Last week I literally had nothing planned for my upcoming weekend and my 2 best girlfriends were both going to be out of town. I HATE not having weekend plans- so in a bit of a panic that my weekend would suck, I decided to head to Munich on Friday. I’ve been to Munich several times now, but I realized I hadn’t really spent significant time there yet. Plus, there were several different groups of people I’ve been wanting to meet up with there, so this weekend gave me a great opportunity to do that!
I came in on Friday afternoon with Timo, the 3-year-old boy I Au Pair for. His mom works in Munich, so he and I took the train to the city to meet up with her at BMW World. Have y’all ever had to maneuver trains and U-Bahns with a stroller and a 3- year old? Not easy stuff. Props to all the moms and Au Pairs in cities out there. We had all sorts of problems: On the train to Munich, the train car designed for bicycles, handicapped and strollers was completely full of people, none of which had a bike, stroller or were handicapped and NO ONE offered to give up their space for us. Then when we arrived in Munich and had to transfer to the U-Bahn (underground subway), the elevator was of course broken. The U-Bahns are always so crowded and I felt like everyone was mad at me for taking up 25% of the standing space with a stroller- it was a stressful travel experience.
However we finally made it and had a fun afternoon exploring BMW World and pretending to drive pretty German cars. After passing Timo off to his mom, I went to meet up with some new friends at Frühlingsfest. Frühlingsfest is basically just a smaller version of Oktoberfest, but in the spring. It’s held in the same location and has all of the fair rides and games, beer tents and beer gardens. I was hanging out with a group of international students at LMU, the university in Munich: a few Australians, a few Canadians, a couple Spaniards, and me. I was of course drilled on the typical Texas questions I always get asked (gun control, death penalty, Obama, Mexicans…) but we all had a great time and I even got to see a firework show at the end!
I spent that night in Munich and then had breakfast the next morning with Ana, an American Au Pair living in the city. We sat at a lovely rooftop café in the sunshine and had a fabulous time finally meeting face-to-face. You know when you first meet someone and you just connect and you feel like you’ve known them forever? That was Ana and I!
Then came lunch with Helga, Norbert and their son Kai. Helga and Norbert are very dear friends of my Oma’s. They lived in Dallas in the 60s and became great friends of my grandparents’, and even though they’ve been living back in Germany for a while now, we have all kept in touch. They took me to a fabulous steakhouse and we had a lovely time catching up- it was really nice to be around some family friends!
After a bit more walking around Munich and shopping, I came back to Aschau that evening and went out with my favorite Colombians- Andrea and Katherine! Then Sunday at church, I met the two new American girls who are exchange students at the university in Rosenheim and we all went to lunch with some friends, then I came back home and recuperated from a jam-packed weekend.
Once again, the weekend did not disappoint. I fell a little bit more in love with Munich and made about 10 new friends- which is crazy considering just a few days before I thought I would be doing nothing all weekend! After reflecting back, I realized this weekend I spent a significant amount of time with Germans, Americans, Colombians, Australians, Spaniards, Canadians, and one English guy. Such an international weekend would never have happened in Texas and I am once again reminded how blessed I am to be living here. I can’t tell you how many different religious, political and cultural conversations I had in the last 72 hours that continue to open my eyes more and more to just how big our world is. There is so much we can learn from one another if we are willing to open our minds!