I reckon my family’s visit was largely a success, even if I did manage to drag them across town to what looked like a building site because I got the venue of the summer festival (Tollwood) wrong, and wasn’t much help with the public transport (their hotel was on a tram stop, after an intense mental struggle I’m safe on the U-bahns and S-Bahns but avoid buses and trams). We did all the usual touristy things as well as a trip to Salzburg and a tour of the LMU, which may be an administrative nightmare but is very pretty inside.
I also subjected them to my cooking skills – I can bake pretty well, but unfortunately lack the equipment to do so over here, and so we had to buy in an Apfelstrudel and eat the dinner I made. Bavarian white sausages (Weisswurst) are a somewhat acquired taste, due to their spongy texture and lack of flavour which necessitates eating them with copious amounts of mustard. My brother refused to try these outright, after being shown how to peel the skin off them. Luckily the Flammkuchen (like a flat rectangular pizza, but with a thinner crispier base, more onions and less tomato sauce), Schnitzel Wiener Art (breaded pork) and spaghetti went down a little better.
The 3 days following the departure of my family back to Scotland were probably the craziest of my time in Munich so far. After a frantic cramming session for most of Thursday, as well as my 6pm-8pm lecture (cheers Germany for ruining Thursday dinner time), my first oral exam was on Friday morning. I can take back most of my whining – oral exams are actually a pretty good deal. I resisted the temptation to have a couple of beers over breakfast, although my tipsy German is much better than my stone-cold-sober German, and so I was pretty much a nervous wreck on the Ubahn, but after we were a few questions into the test and I realised that the lecturer was going to help us along as best he could, it was easier to relax. I struggled to talk about the course in German, but it didn’t really matter – the lecturer only seemed interested in hearing our opinions on the subjects covered and making sure we’d understood the course.
After the exam I headed to Marienplatz for the last of a friend and my McDonalds lunches. Since Wintersemester we’ve tried to meet up every so often for chicken nuggets, milkshake and complaining about homesickness/ the LMU/ German life in general. Although we’re both going to miss Munich and I’m gutted that I only have 20 days left here, it’s been good to met someone who found ERASMUS tricky at times.
Friday night was Rocky Horror in a tiny cinema in Munich that’s been showing the film every week for – I kid you not- 27 years. Sitting in an enclosed space with a bunch of Germans who knew the Timewarp perfectly and even had rice to throw at the wedding scene was certainly an interesting experience. I’m not a Rocky Horror fan (I only the recognised the songs because of the themed Glee episode) but it’s one of the things you ‘have’ to do in Munich and it was a good night.
The rest of the weekend has consisted of a group of us sharing a Bayern ticket to Chiemsee, one of the lakes near Munich, my ending up visiting a hospital (nothing serious, but kicking myself for not knowing how to get to a hospital – forever indebted to a wonderful friend who took me along and translated for me), and finally a very chilled out Sunday having brunch with friends in Sendlinger Tor and jog. Hoping the last couple of weeks don’t throw as many curve-balls, although I suppose they do make life interesting.