“Super Bayern, Super Bayern, HEY! HEY! Super Bayern, Super Bayern, HEY! HEY!”
The crowd erupted each time FC Bayern München (Munich’s home team—very popular and very good; many of the players were on the team that won the World Cup) spectacularly scored against FC Porto (a Portuguese team) on Tuesday. The game ended 6 – 1, with five of Bayern’s goals in the first half.
I made a literal last minute decision and chose to skip my hall meeting to go to Frühlingsfest (spring festival) with some other JYMers instead. With four minutes remaining, I threw on my dirndl (traditional Bavarian dress) and off we went.
It was wonderful. Picture a state fair, plus a larger version of Busch Gardens’ Oktoberfest (the Wirbelwind swings, bumper cars, carnival games, etc.), plus lots of people wearing dirndls and lederhosen. We sat outside at first and migrated indoors (to a very Festhaus-looking building) as it got dark. Dancing on the bench tables to live German music and cheering on FC Bayern with friends in a huge room of people proved to be a magical and memorable experience.
As a student, I have the opportunity for many cultural experiences. In three of my classes, we’re taking “field trips” to museums and theatre events around Munich. For my class on German drama and theatre, we went to see a documentary theatre production on Saturday. A German artist had traveled to various cities with a large table complete with dishes and silverware that he covered in paper and asked people to answer the question, “Was ist unbezahlbar?” (what is priceless?) by writing on the paper.
As I listened to him describe the answers he received, I thought about how I might answer the question, “what is priceless?”
Hands-down. As I look back over my short 21 years, I have found relationships to be most important in my life (starting with my relationship with God). Every meaningful memory is special not just because of what happened, but mostly because of those who experienced the event with me.
Obviously, I could write at least five blog posts about how much each one of my family members means to me before even moving on to describe my wonderful friends from my hometown, JMU, Jeremiah Project, etc. and how thankful I am for each and every one of you.
I was talking with my dad on Sunday, and he mentioned how friendships are additive. Making more friends obviously doesn’t mean we get rid of old ones; it just means we get to know more people. And so, ich freue mich (it makes me happy) that I have the opportunity to make more friends in Munich.
Over the past month (have I really been here a month??), I’ve spent time with some fabulous people. I have a conversation partner who invited me over for dinner and let me play with her sugar gliders. I have friends who will explore Nürnberg and wait for over an hour for our food with me (free cappuccino because of that!). And friends to have more coffee and long conversations with. These people let me knock on their doors and talk to them when I don’t feel like being in my room alone. They play games with me (which may or may not get a little competitive). We also adventure in Flohmärkte (flea markets), Hugen-Dubel (a book store), and the English Garden.
So whether it’s spinning around in dirndls or grabbing lunch (and possibly ice cream) between classes, each new day has brought more laughter and memories with those experiencing life in Munich with me.
“There are no strangers here; only friends you haven’t yet met.” –William Butler Yeats