So last week I found this website called Sprachduo set up to find tandem language partners in Munich. Great idea! I need to meet more people my age, and I need to speak more German. I looked on the site and there's just a big list of names, what language they speak, and what they'd like to practice. Other than that it just had ages and what school they're at. So, I figured I'd just send out an e-mail to the first 12 or so people my age looking to practice English. I thought probably a lot of people still have their name on the site who already have a partner or aren't interested anymore or something, but aparently I was wrong. Now I have like 6 people who want to practice English/German with me! Yesturday afternoon I met with Peter, 25, studying medicine here. He's sweet, very typically Munich I think. He actually went to one of the schools I teach at! Today I met with Katharina. Also really nice, she's studying to be an English and French teacher. She's from northern Bavaria (there's a large distinction between northern and southern Bavaria). She spent a year in France as a TA doing the same thing I am now, so we had plenty to talk about. She invited me to go out with her friends tomorrow night, I'm going out with real German students!! There are still like four more people who've e-mailed me, but I don't have any time left in the week! I can't say no though... I feel like I'm interviewing people to be my friend or something, it's a little strange.
So... rewinding a bit...
Saturday I baby sat. The boys I'm watching are so sweet. They're always excited to see me and never want me to leave! In the afternoon I had synchro. The girls on the rutine I'm learning had to leave early and the coach, Claudia was a little upset with them for leaving I think, so she worked with just me for a while, and boy did she make me work! It was really fun for me actually, to have such a good experienced coach working with just me on verticals and spins. We never had enough time to do a lot of drills or one on one work at UR. It's nice to have a more familiar physical challenge to work on and escape from the other daily challenges here.
Saturday night I went out with Uta and Marcus, two of the teachers from one of my schools. Both I think are Referendaren, or student teachers. It was really fun, Uta's friend had rented out a bar for her birthday party. Lots of her friends are also teachers. I did some dancing and spoke lots of German. It was funny to be hanging out with real teachers... young professionals mostly in their mid-late twenties. Uta is a hoot, she's really sweet and it was nice to see her and Marcus outside school, I think it will be easier to talk to them at school now. I usually sit alone in the teachers lounge when I don't have a class to go to and feel awkward because no one knows quite what I'm supposed to be doing there, and niether do I. So at least now I have a few teachers to talk to!
Sunday I met Peter and then I baby sat for a new family. Just one little boy. Yay for money!
Today at school in one of the classes I went to we talked about their stereotyps of Americans, here's the list they came up with:
focused only on America
fond of weapons
willing to attack other nations
positive way of dealing with tragedy
They they made a list of what they thought our stereotyps of Germans are:
cowards (for not joining the war in Iraq)
You can make of that what you will, I just thought it might be interesting.
This afternoon I went to the english class about food in literature. It's quite good. We're reading The Devil's Larder by Jim Crace. I like it. It's not a novel really, more of an experimental kind of collection of pieces all of which involve food. The writing is very good, he really captures a wide range of emotions and passions all connected to foods.
So, clearly I've been a bit busy! I'm looking forward to our break next week. I'm going to Oslo! I guess I haven't even mentioned that here yet... First I'm possibly going to Rostock, near Berlin, to visit another Fulbrighter and then to Berlin to stay with Caroline, my flight to Olso is on Tuesday. There I will be staying with Phil for a few days. I'm excited but I've had so much other stuff to think about it hasn't really sunk in yet. It will be nice to travel again, it's been like what? 6 weeks now? I've got a bit of Wanderlust again :)
This post is totally all over the place... but so am I, so you'll just have to deal with it.