eating my fill of German food so far, which has meant a lot of meat, cheese, and bread, and not a lot of fruits and vegetables. Living in a hotel with one kitchen shared between all of its residents, I haven’t been able to cook many meals so far, which has led to trying out a lot of delicious German food, ranging from half a chicken to a Leberkäse sandwich. Most of the meals I’ve seen so far have consisted of a meat dish with bread, and a potato based side. All of them have been scrumptious, and a departure from what I’m used to when cooking for myself or going out to eat in America.
Pic from the top of a castle in Salzburg