Today is the last day of 2015 and honestly, I am not one for resolutions. It could be because I forget them as soon as I make them. Instead, I thought we could close out the year with the biggest lessons I learned these past twelve months.
Lesson #1 – Stay away from the Special K: In January, I flew to Munich for a weekend to interview for a job. I had taken the redeye and was somehow hungry upon my arrival to Jer’s Airbnb even though Lufthansa had already fed me 8 times. Jer was sharing the apartment with another girl and he told me the cereal was common food so I ate some Special K and took a nap. Well, apparently, dear boy was mistaken because when we came back from dinner that night, we were greeted with a post-it from his roommate that said: ‘Do NOT eat my food! NOT COOL!’
As I am a person who has written ‘Stay the eff away from my cookie dough’ on post-its for my roommates in college, I could empathize with her plight. Thanks Jerry. Clearly, you are not to be trusted. As penance, I bought her a huge cereal variety pack and then spent the rest of the weekend trying to avoid her. As one does.
Lesson #2 – If you thought becoming fluent in German was going to be easy, you were delusional: Das ist alles.
Lesson #3 – Keep it down, Sally: On one of the first few weekends we were here, we got kicked out of a pool hall for being ‘too loud’ (aka we were laughing). We thought this was absurd and completely ridiculous. However, little did we know but this was a precursor to us being shushed in pretty much every bar or biergarten we would go to thereafter (Americans are the worst). There is a street in the Universität area where I can literally do a 360 degree turn and point to five places where we have gotten shushed. Münchners like their quiet and they are not afraid to tell you to keep it down, meow.
Lesson #4 – International phone plans are worth the investment: We learned this after losing one of our friends an average of 6 times per day throughout the course of his visit (that estimate may be on the high side but it felt that way). Adding this feature to your phone plan might cost a few bucks but I promise, it’ll be the best money you ever spent should we get separated.
Lesson #5 – Know what ‘Alpine Experience’ means before embarking on a trail saying that you should have it: On our first real hiking tour in Austria, we ended up on a trail that said ‘Danger: Alpine Experience Required!’ – a sign that we paid little attention to and carried on. A few hours later into our hike, we finally understood what it meant as we slowly came to the realization that the only way forward was to climb up and over a mountain peak.
At first it wasn’t so bad…just watch your step and follow the big red targets…but the closer we got to the top, the more unsettling it became as we had to rely on this steel rod built in the side of the mountain for stability.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a panic attack as we were about 50 feet from the top when I could no longer see the path markers. Thankfully, my compadres behind me were able to see the way (I had passed right by it as I was so focused on not dying) and they got us up and over. And yes, the view at the top was worth the trouble. It always is. [insert motivational poster here]
Finally, as this is the last post for the year, I want to conclude by giving thanks. Thank you to the friends we made here. You make living here such a joy and we are fortunate that you have let us into your lives. Thank you to those who read this incoherent rambling. You help make my commutes (when I write most of this) more interesting. Thank you to those who came to visit us. We know its not a cheap endeavor but you will never know how much your visits meant to us. Thank you to all of our friends and family back home. We sincerely appreciate all of your love, support, care packages, skype calls, random texts, etc. They are breaths of fresh air and we would be nonstop puddles of tears without them. We love you and can’t wait to see you again.
Cheers to a new year!