Paige’s Visit

So once again its been bloody ages since I last blogged but the other weekend Paige finally came over to visit me in Munich so I thought I had to write about it. It was a surprise for both of us for our birthdays since we are only a week apart.

She arrived on Friday evening and I wasted no time showing her the best things about Bavaria, the beer and the food! Paige wasn’t sure at first if she’d like the beer so I promised to order her a half. Of course this was half of a litre so the look on her face when the waiter brought it out was priceless. After this we met up with Maureen to go for ice cream (at like 9pm because its always a good time for ice cream). Our fav ice cream place is der verrückte eismacher which is like a crazy alice in wonderland inspired spot which has the best and craziest ice cream flavours. A few of my favourites are; strawberry champagne, roasted almonds and toothpaste flavour. They also have some really gross flavours like beer, wurst and even ‘pregnant woman’s dream’ which is pickle and nutella flavour. I’ve tried all of these and I can confirm that they taste exactly like the real thing and they’re absolutely disgusting!!

After our ice cream adventure we headed back to our airbnb which was in a prime location, 5 mins walk from the englischer garten and the university district. It had a tiny kitchen which we only used to store beer in and a scenic view of the sushi restaurant next door.

Saturday morning we decided to pop out for breakfast nearby and of course Paige had to have an English breakfast on her first day in Germany. After this it was time for the ultimate Heather tour of Munich…

The tour is a mix of fun facts and historical information that I’ve picked up living in the city and also going on an official waking tour a record 6 times. It also includes some random Heather trivia such as first meeting/first date spots and funny club stories. I’ve done this tour now with Paige but I have a request from Maureen and her parents to do one for them while they are in town for the next few weeks- I may have to start charging!

It begins with a wander through the English Garden- unfortunately only a light sprinkling of people in the nudist area- enjoying the view of a few groups of guys playing volleyball and taking a few group pics for passing tourists. Every time I go through the park I always seem to go a different way or find a new part and this time was no exception. We made a random turn which I thought was the usual path but came across a small waterfall connecting the fast flowing Eisbach to the gentler paddleable Schwabinger Bach. It was there where this cute but slightly awks pic was taken.

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After this we crossed over the Eisbach and headed towards the surfers. On the way we were met by a stag party who have seem to overrun the city recently. I’m not sure if its just a German thing or maybe European but usually the hen or stag dos wander round the city selling weird trinkets to people or inviting people to play silly games with them for alcohol. Previously I’ve been offered to shoot a ball at the stag dressed in a pigeon costume in return for a free shot… at 10 in the morning. This time it was a group of lads selling random trinkets which is basically just a way to get the stag to banter and flirt with some girls before he gets married. I spotted them from a way off and caught the eye of one of them who shoved the stag towards me. He went through his usual schpiel and I didn’t quite like the look of his trinkets so I proposed I buy a beer off them instead. They weren’t so sure so I used my cute British charm and locked eyes with the groom, nearly making him shit himself, until he agreed to sell us a beer. What followed was some incredibly flirty, German innuendo ridden haggling which Paige was absolutely baffled at and confused as to why I was even speaking to these guys and even what I was saying. We left with 2 beers and my flirting muscles sufficiently flexed for the day.

We then continued on with our newly bought beers to watch the surfers for a bit. A few weeks ago there was a mini heatwave so a few brave souls started surfing without wetsuits in just normal swimming trunks but now its back down to around 24 degrees (I know practically arctic temperatures) they’re back in wetsuits.

After the tour of our lives we were shattered so we ended up having a quick nap (getting wild on this gals holiday) before getting ready to go to the base. By the time we were ready Paige was so nervous I thought she might run away on the U-bahn and get her flight 24 hours early. Luckily we made it to the base and Paige finally met Erwin who shes long past being sick of hearing about but glad to meet (I think). He had gathered the troops (literally) in his building along with his entire stash of alcohol and mixers. It started off a tad awkward, as expected, but soon Paige was part of the group and we were all drinking and playing stupid games together. I was finally convinced to play beer pong which, after months of persuading, wasn’t even that fun and tbh didn’t include as much drinking as I would have liked.

As per usual we finally got on our way out waaay later than an English night out and got to the club at like 1:30am. We got in the club and I got straight on the dancefloor forcing everyone else on with me before someone offered drinks around. This was a particular challenge for Paige because somehow its only a German thing to give you the whole can of red bull with a vodka energy. The thing is they give you the can upside down in the glass with the vodka so you have to carefully pull the glass out and turn the can the right way up before it overflows. I was minding my own business enjoying my drink when a spray of red bull goes flying majestically all over the group… I look over and Paige is stood there looking guilty with a glass full to the brim in one hand and a dripping red bull can in the other.

The rest of the night went by as it always does; me on a podium with a soldier that’s definitely not the one I should be with, dancing like I need rent money and having the time of my life. At one point Erwin handed me a shot and a fruit of some sort which I took without thinking and found out later it was tequila which usually I can’t handle., proud moment. Later in the night it became obvious that me and Paige weren’t going to be staying in our airbnb so we piled into a taxi with our respective soldiers and parted ways at the entrance gate.

The morning after Erwin drove us back to the airbnb and we packed up our stuff to move out. Surprisingly I wasn’t feeling hungover or tired at all which I voiced to Paige on the train to the airport (this would come back to bite me later). I took her all the way to security and said goodbye until either she comes over again or until I’m back in England. By this point my hangover was developing and I was already hangry af so I decided to try to find the elusive Munich airport McDonalds which I’ve never been able to find even with my millions of visits to the airport. I found it, nearly tackled a rabble of children to get my chicken nuggets and hobbled back to the train.

All in all the weekend was so fun and I don’t think me and Paige ever stopped talking or laughing! Hopefully she can make it over again soon, I don’t think I need to convince her at all. Now I’ve got to shoutout my Mum since I never blogged about her and Trin’s visit like a month ago. In my defence she’s here so much its hardly a special occasion anymore, lol. In a few weeks my whole family, plus Lee (see a few blogs back for his last visit) are coming to visit before they jet off to NZ so there should eventually be a blog on that!

 

 

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.