This week, ERASMUS has been exceptionally bad for my hair. A lack of funds and fear of German hairdressers (or rather, my lack of language skills and inability to ask for a fringe and layers) resulted in some DIY hair-cutting, and the weather means hat-hair at the end of every day. It’s currently minus-11 in Munich and following the difficult style v practicality decision, I now wear hiking boots to lectures every day.
However, it’s impossible to complain about the snow when Munich looks so Christmassy. This week has seen several visits to the Christmas markets, an unsuccessful snowball fight (too cold, we lasted about 10 minutes before giving up and trudging through the snow to the nearest Gluehwein stand), a 1am group hug to celebrate the 1st of December and the receipt of a lovely advent calendar posted by my mum. I still can’t wait until I’m home for Christmas (I even have a slightly pathetic online timer which is literally counting down the minutes until my flight home, which fingers crossed won’t be cancelled because of the snow!) but I hate that my first stint in Munich is almost over, especially as I’m loving every minute of being in Bavaria for the Christmas season.
Celebrating Christmas with exchange students and comparing different festive customs has been fairly awesome. We even attempted to bake Lebkuchen – this is meant to be a soft gingerbread biscuit (made only at Christmas and a Bavarian specialty), but ours turned out burnt and too hard to bite into. St Andrews Day in Germany was a little strange – I almost cried when my favourite lecturer (who is obsessed with British culture and Lady Gaga) remembered I was Scottish and wished me a happy St Andrews day. This wasn’t my finest moment, particularly in light of the fact that I don’t think I’ve even acknowledged St Andrews since I was in secondary school (I went to school in St Andrews, apparently the only place that cares).
The only thing dampening my festive spirits is my first real exam next week (5 whole ECTS credits counts on my being capable of turning down Gluehwein in favour of nights in studying, it’s going to be tough but manageable), as well as two practice exams I’ll be doing as Hausaufgaben due to their clashing with another lecture/ my mum visiting. I’d like to take this opportunity to quash the myth that ERASMUS students never have any work to do. Lies. We have plenty of work, we’re just really good at finding things to do other than work. Admittedly I’m attending more classes than I need to, due to my boundless enthusiasm for German copyright law and the aforementioned lecturer/Lady Gaga fan, but my workload in all honesty isn’t much less than it was in Edinburgh. It could just be Deutschland, but it seems that if I’m going to pass anything I’ll need to start studying more. Fortunately it turns out that German law is pretty interesting (at least to me), but I am very nervous about attempting an exam – hopefully a bit of post-snowball-fight cramming will save the day!