Scots Abroad

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After four weeks of mooching around Scotland, two weeks of construction law and an epic How I Met Your Mother marathon (I have no excuse for this, other than the fact that Germans are obsessed with anything Barney-Stinson related), I’m back in Germany. The second semester starts tomorrow and finishes on the 29th July, because in Germany people are apparently capable of studying for exams in the hottest month of the year. Choosing libraries over Biergartens is going to be a continual test of will power, but I’m glad that I’ll see Bavaria in the summer.

Besides from being greeted by a thunderstorm on my first day back, the weather has been pretty amazing – I have the sunburn to prove it. The contrast with my luminous white legs is somewhat alarming, but I’ve been wearing shorts in an attempt to pick up at least a slight tan over the next few weeks.

The last few days of freedom before the summer semester have passed in a haze of lounging around in the sun drinking beer and, in a vague nod to partaking in some suitably British activities on the day of the Royal Wedding, Pimms. Honestly, I though Munich had peaked at Christmas (nothing beats Gluhwein and Christmas markets, right?) but drinking our way through a bucket of Pimms on a Friday afternoon was an exceptionally good start to my last stint in Germany.

We’ve also checked out one of Munich’s famous flea markets. I didn’t understand most of the vendors, but they may as well have been yelling “Stolen goods! My clothes from the 80s!”. I didn’t buy anything, but very much enjoyed the neighbouring Fruhlingsfest, a kind of spring carnival with rides and food stands. The only difference, it seems, between fairgrounds in the UK and Germany is that you can buy candyfloss at the former and your choice from a wide variety of sausages at the latter. I also rode on the Wildwasser Bahn, because the name was amusing and you only live once.

Today was May Day – I’ve never seen Maypole celebrations out with a Snoopy cartoon, so watching a crowd of lederhosen-clad men struggle with a 5 1/2 ton pole for the best part of a morning, to a background of Bavarian dance music, was quite an experience. Munich has it’s own Maypole, but the exchange society organised a trip to Tegensee (a lake outside Munich near the villiage Gmund) to see the festivities and spend some time sunbathing by the water.

We arrived back in the city in time for dinner, and I spent the rest of the evening preparing for classes tomorrow: essentially skimming the list of available classes (the helpfully named Vorlesungsverzeichnis), as I did last semester, to find the lectures which are easiest to pronounce. I have also learned that any attempts at humour with the law professors isn’t the best of ideas – the professor taking the comparative law seminar emailed to ask my proficiency in German and any other languages, and I wrote back to say I spoke German and English, “and also a bit of Scots Gaelic, but I doubt that’ll be helpful!.”. He’s now very excited about my take on legal resources in Gaelic, and also Udal law. Here’s hoping the next semester involves a lot more beer and sun, and the professor forgetting I ever mentioned my knowledge of Gae

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