Greetings once again from the slightly-less-snowy somewhat-warmer state of Bayern.
I have finished a month and two weeks here at the Goethe Institute and have a fortnight left before I head off to Switzerland to go skiing and then to Cologne to begin my studies in Math and Economics. My stay here in Munich has been phenomenal thus far.
Although trips outside still require layers and often a nice warm beanie, the blizzard snow and sleek, icy roads are now a thing of the past. Since I last wrote, I have been to Cologne (a good 5.5 hour train ride from Munich), to Hagen to visit my Aunt and to Augsburg with some friends from Munich.
But the real excitement this past 21 days has been right here in Munich. Each year the Germans in particular and some hooligans in New Orleans celebrate Karneval on Faschings Dienstag (Fat Tuesday).
I dressed up as a clown with a psychedelic hat, some outrageous polka-dot pants (thanks Clarisse!) and on oversized glitzy orange and yellow bow tie. My group of friends and I paraded around in downtown Munich near Marienplatz with hundreds of other highly-decorated individuals. Although when I got to Cologne the next weekend, I saw pictures of Karneval and found out that I missed the REAL party.
Quick history lesson: Karneval originated as a way to eat of lots of the meat that had been frozen over the winter that would soon go bad in the spring as the weather gets warmer. In addition, many Catholics choose to give something up for the month plus before Easter and often it is meat. Karneval is one last chance to get rid of the extra. Besides, the Germans, esp. the Muencheners would never overlook a chance for another big party :-)
In and around Munich I have kept myself busy in the last weeks as well. From touring the BMW museum, to learning more than I ever wanted to know about Abstract Expressionism and the Blue Rider Movement in the Ledenbach House, to strolling around the old city center at night, I have had an eventful time.
My night train to Paris, which leaves in just under two hours will deposit me at the Paris Est train station at 7:01 a.m. tomorrow morning where I will hopefully meet Matt, Sophie, her sister and Rabea.
Laura and Richard both know that if I am forced to try to speak French, I'm in trouble, n'est pas?
I hope midterms went well for those of you in that boat right now and everyone is healthy and doing well. But alack, it's getting late and I've a train to catch. Bis dem Nachst.