Sag nichts über die Zwillinge… the Mafia is watching!

So since I enjoyed writing about a few members of my language class last time and since I spend half my time there, I’ve decided to write a whole blog on it! Of course I’ve already mentioned the legendary Enzo and the aggressively legendary Maureen but there’s also a variety of characters I haven’t touched on.

I first started with this particular group in January and was quickly adopted in as the baby of the group, since the average age of the group is about 40. This was a B1 course but the few key members of the class had been together for about 2 years since they started A1, the first level of German.

The group is like a big family really, just with all mums and grandmas, one dad and a few kids. As its an adult course its very relaxed and can easily descend into a discussion about almost anything. We’ve talked about education, jobs, body image and of course my cousins wedding, affair and eventual love child… all in German. At first it was a shock to the system after A Level German with daily vocab tests and essay writing but I’ve learnt to love this new, much more relaxed teaching style. I also think my increase in motivation is down to the fact that I’m now learning German for myself and my future, not just to pass an exam.

Class starts promptly at 10:45… or at 11 by the time everyone has turned up, had a catch up and a quick gossip, opened every possible window for ‘frische Luft’ and settled down. We start class by going through the homework which is either asking Claudia about difficult sections or guiltily trying not to make eye contact with her when you haven’t done it. This will be followed by a 5 minute chat break and then we might start an exercise. Its so relaxed sometimes I barely realise we’re doing anything but looking back on my books, we’ve really covered a lot.

Now onto the characters of the group! It may seem odd to call them characters but really they seem like people from a book and since we’re all thrown together in such a strange situation, it really feels totally bizarre sometimes.

Firstly, Nicki one of my favourites. She’s from Holland but living and working in Germany. Shes in her late forties and has a daughter the same age as me but she always loves to group herself in with the ‘young people’ when it is brought up. She is a lovely person and always dressed so well and sophisticated. She sits on the opposite end of the room to the teacher Claudia like 2 queens sitting at the head of the table.

Now with the next person I’m going to tell you about I’m stepping into very risky territory… Natalia is a middle aged Russian housewife. Let me rephrase that; shes a Russian mafia wife. And no I’m not just saying that because shes Russian. She dresses in the most expensive looking clothes, hair and nails done impeccably with a different Prada bag under her arm every lesson. She also has 2 phones which she explained to us; one is for Munich and one is for Moscow…mysterious. Also (aside from the mafia thing) she’ll randomly just walk out of class at any time, for any amount of time and then return mysteriously with just a cup of hot water from the coffee machine downstairs. The class lasts for about 2 hours with a 15 minute break halfway so it’s not difficult to sit through. But I guess when you’re in the Russian mafia you can do what you please…

My next person and a surprise return to the class just the other day is Anna. Shes originally from Russia but lived in America for a few years before moving to Germany. Due to this she loves to speak English whenever she can. Unfortunately this means that her German sometimes (all the time) fades into English at the end of the sentence. This is perfect for me as I think I can understand all of her German but of course I do when half of it is in my native language! Recently, Anna was missing from class which led to her being the subject of a whole lessons-worth of discussion. The topic of the lesson was ‘Vermutungen’ or assumptions so we had to use a specific grammar structure to voice our assumptions on where Anna was. This ranged from ‘her kids might be ill’ to ‘she might have fled the country’. Fortunately she returned to class the other day and continued her work in consolidating ‘Ginglish’ as a language.

Another recent return to class is Snjezana, a Serbian woman in her 60’s who works at an old folks home which she never stops bloody complaining about. During winter she was absolute goals, waltzing in in a floor length fur coat every day, looking like a true Soviet dream. She smokes which always leads to her being chastised for it or being used as an example by Claudia in class. She replies which a wheezing laugh and pops another cough drop in. She once offered her cough sweets round the class so I took one out of politeness. Unfortunately it turned out to be eucalyptus flavour which made the next 5 minutes feel like I was breathing in a thousand eucalyptus leaves while standing, naked, at the North Pole. Safe to say my lungs will be clear for the next 10 years and I’ll be glad to never take one of Snjezana’s sweets again.

Aside from the many characters, me and Maureen also create our own fun in class. Maureen and I only properly met and became friends around March/April but we’re already into matching outfits. This started when I told her about the old Crossleys tradition of Formal Friday and we decided to bring it to our class to see if anyone noticed us suddenly dressing for the boardroom. This quickly developed into different themes for each week but no-one seemed to take note. We even had one of our classmates (Enzo) take a picture of us posing in our matching formal outfits but still he said nothing. Eventually we got sick of the shade from our classmates and straight up went out and bought matching T-shirts. We turned up to class in our completely matching outfits, made a quick Boomerang and catwalked into the classroom. We got a few dodgy looks, but no comments yet. It wasn’t until the break when one of the au pair girls mentioned our matchingness and said that she’d noticed us matching before but thought it too rude to mention it. We considered this a victory in our matching game and rewarded ourselves with an after-class ice cream. See below a preview of our v professional Boomerang shoot.

