Scots don’t make good salsa dancers

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I’ve now lived in Munich for just over a month, and the city finally feels like a home away from home. Blu-tack is (rumour has it) banned in Germany because of a chemical the Germans don’t like, but my mum’s parcel of adhesives and rose tea from home arrived this week and now my room is decorated with photos of family and friends, and 3 IKEA fairy lights. My room is cosy, I recently received a delivery of British magazines and life is good.

Fortunately, I’m past the point of being homesick every day, but occasionally something will trigger a bout of ‘I-just-want-to-go-home’, for example this week I missed my younger brother’s birthday for the first time – we spoke on skype and I’ve been away from family for my own and others’ birthdays before, but I suppose that was just one of the times I would have much rather have been in Scotland than Germany. A friend also told me about the film Burke and Hare, which made me miss Edinburgh, British humour (Simon Pegg has no German equal), and British cinemas (the most popular film in Germany is currently a biopic of Goethe, I think I will pass on the Kino for the moment). I’m starting to believe the people who’ve told me that ERASMUS was the best year of their life, but sometimes I have so as Michael (friend and fellow Transformers fan) says and be an Optimist Prime, not a Negatron.

However, the good times continue to roll. This week we’ve been out for curry and beer, attended a Black and White party which was promised to be an excellent night but turned out to be basically Lady Gaga songs repeated over and over to a crowd of German teenagers, and visited Regensburg. I also attended my first salsa lesson, which wasn’t as disastrous as I’d thought – I’d only signed up on a whim when I was excited about being in Germany and trying as many new things as possible. Our instructor is called Carlos, comes from Brazil, and wear’s too-tight trousers and very shiny gold jewellery, so it’s worth attending the classes just for that, but salsa is actually pretty good fun.

This week I have also finally made a few actual German friends. Admittedly I met one in Legal Research (taught in English) and I’m pretty sure she’s only so keen to work with me because I’m the only native speaker in the class (we started talking when she misheard the lecturer talk about “sexual aggression” as “sexual exaggeration” and I prevented her from writing a demand letter full of claims about “sexual exaggeration”), but we speak in German out of class. It’s a little daunting to speak to Germans knowing that they’re picking up on every mistake and are probably attempting not to laugh at my accent, but so far it’s been a good way to learn. And seeing as how I ended up in bar of German bikers (rowdy but extremely helpful, the one with the iPhone saved my night) instead of a friend’s flat due to my inability to understand fairly basic directions, I need to learn.

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