Monday, February 21, 2011

My Favorite Things...

... in Germany!  

There are MANY but I'm going to name just a few here.  Some things can now be purchased/found anywhere in the world thanks to the Internet, but a rare few things can only be experienced while living in the country.

With regards to food, it's hard to narrow it down to just a few things but these are my top 3 for sure!

Schwarzwalder Schinken (smoked ham) - literally the BEST ham in the world & I could eat it every day and not get sick of it, which is pretty much what I've been doing for the past 3 weeks.  ;-)  
Bavarian Pretzels - nothing like eating one fresh from the bakery (still warm) with creamy butter on it!  It's so sad to me when people think those pretzels they sell in the mall taste good because I just want to say "You have NO idea what a REAL pretzel tastes like!
Wiener Schnitzel - There are many versions of this dish... traditionally from Austria and made of veal, but there's also a German version made from pork (no complaints either way)... and some are breaded with no sauce, while other are breaded with sauce or no breading with sauce.  Anyway you slice it... YUM!!!  My grandmother (Oma) made this for me almost every day when I spent my summers with her!  LOL

 ... other random things that come to mind, such as:

LENOR - a fabric softener similar to Downey but smells better than ANYTHING I've ever smelled before!  You will literally WANT to do laundry every day!  It's like bringing home a baby kitten for the first time... or skiing in fresh powder... or having really great sex (well, you get the idea)!  As a matter of fact, I'm already thinking about what needs washing tonight!  :P
Bavarian Architecture - favorite thing to do in the summer is to take a drive through the countryside and look at all the beautiful houses with their balconies brightly decorated with flowers. 

Castles - and, of course, the MANY castles & ruins!  I will never tire of seeing these structures dot the landscape and hope to one day say I've seen them ALL in Germany!  Not something that can really be described or seen in pics... one must take in the beauty first-hand to truly understand & appreciate the wonder of it all.

Again... these are just a FEW of the things that come to mind!  Maybe you'll get the chance to come and check it out for youself (if you haven't already)?

Monday, February 7, 2011

New Beginnings...

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”

                                                                                 -Lao Tzu

So... here goes nothing!   I'm as new to Munich as I am to the world of blogging. 

Most who know me well, know this is a dream realized for me to work and live in Germany.  And it's honestly one of those dreams I thought would never be realized... but I'm VERY thankful it has been and grateful to those who supported me in this opportunity along the way.  Can't say with 100% certainty yet if it was the "right" decision, but it certainly "felt" right for me at this time in my life.

Preparations - there were many - in a short amount of time to get me to this point and I have to - again - thank my family & friends for getting me here (love you).  Saying good-bye was the hardest part of all...

... the traveling part was pretty straightforward.  Flying direct to Frankfurt from Seattle is the way to go!  10 hours and no 5-hour layovers to contend with - then another hop, skip & jump (or 3-hour train ride in this instance) and - VOILA - you're in MUNICH (properly spelled "M√ľnchen" and pronounced "mune-chen"). 

Getting established is another story altogether and I'm SOOOOOO thankful to have my colleague/roommate, Simone, by my side every step of the way because I can tell you for a FACT it would've been so much more difficult to navigate on my own.  Just a few of the things that are slightly different: 
  • Renting an apartment... German rules & processes for renting are quite different from those in the US
  • Registering in the town you live... you have to go to a government office and tell them you're now living there
  • Commuting... learning the train and S-bahn system can be a challenge if you've never used them before
  • Work Visa... (this is probably the same everywhere)... but go to government office, take a number and wait for HOURS
Oh, and can't forget SHOPPING... for all the misc household items you won't have.  =)

Well, those are some of the happy beginnings of this journey of mine... not sure what sort of things I'll blog about but I'm sure random thoughts will pop into my head.  I mainly want to journal my experiences and take down some notes of the random experiences of living abroad...  and if there's anything you should be curious about, don't hesitate to give me ideas!  ;)

Going to bed with loving thoughts of family, friends & home!