Ever since we announced we were moving to Munich, we have been met with a lot of comments that generally fall within the realm of “I’m so jealous!” or “We’ve always wanted to do that!” (you totally can btw – I’ll probably blog more about that subject another time). And while, yes, we love living here and it’s a pretty amazing city…I promise that it’s not all beer festivals and weekends in Spain.
We are the first ones to embrace differences in other cultures/countries (if we wanted everything to be like it is in America, we would’ve stayed in America) but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things we find frustrating or quirky. Here are a few of those things:
Language Barrier: Jerry and I are both trying really hard to learn German and we do not expect anyone to speak English with us. In fact, we don’t want them to because how else are we going to learn? It’s just that our ignorance often leads to some really awkward interactions.
We have a fairly limited vocabulary in comparison to a native or someone who has lived here for a few years. We’re getting better (for example, I can rock making a dinner reservation or ordering at the bakery – ya know, important things) but more often than not, we don’t know how to respond or we have a hard time hearing/understanding what was said to begin with. So what usually ends up happening is German person will say something in German…Jerry and I will likely look like a deer in a headlights then we will either nod, awkwardly laugh, or just say “Ja!” “Nein” or “Danke” and hope for the best. I’m 100% sure they think we have mental issues (and they wouldn’t be wrong).
Doctor Appointments: I never appreciated being able to just call up a doctor and make an appointment. This week I needed to make a routine appointment and after two disastrous attempts to try and do this in Germanglish (not their fault, I totally panicked), I gave up and started seeking only doctors with online booking capabilities. They could be the worst doctor on the planet but I’ll take my chances.
Banks: If you have a 9-5 job, good luck ever getting to a bank when it’s open and not having to miss work. The branch we have to go to (more on that in a sec) is open from 10am-12pm and then 2-4pm (super convenient). We tried to go to a branch near our house that opened at 9am yesterday so that Jer could add my name to our account but because he opened his account with a different branch (the 10am one), no other branch can help us unless we go through a process of switching branches. Oy. AND not all branches offer services you need…weird services like withdrawing or depositing money. It’s bizarre.
Packages: Shopping online means you run the risk of your packages being left with your neighbors…who may or may not have pants on when you go to pick them up. So that happened. Pretty sure Jerbear is scarred for life.
Laundry: Similar to most big cities, we have shared laundry in our apartment. The machine is tiny so you end up having to do multiple loads just to get the basics done. At 2 euros a pop (4 if you wash and dry), it really adds up. And because it’s one washer and dryer for about 40 units, it becomes this weird passive aggressive, stressful game of getting down there at the right time to get your loads in – otherwise someone will snake it from you. We also have a lady with a huge black dog in the building next to ours and every time she uses it, both machines have black hairs everywhere. Excuse me while I go vomit.
Not to mention, it’s super creepy going down to the laundry room. If Munich wasn’t such a safe city, I’d probably carry some sort of kitchen utensil with me for protection. Naturally I made a video so that you an experience it for yourself.
All in all, these really aren’t that bad and will likely get better with time. Either way, it’s our new normal so might as well get used to it!