 

Easter 2017- Clubbing, concussions and chips

So throwback to Easter time! I started writing this blog on the flight back from England nearly 3 weeks ago now and got sick of it tbh. Since most of you who read this were with me for most of the events it should be funny to be reminded of the crazy, roller coaster ride that is my life. This blog is crazy long so I’m just gonna do highlights of the 2 weeks.

 

The first Saturday of the Easter holidays was my first night out in nearly 3 months and I definitely was not ready. Two porn star martini pitchers in spoons and I was ready to go. I’m gonna be honest, I don’t remember much of Atik apart from getting down hard with literally everyone from Crossleys and going back to ‘old habits’ (you know what I mean).

The next morning I woke up; as usual; in Ely’s bed absolutely DEAD. For the first time in 2 years I had a not-so-tactical chunder which I hope to never relive. My excuse is that I hadn’t been out in so long that my body had become a lightweight but in my mind, I still needed the same amount of drinks. Ed came and woke us up at 2pm ready to take us to Nandos for a much-needed catch up. This then led to the lowest point in my life in which I chobbed in Nandos toilet. Ed was way too amused by my awful state but I guess that came back to bite him at Cara’s birthday night out…

With my chicken and creamy mash left untouched, we moved on to Costa which finally revived me. The rest of the day we spent on a mini road trip around fax in the panda, exploring beacon hill (nearly getting blown away) and blasting Bublé.

 

The next Monday Mum, Trin and I decided to have a gals day; shopping, food and beauty and the beast! Admittedly I went a tad overboard with the shopping, having not seen Primark for over 3 months. I bought all the summer clothes (not realising it was currently snowing back in Munich at the time) and even a new suitcase which was an absolutely vital purchase obviously. After shopping we headed to the cinema and stopped on the way to jump on the year-old hype and try Five Guys. I must say it’s not too shabby but defo not as good as Hans im Gluck. Next stop was beauty and the beast time and omg it was even better the second time around. If I could add emojis to this, know that I would put about 5 heart eyes here! Of course we had to get them Disney songs on BLAST the whole drive home and we discovered there no better feeling than to roll up next to a car with bass pumping out only to roll down the windows and hit them with ‘Under the Sea’.

 

The next Friday was my next night out, albeit an accidental one. I feel victim to the classic ‘few drinks in spoons’ routine which ended up with a night in Atik. The night was going well until some wannabe DJ decided to show his ‘mad skills’ which basically involved him completely stopping the music and turning off all the lights every other minute to ‘build tension’ and then playing 10 seconds of a good song. This DJ also randomly played some robotic voice shouting ‘Atik systems reboot, system check’ which is really not my favourite thing to dance to but I guess it would be exciting for the 16 year olds crammed in there on their first night out. Another great injustice in Atik that night was the appearance of some random gogo dancers and a guy playing neon lighted bongos. First of all, me and half the girls in fax would have got up on that stage and done a much better job than those girls for free!! The neon bongo drum man I respect, he was never on beat with the song playing but at least he looked like he was having a good time.

 

So Easter Sunday and naturally we were feeling spiritual and religious af in our household… We were on our way to Vicky’s house to see her new place and have a brew, cruising through the village when mum slams on the brakes and screams “get that egg!!”. I look around and there’s an Easter egg perched on a wall at the side of the road. I ran over and grabbed it and found that it was from a church just down the road. The note on the egg said take this egg and enjoy because jebus is alive or something- we gave it to Vicky as we would probably burn up if we had it.

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Me and Trin with our found Easter egg


The next day was Easter Monday so we were all off again. The only thing left on my English food bucket list for this trip was fish and chips which I could get easily like 10 minutes from my door but no, if I’m gonna come 900 miles for fish and chips, I want proper seaside fish and chips. So, we had a road trip down to Llandudno, Wales for some seaside fun! By the time we got there, we were starving so we dived into the nearest greasy spoon caf and had our fish and chips with a brew. Afterwards we hit the arcades to live our Tipping Point dreams on the 2p machines and celebrated our eventual £2 loss with some hot fresh donuts to top off the day.

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Baguleys in Llandudno

The following Wednesday I was ready for another night out and of course I had to hit Hudds while I was back. It ended up being Lewis, Cara (follow her blog http://www.carryoncara.wordpress.com), Ed, Ely and me. We met up in spoons which was hosting some random song-bingo thing (I have no idea) which we got waaay too into and didn’t even win. After our not-so-gracious defeat, we moved on to Tokes for some 90p drinks. The night was pretty much, getting down as many 90p drinks as we could before they got expensive again, meeting everyone from Crossleys and judging contoured girls wearing ridiculous dresses and drag queen quality heels (take that as a read if you will). The night ended, as it always should, with me cradling a box of 20 nuggets, stumbling down Ely’s road, whining about life.

