Yesterday as definitely one of those days when all I wanted was to be at home with a ginger beer and a fish supper. I don’t particularly like either of these things, but ERASMUS makes you miss everything related to your home country, hence my irrational crush on the ‘tatties tatties tatties’ guy in the Iron Bru advert. I’ll explain.
My morning kicked off with a psychometric test for an internship which was basically hell delivered to my computer monitor in a sequence of shapes and symbols which I was meant to categorise (I did so only according to how aesthetically pleasing I found them, there was no other way). I usually do well in verbal/numerical reasoning tests, they’re just a wee mental workout after the interview, but this was a nightmare. I should point out here, though, that no-one needs to worry about a year abroad affecting chances of securing an internship – I’ve not been able to apply to as many firms as I’m sure my peers have, because the LMU’s term only ends in July, but the firms I’ve dealt with have been keen to hear about my experience of studying in Germany and most offer telephone interviews and online assessments.
After the fun and games of the psychometrics, I decided to go and explore a district of Munich I’d not seen before, and caught the underground into town. Trying not to dwell on the fact that I’d missed a pretty good night out to be ‘mentally alert’ for the test (ha, like that would have helped), I tried to read my book in a corner of the ubahn carriage. The German equivalent of a ned sat next to me – they’re usually just like Scottish neds, except that the guys have more expensive taste in jewellery, and so I don’t mind their company, but nodding his head so aggressively it looked like he was having some kind of seizure, along to the beat of the music he was listening to through headphones but may as well have been playing with a boom box. It took me a couple of minutes to realise that he was listening a techno remix of the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack. I edged closer to the window and waited for my stop – I like that the guy’s got a pretty quirky taste in music, perhaps I was just reminded too much of the time I as to sit next to the most maniacally competitive boy in my geography class as school as he mentally prepared for our prelim by listening to ‘Zero to Hero’ from Hercules.
I got off at Odeonsplatz with the aim of walking to the palace at the end of Maximillianstrasse, and back to the ubahn through some of the side streets. Thanks to impeccably unlucky timing, my the sole of my shoe came loose just by the palace – the furthest point from the underground station. If I’d been in almost any other district in central Munich, I wouldn’t have been more than 500 metres from a cheap clothes store, where I could have replaced my pumps for around 10 euros. However, Maximillianstrasse is basically where Bavarians come if they’re in the mood for Prada, Gucci or Versace (the reason I’ve taken to long to visit the area is probably that there’s not much there besides pretty buildings and designer shops). I walked back to the ubahn in a sorry state, sole of my shoe flapping around and attracting dirty, dirty looks from German ladies with chihuahuas and the husbands carrying the shopping bags.
Once I’d binned the shoes back at the flat, I went for a run to the outdoor gym about a kilometre from where I live. There are (as is clear from all of my other blogs) numerous things I dislike about living in Germany, but I do love the outdoor gyms. That is, until I twisted my ankle on a cross trainer designed for octogenarians.
At least Saturday ended well – everything seems funny when related to a friend over a lethally strong White Russian (another thing to like about Germany – they are very, very generous with alcohol). After a few drinks with friends from one of the courses from last semester, I headed home.
I was tired after a week long intensive course in American law, which was ostensibly Jurisprudence but was essentially an overview of the relationship between law and religion. It’s the only course I’ve ever taken where South Park has been used as a relevant teaching aid – I’m guessing a complete history of the Mormons wasn’t strictly necessary, but it was interesting. I didn’t expect that I’d end up studying American law over here and enjoying it so much, but as this semester draws to a close, I’m realising that you can’t have expectations of what life will be like in your exchange country. Outdoor gyms and Hans Zimmer dubstep have taught me that at least.