I've been in Munich for the past two nights, staying in a little budget but nicely designed motel. I think I'm staying in two more of these while I'm in Germany, and I think they'll suit me very well.
I've been here by myself, which has it's benefits and drawbacks. Yes, I can do whatever I want to do, but I also get full of observations, questions, and comments I want to share that I end up keeping to myself. This will probably be the longest I'll be totally alone while I'm here, so I know I can handle it I guess. I'm learning just how social vs anti-social and fearless vs. anxious I am.
The German language skills I have gained are proving to be both a help and a hindrance. I get by pretty well--I've been able to buy shoes, order food, get directions, explain my predicaments, and basically get a little bit in the good graces of the people around me. Having the little bit of German language and having a quick ear and tongue has made me more confident here. It's interesting since while no one thinks I actually speak German for real, I get complimented on my German and people also can't tell if I'm American or if I speak English.
On the other hand, today, there was a misunderstanding between myself and my waiter. We both spoke to each other in German even though I was ordering from the English-language menu. I thought I was getting some water, a glass of wine, and a plate of herring and that it was all going to come at the same time. What I got was water, no wine, and:
Smoked herring AND some kind of hamburger thingie. CRAP. It was totally my fault for being all German-language-hubris and all, so I accepted the extra food and paid for it, and my waiter was VERY sweet and was like, let's just pack it up for you to eat later. He was a little upset that we had had such an understanding. I had thought he was asking if I wanted an order for one and if he should bring the two drinks and the food together. He was all (in retropect) "you really want all that food and at the same time?" I figure, since I'm such a fat girl, he was like, ok, go ahead and order more food than anyone should eat. Oh well. He was cute and ended up pretty smiley for a German. Nothing lost but a little pride and a chance to go out for dinner--I ended up eating the meat thing for a quick pre-opera dinner. That'll teach me to be all, Ja, ich spreche Deutsche.
At the opera (culture vulture post tomorrow!), there was a gentleman from Bayerische Radio or something interviewing people who were in the 'stehplatze' (standing room) of the opera. He tried really hard to interview me, even though I was all: (in German), "I don't live here, I only speak a little German, blah blah blah." Why didn't I just go into English...I'm so stupid. Finally after the third blank smile after his third question, he excused himself. Schade!
Lastly--the best thing ever!
Ice cream cups that are well, made of ice cream cone!
So ecological and delicious. Why don't we have these in the US! And this ice cream rocked!
Tomorrow I go to Leipzig and return to being around people. That should be good.