Travel diary – Munich

Hallo hallo. I’m writing from Munich, Germany on the 26th of June. It is almost 7 pm, and I have just come home to my room. I am on a 2-week German-course, in order to get better at German, and I have already improved. I came to my host family yesterday, and they are really nice. Monika and Andy have two boys (12 and 15), and there are three other girls staying with them. I have met two of them: Cindy from Switzerland and Ella from South Korea. They are both very nice, but they have known each other for two months already and live in the same room, so they mostly talk to each other. The three other girls are staying in the attic, and I am staying in the basement. My room has a bed, a fridge, a microwave, a table, a toilet, a sink and a shower all in one… It is a bit weird, but it works.

I am so confused with languages right now, because I have been switching between three languages all day. I can handle two languages, but three is hard.

I made friends with two Norwegian girls, and I am going to have classes with them. I can speak Danish to them. There are many people who are not very good at German, so I have to speak English to them. And then I also made a friend from Switzerland called Andreina. She speaks Italian, French and German (In that order), but not very much English. That is a good friend to have, because I have to speak German with her. Which I good, because we actually managed to have a conversation going for over an hour – in German! I am very pleased with myself.

I have to make myself breakfast and be out of the house by 8, but we get dinner served every night at 7:30. Last night, I went to bed straight after dinner, and it looks like I am going to have to do the same thing today, because I am so exhausted. My body is exhausted and my head is so confused. I even get confused when I think, because I can’t decide what language I should ”think in”. Sometimes I think about something in German, but then I am missing some words – and then I realize that I could have just thought that exact same thing in Danish… It is strange. I can’t even spell in English anymore L

Another thing is, that they don’t have WiFi at my host family, so I am writing this in Word, and will try to get it uploaded later (perhaps when I get home…).

I am too tired to do anything right now, but dinner is in 20 minutes, so I will survive. After speaking German and writing in English, I will now try to read in my Danish book 🙂

Wednesday the 28th of June was my second school day. Yesterday I had classes in the morning, and then I spent the afternoon by myself (and had Knödel for dinner!), but today I had afternoon classes. Gosh, that was hard. This morning I went swimming in Dantebad, an outdoor swimming pool. There were surprisingly many people considering the rain and the time of day, but I must say that most of the other people were a lot older than me… I had school from 2 pm to 6 pm, and it was so exhausting. The internet did not work at school today, either.

Word of the day: empfehlen (anbefale). Important difference: wann (hvornår) and wenn (når). A good “saying”: ohne fleiss gibt es keinen Preis.

It is very different to be in a class with people from other countries. For example: Italians are generally much more outgoing than Scandinavians, people who doesn’t speak Danish don’t necessarily understand words like “peinlich”, “sauer” and “neugierig” which are words that are fairly easy for a Dane because they are so similar to Danish, and lastly, we just don’t find the same things hard or easy. I, for one, have learnt it all before but have forgotten about most of it. I also don’t shout the answers out loud, and need time to think, so therefore I seem to be worse at German than I really am. Other people just speak, and pick up new things easily, and will instantly use their new skills. I think, that because some of the German language is easy to me because of my mother language, I forget to think of the grammar and using the correct words. Does that make sense? I have always been told to just talk, and then I would learn the grammar afterwards, so I have never gotten used to using the correct grammar (except from some of the very important things). I might have started German five years ago, but in those five years, I have had six different teachers and every teacher has started from the bottom again.

Tomorrow, I am going to meet up with Andreina for lunch, and also after school. I am very excited because she is really friendly and “easy” to talk to (easy being relative, while we talk to each other in German) 🙂

Friday the 30th and I am sitting in my room. It is only 9:15 and I don’t have school until 12. Today we have a test, which everyone apparently has every Friday. Normally, they use these tests to see if someone are good enough to go to the “next level”, but I don’t know if they do with people like me who only are here for two weeks.

Though I think, I could also do okay in a harder class… There are the following levels:

A1-1, A1-2, A2-1, A2-2, B1-1, B1-2, B2-1, B2-2, C1-1, C1-2, C2-1, C2-2

Where A is beginner and C is advanced. I am only at level A2-2, and they say that you need level C2 to go to university in Germany. In Denmark, I would only need to have one more year of German in order to go to a German university, so I might be in the wrong class. Does this make sense? I might ask my teacher after today’s class.

