Second Half of German Freshers’

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The last week has passed in a blur of orientation classes, excursions with the exchange society, learning that Germans very much do know how to party, and desperately trying to find some law lectures that I have any hope of understanding.

Classes start on Monday, and I reckon on being completely annihilated by German property law. This week’s trip to the opera (sung in Italian with German subtitles) basically resulted in my trying to decide which violinist was best looking for the entire last act, as I quickly lost track of the story. Additionally, German opera humour is infinitely worse than regular German humour. However, I remain optimistic – I can understand and say a lot more than I could two weeks ago, and hopefully classes will seem less terrifying in a few weeks.

As well as the opera, the exchange society organised a trip to the Paulaner Brewery, to see how Munich’s favourite beer is made, and their ‘infamous’ welcome party. At the end of the brewery tour we were taken to the biergarten and presented with a glass of Paulaner and a plate of Leberkase (a salmon-pink mixture of spam and meatloaf). My meals are becoming more Germanic, but there will probably never be a place in my heart for Leberkase.

After the brewery I took a nap in preparation for the welcome party – a wise move, considering that I didn’t get home until about 6am. We left the flat at around midnight, having drunk our way through copious amounts of 2-euros-a-litre wine, and headed into the city. The party took place in Candyshop, part of a large complex of clubs and bars (think Centre Parcs re-imagined by a group of students with far too much time, alcohol and neon lighting). A fun night was had by all.

I’ve not been out all that much in my first two weeks here, but it would seem that clubs in Germany are more or less exactly the same as Britain. The only differences are that the drink is cheaper, there’s no free tap water, and they’re open later. Student halls, on the other hand, are vastly different in Munich from their Edinburgh counterparts. I am the youngest on my corridor by far and am regarded with suspicion by most of the postgraduate students, who fear that the new Erasmus student will be wreaking havoc every weekend. It was daunting at first, but I’m quickly learning that on a year abroad, you have to look at the upside of the cultural differences – I’ve made some friends outside of the Erasmus crowd, who I wouldn’t have met if I’d lived with other exchange students. Today, for example, I had dinner with a Greek guy who did a year abroad in Edinburgh, and is now doing a Masters at the LMU – we chatted about all the places we miss in Scotland, how we would swap even Scottish weather for Munich weather, and the amazing Pollock Halls breakfasts. Following our conversation, I have concluded that Scotland is probably my favourite country in the world… but my favourite city, I think, will soon be Munich.

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