Tuesday, July 22, 2014

How I Celebrated Germany's World Cup Victory

More than a week after the fact I'm finally getting around to posting this. Better late than never I suppose!

On Sunday evening I curled my hair, painted German flags on my face, donned my German flag scarf, and headed into the city in high spirits.

Our original plan was to watch the game at the university, but they were being difficult about capacity issues and just generally making stress, so we headed over to a friend just one street over. The friend hosts couchsurfers, so we ended up with quite the fun and multinational crowd.
Our funny double laptop set up
Since we were watching a live stream there was a little bit of delay from the TV broadcast. So when we heard the streets below us come to life, we quickly glued our eyes to the screen to catch Mario Götze's game winning goal.

We cheered and clapped and jumped in the air! Our host quickly offered everyone a victory shot and then we hit the streets to celebrate with the rest of Munich. Since we were so close to Leopaldstrasse we were some of the first to join the festivities.

The atmosphere in the streets was really unbelievable. Fireworks were being shot off, people were singing, chanting, and cheering. Cars drove down the streets blasting their horns while flags flew out of the window and the people inside cheered and waved to pedestrians. Everyone was just having a great time being Weltmeister!

The ubahn stations in the center were closed off for crowd control reasons and I wasn't going to make last sbahn back anyhow, so I just stayed in the center and headed home early the next morning (or a little later in the morning, depending on how you look at it :) )

Now that the World Cup is over I feel like I have nothing to watch on TV for the next 4 years...why can't the World Cup be every year???

Sunday, July 13, 2014

This week's happenings

I find that the weeks here go by so quickly! This weeks highlights included:

Peaceful mornings in the city
There's something so attractive about a morning spent wandering the streets of the center of Munich on a weekday morning when it's less crowded, but still so full of life. Whether it's window shopping or coffee with a friend, taking advantage of my free mornings always puts me in a good mood.

Salsa Dancing class on Tuesday
To be honest I was a bit nervous about taking on Latin dance, but our teacher makes it so easy and fun that I can't help but have a great time. Here's to many more weeks of Salsa Tuesdays!

Watching Germany completely stomp Brazil and move on to the World Cup Finals
Surreal! That's all I can say about that 7-1 victory.  I think I was in shock the majority of the game.  Walking around the city afterwards was also incredible.  The rain certainly didn't stop Munich from celebrating and celebrating with a new friend made it even better! I'm now anxiously awaiting the Germany vs Argentina match tonight and wanting so so badly a German victory!

Band Practice
T-minus two weeks until our first performance!

Loads of cuddles and storytime
Some of the most precious moments of the day with my little minion (yes, we play ''Despicable Me'' a lot around here!)...I'm definitely loving that our library has an English children's books section :)

New Friends
I've met a few more girls this week and am always thankful for these new friendships with other au pairs from all over the world. It certainly warms my heart and keeps a smile on my face.

Daily Diaries Link up

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Fourth of July Weekend

Fourth of July this year was quite nice! Even though I was far from home, the day had just enough celebrating to make it something special. After kindergarten the munchkin and I baked a cake and decorated it with strawberries and blueberries in the pattern of an American flag.

The sun was shining all day and it was nice and warm, so when the kiddo headed off to go swimming at Oma and Opa's I was free to head into the center to meet my friends.
After a bit of a run around town we finally got to eat some yummy burgers in the center and celebrate Germany's win again France. We continued our dual Fourth of July/Germany's win celebration into the night and much fun was had by all :)

The weekend brought continued fun when I made a new friend o. Saturday and enjoyed swimming and Lake Starnberg with my host family on Sunday.

Definitely a 4th of July weekend to be remembered fondly!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Fourth of July - a look back

As  small child, my celebrations of Independence Day looked like that of any typical Midwest American child, filled with parades, patriotic outfits, cookouts, swimming, and fireworks and sparklers at night.  Since 2009, however, my 4th of July celebrations have been anything but normal, so I decided to dedicate this post to taking a look back.

2009 - My first 4th of July abroad.  I was living with a host family in Kazan, Russia for the summer and studying Russian with a small group of American high school students.  Since the holiday fell on a Saturday, the program arranged an excursion for us in the morning, followed by a large picnic with host siblings and a few students who had recently completed a year abroad in the US.  It was a fun day of sharing this most American holiday with my Russian family. I taught my host sister how to make tacos that evening and after dark they took me to see the city by night!
A little bit of a gloomy 4th of July

Hanging out with the three bears on 4th of July
Proud of our tacos :)
Little host brother wanted to help too!

A terribly dark picture of me, my host sister,and the mosque

Russian host family love!

2010 - This summer I spent traveling around the country, playing mellophone for Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps.  Around this time in the season, however, I was suffering from a newly acquired injury - fractured pelvis! So while it was a day of parades for my fellow corps members, I was ordered to rest up. I think we got to see some fireworks in the evening though.

One of the hardest, craziest, most rewarding summers of my life - FCO!

2011 - Another 4th of July abroad! When the holiday came around this year I was a couple of weeks into my 2 month stay in Ukraine.  Looking back on my blog entries from that summer, this is what I had written about the day -

For the third year in a row, I didn't celebrate the 4th of July.  I'm starting to forget how it feels to actually celebrate the holiday with cookouts and family and fireworks.  It was even more strange here because while people had heard of Independence Day in America, no one really knew it was Monday until I mentioned it.  We did have some nice weather for 4th of July though and my friends and I ate "kiosk food" in the park for lunch and enjoyed some nice weather.  I treated myself to coffee and a very yummy piece of cake at the cafe where Russian Speaking Club is held and that was the extent of my fourth of July celebration

Fourth of July lunch in the park

2012 - The 4th of July fell on a Wednesday this year. I was au pairing in Munich, Germany and hadn't really made many American friends.  I'm pretty sure that I didn't do anything at all to celebrate except take a walk in the city, talk to my family back home, and bake cookies with the kiddos.

Many a cookie was baked in summer 2012

2013 - This summer I was teaching English in Russia at a summer camp.  As the only American in the camp, I was all about sharing this American holiday with my students and friends.  I snuck over to my classroom early in the morning to decorate and then watched as my students reacted upon entering the classroom. Some of them truly had no idea about this American holiday, while others could recall some facts from their English or History classes at school.  The lessons were spent learning the story of the American Revolution and making paper stars.  In the afternoon my English groups got to go to the lake with me. It was a fun day!

Happy Birthday America!
And now here I am, back in Germany for yet another 4th of July spent abroad.  There are big plans to bake an American flag cake and hang out with my girls in the city tonight! I'll be sure to post pictures this weekend! Happy Fourth of July!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

That one time I joined a band

Living abroad, there are definite ups and downs in my life.  There are days when I just want to stay in my room with a good book and a cup of tea or within the comfort of my host family bubble.  There are other days, however, when I feel like I can take on the whole world.  Days when I'm a total "Yes (wo)Man" and down to give anything a try, confident in myself, my language abilities, and my place in this new community which I am attempting to make my home.

And it was on a day like that when I found myself answering an online advertisement looking for a female singer for a band in Munich, talking to the organizer of the band on the phone, meeting up with him and his wife after church on Sunday, and attending my first band practice Wednesday evening.  I love everything about the band - the songs we sing, the people, doing something I love, the chance to spend time with more locals, feeling valued, and just being filled with joy.