I don’t know what to do right now. It is a shame that I can’t sleep longer, because I don’t really feel like doing anything before class today, I am too exhausted. I guess I will watch some more TV, read in my book or go on with my knitting.

Sunday the 2nd of July. Yesterday I went to Schloss Neuschwanstei with EF, and it was really pretty, but a bit small. Google for pictures…

Today I went “hiking” in the alps, also with EF. It rained the entire day, which was a shame, but we managed to have fun anyway. Most of the people who had come on the trip were Italians, and they mostly talk to each other in Italian. I talked with a Norwegian girl, and also a bit with the girl who arranged the trip. Italians are loud, mostly, and people looked at us when we walked around. I was definitely not dressed for hiking (long raincoat and converse), but at least I hadn’t brought an umbrella.

As soon as we got home, the sky cleared up and the sun came out. Of course. But I got home for dinner, and I had some sort of rice pudding because Monika wasn’t expecting me to be home for dinner.

Monday the 3rd of July. Today we got our tests back, and I got 57/60 points, but that is probably because this course is a bit too easy for me. I am not going to level up, because I am staying here for so short, and I have just gotten to know my classmates. The first half of the day was really good, we did a lot of talking and listening and hardly any grammar. After lunch, however, we had 80 minutes of intense grammar and we were all so tired afterwards.

Vegan or vegetarian lunch or dinner recommendations in Munich: Dean & David has lots of sandwiches and wraps to-go, and also salads. I have tried their sandwiches and smoothies, and they were really good. Siggi’s is also very good, this place only serve vegan food and it is very tasty. They both have a restaurant and food to-go, and there are always “packed” with people there since it is such a small place. I have tried one of their sandwiches though it almost looked like a burger. It had a very delicious chickpea filling, and loads of spices. This place is definitely more fancy and real, whereas Dean & David are more hip and fast.

After school I went to Englischer Garten one more time, and started walking. I had bought a German book (wish me luck) so I sat down to read, do my homework and listen to music. The weather is good again after the rainy and cold weekend, so it was very peaceful and nice. I also went to my two favorite stores, both located in the same street: Gudrun Sjöden and HessNatur. It was really nice to see something familiar, and I always love a good browse in colorful stores.

I have also found that Biomarkts are so amazing. Whole supermarkets with only organic foods, and I am in heaven. Something must have gone wrong in my upbringing, because most teenagers try to find discount products because they don’t have a lot of money. I on the other hand loooooove organic stuff, vegan food and fair-trade clothes. I guess it is good, well obviously, it is good to buy these things, but it is not cheap. Never mind. I found this store, and I had to buy something. BUT! Upstairs, they had a giant beauty and clothes department, with EVERYTHING you could ever want. It was not good, because I can’t resist pretty looking packages with lovely organic shampoos and lotions. I might go back there another day…

Saturday the 8th of July, and the day of me going home. What amazing two weeks it has been. I am now sitting in the airport and thinking about all that has happened these last weeks. They have gone by so fast! Thursday it was over 30 degrees outside, and not a cloud was in sight. I spent the first half of the day in Dantebad, an outdoor swimming pool. It was so good. I jumped in the water, then I got out and sat in the sun until that got too hot, and then I jumped in the water again. The second half of the day was miserable. I had school from 14 to 20, and it was still incredibly hot out. I couldn’t think…

Friday, the weather was equally good. School was in the morning, so it was not as hot. My last class was “projekt”, a class that happens every Friday, and where you have to go out on the street and talk with strangers. We went to an outside library and had to ask people about their reading habits. The purpose is to speak German with Germans, and it works. It wasn’t scary at all, they were all really nice. Last Friday I went with another girl, but this Friday I went up to people and talked to them all by myself. Considering my usual introversion, I am pretty proud of myself.

And there we go. My travels are over. I have heard the word “sondern” a million times, said “ja” and nodded too many times (because I didn’t know what else to say) and travelled by the U-bahn for several hours. And: I have traveled all by myself for the first time.

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