 

So now for the re-telling of the best night out of the holiday… Cara’s birthday. The night began with me getting ready at Ely’s and walking him through my professional and very well thought out make up routine. My makeup was definitely improved by the mix of white wine, archers and lemonade I was drinking (all mixed together, how am I still alive?!). Luckily we made it to Cara’s in time for champagne for prinks and we ended up being the first into acca (not a proud achievement).
Once in acca I took full advantage of the 75p drinks, after living with 9 Euro vodka cokes in Munich and was just about gone by 10:30pm. At this point Ed lowkey died and was the most affectionate he’s ever been to me and basically anyone who got too close. After a few songs of literally propping Ed up on the dancefloor we started to go outside and gather the squad to move on to Atik. I left Ed hunched over, held up by a bollard and lost track of him until later when Ely told me that him and one of Cara’s friends had taken him back to Cara’s.

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With my European buddy!

On the way to Atik I had the fab idea of taking my heels off but luckily Natalie saved me from catching a dodgy foot disease and started carrying me. All was going well until Lewis decided to tackle Natalie which slammed us both to the ground and caused me to hit my head on the pavement hard. Luckily the 4-6 archers and lemonade I’d had meant I felt almost nothing and sprung up instantly. Despite the question of if I had concussion or not, we carried on into Atik with Lewis begging forgiveness and offering drinks in return for my destroyed brain cells. We made it into Atik and I headed to Cara’s booth for that free bottle of vodka yaaas. Admittedly, this is where I’m fuzzy in my memory but I mainly remember dancing downstairs and ‘making friends with’ Americans. My next memory is a few hours later ‘saying goodbye’ to the Americans and then walking back home with Ely.

I woke up the next morning quite proud of the previous night’s events and the fact that I drank so much and didn’t seem to have a hangover. It was at this time that I discovered the effects of my fall which included bruises on my elbow, arm and my whole lower leg and a lump on my head which so far hasn’t caused any noticeable damage so I’m not gonna think about. I said goodbye to Ely until summer (OKTOBERFEST!!) and headed home to sleep for another 6 hours.

Sunday was my last full day so I rounded off my visit with a day with the family. This was the day I was most looking forward to as I would finally get to have my Auntie Carol’s famous Sunday roast. It was A M A Z I N G. Roast potatoes, Yorkshires, mash, cabbage, carrots, beef, pork and most importantly gravy! I really need to learn how to make Yorkshire puddings and gravy so I can show Mimi and the family the most heavenly food on this planet. My holiday was finally completed by a visit from Paige and Vicky in the evening, who I’m hopefully travelling with when I visit the fam in New Zealand for Christmas!

Phew! As you can tell from the 1600 words, Easter was a packed time but extremely fun and lovely to see everyone again. I’ve discovered I like being back in England for short burst but after a week or so I’m really ready to come ‘home’ back to Germany which is a nice feeling even if it does freak my mum out. I’ve been home about a month now and so far my possible concussion hasn’t caused any problems, that I’m aware of, so Lewis and Natalie can be glad they didn’t kill me! Shoutout to Ed and Cara who right now are on their way to Thailand for their Asian adventure until August. I’m sure they’ll have an amazing time and Cara should come back with some awesome blog stories (and hopefully some killer German skills); Ed should just come back alive please!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smoothies, Jazz and Wiccan spells…

Smoothies, Jazz and Wiccan spells…

So I know I haven’t yet posted my Easter blog but I’m halfway through and I’m on 3000 words so I think I deserve a break from it. Anyway,  last weekend was unexpectedly eventful for me so I decided to get a blog written while I’m motivated and actually doing things. I also have to dedicate this blog to my new friend Maureen who I promise isn’t an old Polish woman I hang out with…well. No Maureen is new to my language class and its safe to say we equally encourage and distract each other. Shes 27 and comes from San Jose, California so shes obviously one of those liberal hippies ugh! Usually we don’t mind our age gap but often one of us will say something and the other either wasn’t alive at that time or they have no idea what they mean. Case in point: I asked what JNCO jeans were and Maureen’s mind exploded. But in the end, shes awesome and introduced me to some lovely people and some cool stuff (like food truck friday). Check out our aggressively matching clothes on our matching insta: https://instagram.com/p/BSWjc6wAhaN/

My weekend started with an interesting German lesson without my usual buddy Maureen. She had done the unspeakable and left me with our class of Russian mafia matriarchs, housewives, au pairs and Enzo- our only male member of class who somehow can’t read or form a complete sentence of German but is still in a B2 course, and yet we still love him and his funky array of glasses.

