This is a blog post by Morgan Brown
Things I've Learned This Week
I just recently moved away the the U.S. and am staying with a friend of mine in Munich before I head to Dresden to start my Master’s program. This has given me a chance to get acclimated to the German "scene". So far, so good.
- Separating from the person you love is agonizing as all fuck.
- Rischart is like this chain cafe thing that is super good. Had a delicious mozzarella und tomate sandwich.
- There is a church in the middle of the city that sets a height restriction for the buildings in the city center of Munich. In fact, the only skyscraper-y building that I have seen so far has been the BMW headquarters.
- If you tip at a restaurant, you tell the water in advance what you would like the total to be. It seems like <= 10% is a good tip. Of course, not tipping is cool too.
- The Euro Youth Hostel here has a bar where you can drink with and meet people from all over.
- Munich is *super *bike friendly. I’ve biked probably 20 km around the city already and almost everywhere there is a dedicated lane on the sidewalk for bikes. If there is no separate lane, it’s usually called out very obviously.
- Oktoberfest is great and you should go. It’s very much like a normal pop-up fair in the U.S. except for the beer halls. Drink, drink, drink, eat, eat, eat, dance, dance, dance. Also a really awesome place to meet different people. The beer halls that I have been in have a band that plays all sorts of stuff. I mostly heard covers of popular songs from the U.S. like *YMCA, Country Roads, Let Me Entertain You, etc. *At regular intervals the band stops to play the “cheers song” to make sure that everyone is getting drunk.
- Most people speak some English.
- Ride sharing and couchsurfing are legit things here. I am catching a ride to Dresden for 20 euros, then chillin on someone’s couch for free until the university can offer me housing. The benefit of these services, besides for being cheap, is that they allow you to get a local’s perspective on your destination and make new friends.
- I have seen no homeless people here at all.
- The streets are immaculately clean.
- There is a *beautiful *park next to the trendy Schwabing district. It’s huge and gorgeous and has a cool biergarten in it "next to the Chinese tower".
- The beer drinking age is 16. The hard alcohol drinking age is 18. My German friend tells me this is because you can’t kill yourself with beer — it’s too much volume with not enough alcohol: at some point you’ll just vomit. So then, you get two years of this, during which hopefully you get over drinking huge volumes so then you take it easy with the hard A. I’m skeptical.
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