and by football I mean soccer, obviously, but I'll get to that in a minute.
Since I last wrote....
I did indeed to go the beach near Rostock with Julia, it's called Warnemunde and it was pretty cool. Actually it was pretty hott, but the water was freezing, BUT there were jellyfish all over! And they don't sting, so you can pick them up and play with them and stuff, I was pretty excited about this, never having seen or touched a jelly fish before. Also of interest, while the part of the beach we were on was populated mostly by people in bathingsuits, at least bottoms -topless is standard in Europe- we took a walk further down the beach to the FKK (Freie Korper Kulture = Free Body Culture = naked people) section, which was an experience to say the least.
At some point I left Rostock and went to Greifswald once again to stay with Chris. We went to the beach there, no jellyfish. I also went to some of his classes with him which was pretty fun. It was nice to see another Fulbright TA at work and to see a school in a small east german town quite different from Munich. His school is smaller and he only has one, which I think is a whole lot better. He actually knows his classes and teaches the same ones on a regular basis. I think I would have prefered that. But, I got to live in Munich, so I really can't complain. We attempted to team teach a lesson on A Brave New World which I read about 2/3 of the night before, it turns out I read 2/3 more than most of the class, so it wasn't so much a discussion as it was me and Chris talking. I could definitely see the difference in students between the two schools. On the one hand, my kids are kind of rich and snotty and cheeky sometimes, but on the other hand, the advantage to working in a more affluent area is that many more of them also study abroad for a year and have more ambitions to go on to better Universities and so they really want and need to know English. East Germany is still a very different place from West Germany, especially Bavaria.
Speaking of Bavaria... Chris came back down to Munich with me on the very very long train ride on Thursday. We met his friend Greg, who's interning in Stuttgart, at the station. The fun started immeadiatly with a trip to the nearby beer garden for dinner followed by a little bar hopping in the Glockenbach and getting home around who knows when. Friday I was determined to make it to Andechs Monestary and Brewery (yes, most bavarian monestaries are also breweries) So we got up fairly early and made the hour or so long treck out into the country. I'd say it was worth it. The scenery was beautiful, the beer was cold and the schweinhaxen were the best. I wasn't really feeling the best after the beer, schweinhax'n, and direct sunlight all day... but it was still worth it. We crashed waaaay early Friday night and slept for a very long time. Saturday we had a little grill party on the Isar river, which I had also been wanting to do. Other than the ten minute downpour early in the afternoon it was pretty perfect and I got one more use out of my little grill.
Saturday night was the USA vs. Italy game. We went to the "Fan Park" which is at the Olympic center where they have a huge screen set up and naturally lots of beer and sausage vendors. I had been kind of down on all the world cup hype going on before, but being there was actually really cool. It's an amazing atmosphere. We met tons of people, lots of americans, as well as Austrailians who were in town for the Austrailia Brazil game in Munich on Sunday and people from just about every other country you can think of. Everyone was super friendly and just having fun and enjoying the moment. I'd have to say I'm becoming a bit of a World Cup fan. The US by the way is not doing so hot, they still have a very slim chance of making it to the next round. Germany, however, is doing pretty great and has won every game so far. So I think I'm about to become a Germany fan :) I'm going to be a little upset if they go on to win while i'm not here anymore.
I'm getting a little sad about leaving Munich in general. I was downtown today and ran into the crowd of Serbia-Montenegro fans on their way back from the stadium after their team won. They were singing on the escalator up the U-bahn, it was great. How could I want to leave? The weather has been so nice, and all the people here for football is so exciting, and tomorrow I have to say goodbye to my girls in my discussion group. sigh. Of course I'm also still super excited to go home and think of new things about America that I'm looking forward to every day. It's going to be so strange to be back after being gone for nearly a year. I'm definitely going to have some reverse culture shock. I've become so aclimated to everthing here. The US will be weird. But I think I'll get over it quickly. Hopefully I still remember how to drive a car. Hopefully I will also get a job and know what I'm doing soon!
For the next week I will be trying desperately to sell off and get rid of as much stuff as possible before I attempt to cram my most valued posessions into two suitcases. I hate moving, especially packing. Also as long as this heat and sunshine continues I plan on going to the outdoor pool near my school a lot in an attempt to begin the re-getting in shape plan and also to get very tan :)
I'll probably write something more reflective before I go. Until then, I encourage you to watch some football/soccer. ciao
P.S. Ignore the last few Flickr pics, it's just stuff I'm trying to sell, unless you are in Munich, in which case, buy my stuff!! Picture from the rest of my travels are up though!