Later in the evening I met up with Maureen to check out food truck Friday which I have been looking forward to for weeks since I missed the last one.  Food truck Friday only happens on the first Friday of the month and its basically a gathering of a load of food trucks from all over Munich which gives you a wide choice of food to enjoy. The trucks there included; BBQ, indian, thai, vegan, Ethiopian and loads more. I got a pulled turkey roll which was heaven in a bun tbh. After my turkey indulgence I decided to try and redeem myself with a vegan smoothie which didn’t go well…. First off the guy who served me told me it was ‘wild herbs, pineapple and some other stuff’ and as soon as I took my first sip I realised the ‘other stuff’ must have been grass, dirt and a sprinkle of leaves. You may think I’m exaggerating but I legit had to pull multiple stalks of grass out of my mouth. Safe to say my vegan dreams aren’t gonna happen anytime soon.

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My pulled turkey heaven in a bun

After my disastrous dip into veganism we were off to a café/bookshop in the university quarter of the city called Lost Weekend for a jazz open mic night which is probably the coolest thing I’ve done in a while. The atmosphere in the place was so open and modern and the band was amazing. They started out playing all sorts of music then they invited people up onto the stage to play with them. It felt like a massive jam session that we all got to enjoy and watch. My favourite person to go up was a guy called Echo who was about late 40s but rocking a half un-buttoned Hamish-style visually assaulting shirt. He skatted for a full 5 minutes and jammed with the band for a bit before stepping off the stage and walking through the crowd like a hipster sweaty af jesus. After him was a violinist, French horn, saxophone and 2 impossibly cute Irish twins singing.

Saturday was the first day in a week that was goodish weather so Maureen, Brooke and I decided to go for a hike in the nearby mountains. Of course, our hike would be a Kardashian style ‘hike’ which was light in physical activity but heavy in Instagram opportunities. We chose a Freilichtmuseum just near to Garmisch mainly because there was goat petting advertised in the hiking handbook. A Freilichtmuseum is like an open-air museum and this particular one was a recreation of a farming settlement from 1700-1900 so you could walk inside all the houses and see how the farmers of Bavaria used to live.

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One of the less creepy houses

It was cool to explore the settlement but inside the houses with all the old furniture and belongings of the people that lived there were creepy af and definitely haunted. Luckily Maureen knows some Wiccan spells and her supernatural skills have been proven to get rid of spirits so we all good. Apart from the creepy houses (legit human hair in one, framed) there were some gorgeous views of the rolling Bavarian hills with Kochelsee below us and the mountains framing the view all around us. It really made me appreciate that I live in such a beautiful place and we are so lucky to live close to such a vibrant city and then be able to escape to open natural spaces in under an hour.

Once we had been sufficiently haunted we drove down to the lake to find a beer garden for some replenishment then headed back home, pumping the throwback tunes all the way.

Pete and Lee take Munich

Pete and Lee take Munich

Another week, another blog and this time my dad Pete finally has one of his own! A few weeks ago I received a very random facetime from my dad in which he told me he and his friend Lee were coming to visit and go skiing in just 3 weeks. So yet again I was host and tour guide for Munich. The plan was to have a few days in the city and have a day skiing in the resort nearby which is really a fab idea because you get a city break and a mini ski holiday in just one weekend.

Thursday

The pair were due to arrive in Munich at around 2 so the plan was to meet them in Hauptbahnhof and help them find and sort out their airbnb. I found them quite easily as my Dad was the only ginger person, apart from me, for miles around (we are a rare breed here). It turned out their airbnb was right next to the Theresienwiese which is where Oktoberfest is held so I am lowkey an expert of the area.

We decided to have the most stereotypical and classic night in Munich so we went to Hofbrauhaus for dinner. All was going well until we were joined on our table by a raggedy looking German guy who seemed like he should have been trying to con us out of money or a beer or something but he wasn’t very good at it. He was rambling away about not having any money or a job then he’d randomly switch to a completely different story. At one point he got his guitar case out and showed us an onion he had apparently stolen before and then started cringingly playing us a song. This got the attention if the Hofbrauhaus security which I’ve never seen before and I didn’t even know was a thing. Turns out he hadn’t paid for his beer so he got chucked out. We had another beer in the brau haus next to Dad and Lee’s airbnb then I headed home on the train, which is always fun when you’re half cut.

Friday

I had my German class in the morning which meant that I avoided going on the free walking tour of Munich with Dad and Lee for the 5th time since I’ve been here. They also wanted to visit the BMW Museum which I’ve also been on and lowkey wouldn’t recommend unless you’re actually into cars which I guess is obvious but whatever. This meant that I could sneak in a cheeky post class nap before meeting up with them for tea.

I took them to Hans im Gluck which I’ve mentioned before on this blog but its honestly one of my favourite lunch/cocktail spots in the city. As per, my visitors were v v impressed with not only the burgers but also the design of the place. The name Hans im Gluck comes from a German fairytale so the restaurants are filled with real birch logs so it feels like a forest in there. There’s always a really nice chilled vibe in there and all of the waiting staff are 8+ and look like asos models.

