I’ve been back in Scotland for a couple of weeks now, busy with catching up with old friends from Edinburgh and my home town, seeing family and watching two and a half months worth of taped Glee and Gossip Girl. It’s been pretty good.
Students in Germany are sometimes teased because of their ridiculously long holidays or ‘Semesterferien.’ I haven’t had compulsory classes since the 10th of February, and the second semester begins in May. The law school at the LMU advises that students use this time to do internships in Germany, but seeing as my German is still at a less-than-impressive standard (following my exams, I started learning the grammar from scratch) I decided to stay in Munich to do some holiday classes, and then come back to Scotland for 6 weeks in order to complete a work experience placement.
My last week in Munich was marred only by the fact that my final course, American Evidence law, kicked off at 8.30am every day. Six months in a country of early risers has unfortunately done nothing to change my late-night ways, but at least finishing class early meant I could use the afternoons to see friends and wander around the city. Shrove Tuesday was especially nice. We fitted in a British-style pancake making session, complete with maple syrup purchased from the American food section in Galeria Kaufhof (must-visit for anyone in Germany who’s likely to become bored of the homage to German meat and Spatzl that is Aldi) and caught the end of the Fasching street festival.
The weather was wonderful – on my last afternoon, I met a few friends for a picnic in Englischer Garten and we sat outside in t-shirts eating our way through bakery cakes and Lidl snacks, whilst trying not to laugh at the dog with an (intriguing and unnecessary) CSI harness. I arrived home that evening to find an email from Easy Jet advising me that my flight home may be delayed due to snow in Edinburgh airport. After applying after-sun lotion to my slightly sunburned arms, this was hard to believe and although I wasn’t entirely happy about leaving sunny Munich for snowy Scotland, it’s certainly been good to be back.
As an exchange student, you do feel a little out of the Edinburgh loop – it was strange to visit friends and run into so many acquaintances who were confused as to why I was back in the city in the middle of March (who were less than impressed with my 2-and-a-half-month-holiday excuse). Writing this blog from my parents’ study, rather than at the desk in my IKEA-does-Communism room in Munich, is also a bit bizarre – I guess I’m not going to get used to splitting life between two different countries. After seeing friends in Edinburgh and visiting a few of my favourite places in the city (Tizzy/Simon/Graeme’s flats, Starbucks on Lauriston Place, Arthurs Seat, the meadows and, horrifically enough, Old College), I felt I’d missed out a lot by choosing to spend a year away from Edinburgh, but I know I wouldn’t change my decision to venture out of Scotland and take part in an ERASMUS year.
Did you include that “in t-shirts” bit as a reminder that not all of the Englischer garten is nudist?