Last weekend was my first-ever festival experience – 4 nights at Southside Festival (sponsored, of course, by Becks) in Bavaria’s neighbour, Baden Wuertemberg. I enjoyed my first moshpit, until a safety-conscious German punter basically picked me up and took me out of it, cringed at the awkward moment when the lead singer of My Chemical Romance referred to a mosh pit as a ‘dancing pit’ and got booed, and felt that my life was slightly more complete after seeing so many of my favourite bands live. Band of Horses absolutely made the weekend, although they brought a tear to my eye when they sang ‘The Funeral’ (anyone who knows the Danny Macaskill video knows why).
The weather was pretty abysmal – I was very grateful for my 5 euro electric blue croc-foam wellies in the end. The sun did come out for a few hours on Friday, but despite wearing factor 30 suncream my nose is still pretty red. The guys on my corridor burst out laughing when they saw me (I forgave them, on account of the fact that they feed me a lot of the time), as did the ice-cream guy who eats in our kitchen.
Festivals in Germany, I’m told, are more or less the same as festivals in the UK, other than the fact that we were the odd ones out for wearing bikinis in the communal showers. The German ease with which they get their kit off in public hasn’t rubbed off yet and it’s probably one cultural bridge I’m not going to cross any time soon.
One of Munich’s best-kept secrets: if you’re going to stay for a while, it’s worth checking out who’s playing at the Olympic Stadium. It’s an outdoor arena and there’s a hill in Olympia Park (next to the lake with an inflatable car in the middle that looks like a lad’s night out gone wrong) from which you can see into the stadium. We spent a very happy evening sitting with a view over Munich listening to Bon Jovi and trying to drown out the guy who was singing along in perfect English but with all the vigour of someone who’s already drank half his bottle of Jaegermeister. Unfortunately it looks like my last night in Munich will be spent watching Take That from the same point, but I can’t really complain after one of the best nights in the city so far.
I’m leaving Munich 5 weeks today, and I’m a bit scared – Germany feels completely normal, and I know it’s going to be a culture shock. I hate finding new places and wishing I’d discovered them earlier, and meeting someone and thinking ‘damn, I wish I’d met you months ago’. A lot can happen in 5 weeks and we’re not in the final chapter of ERASMUS quite yet, so I’ll save the emotional meltdown for a few weeks. Anyhow, life is probably too short to let an eventual, unavoidable goodbye overshadow the present. Can you tell I’m hungover and trying to make up 500 words right now? I promise that ERASMUS isn’t always to emotional, and the good times totally make it all worth it. Really. Even though I’m only leaving my room today if Have I Got News for You and copious amounts of Milka cure said hangover.