After our burger feast we had a quick beer in a local Augustiner which is actually where I stole my stein from and its also the oldest brewery in Munich. I thought I should try a strong beer as it is stark bier season and it was actually quite nice but I could definitely see how the monks could live on just that over lent. I picked up my stash of crumpets, chocolate and crisps and went home for an early night before skiing in the morning.

Saturday

I’m sure Dad and Lee would rather have got to the mountains the night before and woken up already on the piste but I managed to convince them to hold on for a bit longer. We chose the 8am train to get there for the first lift at 9 so I was up ridiculously early to get to Hauptbahnhof and get our tickets. Luckily the train ride was really relaxing and had great views of the Alps.

Once there we swapped our train tickets for ski passes, picked up our ski stuff and were on a gondola up to the pistes within 30 minutes of getting off the train. I really found that after my previous week in France skiing it was so much easier to get back into it and I could definitely feel that I’ve gained a lot of muscle #gains. It took Dad and Lee a few runs down a nice wide blue to get back into it but soon we were ready to explore the other side of the mountain. Of course after an hour I was ready for my usual skiing 11am Gluhwein which really loosened me up ready to try some reds which were quite challenging or ‘tasty’ as Dad likes to call them. Soon it was time for lunch and Dad and Lee were tiring a bit so we carbed up on pasta which really had the adverse effect to be honest.

In the afternoon I was ready to really go for it and I even managed to lap Dad and Lee down a run twice! Garmisch is a lot bigger than I expected and we didn’t even make it to another nearby mountain called the Zugspitze which is Germany’s highest mountain. I’ll definitely be going back but probably next season as there’s only a few more weeks of this season. I’m still sure that my kid will be a million times better and faster than me but I can go every week for free so I’ll take that opportunity!

Before we headed back to the city, me and the lads went for some apres at a classic little place which was pumping out Schlager music and Pommes all over the place. The train ride home was a lot shorter as we all ended up falling asleep for the whole journey home. We freshened up at the airbnb before heading out again for tea.

We went to a really nice traditioanl Bavarian place me Mum and Dad found when they visited in November. Me and Lee both had schnitzels which were about the size of my face but gorgeous and dad had pork steak on a bed of kasespatzle which is basically german mac and cheese. The food was amazing, as per, but we were all nearly falling asleep by the time we were finished so decided to call it a night. We parted ways in Hauptbahnhof and said goodbye for the last time as their flight was early the next morning and I was confident that they could find their way to the airport without ending up in Austria or worse… France.

Phew blog finished and only a whole week after the actual content! This week has been interesting to say the least. I restarted my new language course which is a level up from before and the level that I need to work and study here. For me that’s such a motivation to do really well and make the most of the classes, and they have become a lot more challenging which I’m really enjoying. Another nice thing is that there are some new people in my class so I’ve been becoming closer to them and closer to the other au pairs. It’s so nice to have people here who are having a similar experience to me and can offer another point of view. On the other hand I am homesick like crazy for my friends back home and I can’t wait to be home with everyone at Easter!

 

France Ski Trip Part 2: Cara, Heather and the Goblet of Gluhwein

France Ski Trip Part 2: Cara, Heather and the Goblet of Gluhwein

Back to part 2 of mine and Cara’s skiing adventures. I’m currently writing this on the train on the way home from the airport… at stupid time in the morning. I think by the time I get home today I’ll have been on the train longer than I was on the plane from Geneva to Munich.

Wednesday

Like most ski holidays, the host of the chalet, Ben, had the day off on Wednesday so we had to sort out our own food. He left us croissants and pain au chocolats to cook for breakfast and showed us where everything was but after just over 3 days of being catered for it was like we’d never had to make our own breakfast before. Luckily we booked a restaurant for the evening and we had all already decided to try out the French speciality of Raclette.

We had a chill morning skiing then we headed back to the chalet at lunch as Cara’s sister Hebe was going to join us from Edinburgh for the last half of the week. Both Cara and Hebe hadn’t been skiing in 3 years but they were on another level to me. Partly because I feel like I’m gonna die 50% of the time and partly because I weigh about the same as a 12 year old so I have no hope at getting up any speed.

We came in from skiing a bit early in order to nap and mentally prepare ourselves for the cheese feast that night. The restaurant we chose was just across the road from the chalet so we could literally roll home through the snow and the end of the night. The walk over was only a hop over the road but walking through the thick snowfall was so magical so we made the most of it.

Once we were all seated and drinks (wine and ridiculously coloured cocktails) ordered we tried to look like we were thinking about what to order but really we all knew the only thing to go for was the Raclette. Raclette is basically just heating up cheese until its melting off the piece and then sliding it in the most food porny way onto a plate of potatoes, meats and pickles. Its honestly the nicest thing I’ve eaten in a while and I curse my childs stomach for not letting me eat more. Our table had a half wheel of Raclette cheese on a Raclette instrument (don’t think that’s the right word) for each half of the table and it’s safe to say we made the most of that wheel! I’ll admit that I was quite cocky at the start of the meal, claiming that I could eat loads but after 2 plates I was done and I let Cara, Teife and Mark (guy from the other group) absolutely destroy the cheese game.

Once we were stuffed full to the brim of cheese and happy that we had got our monies worth, we shuffled home through the snow which was still falling in massive thick snowflakes.

Thursday

The group awoke to a ‘cheese hangover’ as Cara had warned us and the thought of any food, let alone a full English was unbearable. We got out onto the slopes a tad later than usual that day but we did all have a good few pounds of extra cheese weight. Weirdly at lunch I managed to share a ham and cheese crepe with Teife quite happily, washed down with a Gluhwein of course.

We found some really good pistes to try and I think Thursday was probably my favourite day of the week because my boots had finally been broken in and didn’t stop the circulation to my feet anymore so I could fully enjoy the skiing and the views.

Friday

Friday was everyone’s last day skiing and I could only ski until midday so we started by skiing and catching lifts up to the highest point on the map for one last Gluhwein. In our gondola, Cara and I spoke to a really sweet French family. Well really Cara spoke to them and I stared until she translated the gobbledygook/French for me. To prove to the French people I wasn’t a complete idiot I told them the little French I know; Bonjour, je m’appelle… and of course the classic Voulez-vous coucher avec moi. The 13 year old boy had a right laugh at that and loved but I don’t think his parents were too pleased I’d just solicited their teenage son in a gondola.

I came down off the mountain quite reluctantly but quite fast as Cara and I wanted to see if we could get our top speed and average speed up on our YUGE app. I managed a cool 60.8km/h with an average speed of 20.5km/h which I blame on being stopped with a Gluhwein in my hand for half the holiday.

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Cara with aforementioned goblet of Gluhwein


I had already packed everything up so it was just a case of drying off my ski boots and catching my transfer down the mountain. The transfer was about 3 hours and quite bearable since I had a load of stuff downloaded on Netflix (best invention of my life) and I basically just zombied out. The problems started when I was dropped off at Geneva airport and started to look for my hotel which was advertised as being right next to the airport… it was not. After lugging my massive case all round Geneva airport with no hotel help desk in sight I went back outside only to spot my hotel. It was opposite the airport, with a motorway and dual carriageway in between. Apparently a free shuttle bus was meant to run from the airport but that was nowhere in sight and my call to the hotel failed as the receptionist didn’t speak any English or just didn’t understand my stressed out northern accent. I took this time to have a slight breakdown about being on my own in a completely foreign country, not being able to speak the language just thinking I’m not adult enough for this!!! Luckily google saved me and I managed to scramble onto a bus and follow some people with suitcases until I finally made it into my hotel.

I enjoyed the shower big enough for like 5 people and my first night in a double bed since Christmas and settled in for my 10 minutes of sleep.

Saturday

Not sure if I can count Friday and Saturday as 2 days because I only slept about 4 hours between them but anyway I was up ridiculously early to catch my flight back to Munich from Geneva. The airport wasn’t too stressful and they had about 500 people working on security so I whizzed through. The flight home was only 50 minutes and I was enjoying the views of snow covered mountains until I accidentally fell asleep. True to my pattern of the trip of being a mess, I woke myself with a snort/snore which startled the poor guy next to me.

Once I was back on home soil and on the s bahn I felt all the stress of the journey melt away. I’m glad I can now return to Munich and really feel like I’m going ‘home’. I’ve really grown here and been through a few changes in my life so I can feel that Munich is always going to be an important place for me. Hopefully I can stay and continue to grow and have all sorts of adventures here in the future.

I started this post on the train home and now I’m finishing it back home a few days later, in my true blogging form. All in all skiing was just amazing and just what I needed. To spend a week with Cara, who is the one person who really knows what its like to be in my situation was so lovely and now I can’t wait to be back at Easter and see all my fav people and most importantly drop it aaalll night in fax.

France Ski Trip: Calves, calves and carving

So this week is the biggest party weekend in Germany, Carneval! But of course I’ve left the country for a ski getaway with Cara and her fam. Perfect opportunity to blog tho and the insta opportunities are insaaane.

Saturday

Saturday began way too early at 5am as my flight was at 8:30 and I had my bag to check in. Luckily the flight was the shortest I’ve ever been on, just 50 minutes. I met Cara’s parents in Geneva airport and then we set off on our transfer up into the mountains. Cara arrived at the chalet half an hour before us in her blablacar and claimed us a good room.

The chalet has 4 rooms with room for 10 people so me and Cara have a room, Cara’s parents have another and then the other 2 rooms are taken by 5 randoms who we’ve now got to know and are really nice. The chalet is looked after by this guy called Ben whos basically like me; doesn’t really care about the job but just wants to get paid to be here. He makes us cooked breakfast every morning, makes a cake for afternoon tea which is just left out for us to graze on after skiing and then makes us a 3 course meal in the evening.

We went out to pick up our ski hire which was a farce as usual and then had a quick beer in a local bar to watch the rugby. The bar had a live musician on every night and that afternoon there was an amazing brass band playing outside in the snow who looked a bit cold but were defo having a good time. Soon it was time to head back to the chalet for dinner and to meet the other people staying with us. We all did the weird adult handshake thing when we first met which I don’t think is supposed to be weird but it just feels so grown up to me and I have hand shake anxiety that my handshake is too lame and I’ll be judged for not breaking their hand. Anyway…. We had a lovely meal and got to know each other. It turned out they were all from Cambridge Uni so Cara exploded but she got a good inside opinion of what its really like to go there and live there. We soon discovered that the chalet was advertised as ‘unlimited wine’ so decided to take full advantage and accidentally got quite drunk.

We stumbled into our room at about 1am and then remembered that Cara had to write her daily diary. Lets just say that its quite unintelligible to read and understand now, lots of hashtags and she even kindly linked the actual website address of my blog into her hand written diary which only she reads.

Sunday

After the previous nights festivities we dragged ourselves up at 7:50 for breakfast at 8 and we managed it surprisingly well despite our slightly hungover state. We had a full cooked breakfast which me and Cara treated like an other-worldly being #europeanproblems.

Me, Cara and Cara’s parents headed out to explore the pistes and lowkey learn to ski again. We had lunch at the very very top of a mountain and enjoyed the view. After another few hours of skiing we headed back to the chalet and just at the very last run we had the first fall of the holiday, Cara’s mum. Of course then I immediately also fell over watching her fall so at least I also got my first fall out of the way.

Back at the chalet we finally felt the best feeling in the world; taking ski boots off. Tea was chicken in tarragon sauce, veg and homemade wedges then spiced peach crumble which tasted like England with the crumble but Christmas with all the spices. After the previous night we headed to bed straight after tea which gave me and Cara to write actually readable summaries of the day.

 

Monday

Monday was the last day before the snow was due to start on Tuesday so me and Cara took the opportunity to get out on our own and go all the way to another valley nearby. I always prefer skiing when you’re travelling somewhere and on an adventure so Monday was really fun. We finished our journey with a gondola ride across a valley with a glass bottom with a view of a 350m drop. We had a quick rest from our tiring gondola trip with a 5 Euro hot chocolate. I considered having a gluhwein but then realised it was 10:30 in the morning and even I have a limit. We had a study of the map and saw a purple piste called le piste mauve which turned out to be a piste sponsoured by Milka which promised a Milka cow to take selfies with and FREE CHOCOLATE!!! With this in mind we skied as fast as we ever have before towards the promised land.

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Me and Cara with our new friend

Despite our reservations the Milka piste lived up to all of our expectations (apart from my hope that the snow on the piste would be painted actual Milka purple). There was a cardboard cutout of a purple cow and even a guy in a cow suit who was super keen to take selfies with us. A woman dressed in full Milka merch took our pic and gave us a mini Milka egg  and we skied away with our holiday and lives complete.

 

We had a light lunch at the top of the mountain then headed back down to la plagne and skied right to our chalet door.

 

Tuesday

We awoke on Tuesday to snow still falling and a good covering of snow on the pistes. Unfortunately visibility was quite bad but the snow was so good to ski on so we headed up the mountain to see if we could get above the snow. Of course up the mountain the snow was even worse and it was virtually impossible to see any definition on the snow so you basically had to just turn wherever and hope for the best. I think once it stops snowing and we’re just left with nice perfect powder.

We came in from skiing a bit earlier than usual because  we literally couldn’t see what we were doing and we really felt like having a chill afternoon. I started off the chill afternoon catching up on social media in bed but ended up having an accidental 2 hour nap. We had dinner which was a cheesy, potato, bacon bits filled thing which has a name but its French and I’m not about that. Now I’m writing this up while we’re all playing rubbish trivia games and drinking wine in the living room, perfect evening.

Mothers Visit: Part 2

Mothers Visit: Part 2

Welcome back to Mothers Visit: part 2, second edition. So I typed this whole blog up on Friday but just as I had completed my 1200 word masterpiece, my laptop decided to crash and delete the whole thing. In short, I rage quit from the blog for a few days but after a weekend of reflection and cursing my laptop I’m ready to start again. I’m actually typing this on the train right now, looking like a maniac again typing like my life depends on it. I’m also saving this document every 2 seconds just in case so hopefully today is the day I finally post this.

 

Saturday

After our early start the previous morning, we decided to have a lie in followed by a leisurely breakfast before heading out to see Nymphenburg palace. The palace was used as the summer residence for the former rulers of Bavaria and its situated quite close to the city centre. For some reason I thought it would be an hour or so out of the city, like most of the other castles and palaces round here, but no its literally a tram ride away. I had already seen some instagrams of people skating on the frozen lake and canals at the front of the palace but when we went the ice was looking a tad dodgy. We walked up to the palace along the canal which was infested by blood thirsty looking swans and geese. It is very impressive from the end of the canal and defo reminds me of somewhere some snooty woman from 4 weddings would get married at.

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Totally candid walk up to Nymphenburg Palace

We paid our 9 Euros and started the tour of the castle. Inside its filled with the usual European castle stuff like fancy frescos, strange fabric wallpaper and uncomfortable looking furniture. We had a nice wander round the palace gardens to get our steps in and watched some mental people skate on the lake then headed back into the city to grab some lunch. I took mum to one of my favourite lunch places near Marienplatz which serves pizza by the slice and has the beest pizza/cocktail deal.

 

 

 

On the way home we made the ill-advised decision to pop into dm (a super cheap makeup/toiletry store which is my fav place in the whole city). The plan was to just get me some face wipes and leave but in the end we left with a bag full of makeup, toiletries, and a mirror randomly; all for just 20 Euros. Bargain!

step count: 18806

 

Sunday

Sunday began with another leisurely morning in which we planned the day ahead. One of my favourite sights in the city is the surfers who surf on a natural wave in the Eisbach at the edge of the English Garden. With it being -1 degrees out, Mum didn’t believe that they could still be surfing so we set off to find out.

Of course I was right and there were loads of people looking cold in wet suits waiting to surf. If anything there was the same amount of surfers there as there was when it was 28 degrees in summer. After about 15 minutes of watching and taking some quick snaps we moved on to get inside somewhere and get warm. Just a tram ride away is the Deutsches Museum so we headed there.

The Deutsches Museum is basically like the Manchester museum of science and industry but with a million other exhibits on a million different topics. When we got in we were just in time to see a presentation on electrical power where they have all electrical stuff that looks like stuff in a power plant and they jump electricity from one metal thing to another to create lightening. Obviously from that pathetic explanation I don’t really know much about this but we thought it would be cool to watch. They told us it was going to be quite loud so me and mum were prepared and didn’t really react to the sound because it was just like loud electrical buzzing. Weirdly all the Germans watching with us were really affected by it and all were covering their ears and wincing. Not even just kids, grown adults were covering their ears like that one lame kid that’s scared of fireworks. So weird. The rest of the museum was really interesting but slightly too much. After we had trudged round 3 floors we were mentally and physically drained so we headed back to Marienplatz to get some lunch. I will say though if any of my physics peps come and visit, I’ll definitely take them back there because their nerdy selves would love it!

So we were looking for somewhere to have lunch in Marienplatz (my second home) and I finally had the opportunity to take Mum to Hans im Gluck, a burger restaurant which is my first choice for any lunch date or meetup. Their burgers are to die for and they even have really nice veggie and vegan burgers which is a miracle in Germany! Mum enjoyed her visit but she was highly offended when the waiter came to serve us and asked if we were American, lol.
step count: 12512

 

Monday

Monday was Mums last day and she was due to leave for the airport just after midday so we decided to just have a chill brunch and a stroll round the Olympiaeinkaufszentrum before she had to go. We stored her suitcase (with some struggle) in a locker in Hauptbahnhof and set off on my old usual u bahn to the shopping centre. We had a bit of a wander round and even managed to go into dm without buying anything which has never happened in the history of dm visits. We stopped at Richarts for some brunch. I had a Flammkuchen which is like a super crispy thin pizza but with cream cheese, chives and bacon bits on top and mum ordered tomato soup, not something I’ve ever thought to order in Germany. When it came it looked like a red cappuccino but one all the froth was mixed in it was actually quite nice. We passed the time chatting and people watching; our 2 favourite pastimes. Soon it was time to head back to Hauptbahnhof and for us to say goodbye. Our goodbyes aren’t too sad anymore because we’re both back and forth between England and Germany anyway so its never long until we see each other again.

 

Phew so blog finished! This is definitely the longest its taken me to write a blog but think it was worth it. Just as a round up; today I picked up my ski stuff before I set off to meet Cara and her parents in France for our ski trip! It’s gonna be such a good week, partly because of the daily free afternoon tea in our chalet but partly because it’ll be so good to spend some time with Cara as shes the only person I know from home who’s doing this living abroad thing so she understands all the positives but also all the negatives. We can cry about missing Walkers crisps and Cadburys together! Look forward to a blog about our European adventures in a few weeks!!