Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Some scattered weekend stories

      Well, I wasn't planning on posting today, but when I was stalking myself (you do it too, don't judge), I realized that today is 1 November, and thus my total blogs for October (thirty one full days) have pulled in to the finish line at three. THREE.

      That's pathetic.

      Before jumping into some recent details, I'll take a moment to half-brag about and half-thank my readers: this week's blog viewers bring my list of countries up to 5/7 of the world's continents. C'mon Australia, step it up! I won't go into exhaustive detail, but I will let you in on some of the cooler countries, namely Latvia, Russia, Denmark, Zimbabwe, India, South Korea, Czech Republic, and Venezuela. Not to short my devoted friends in Germany and the US, of course.

      Okay. Enough talking about how multiculturally AWESOME my blog is--did I say that out loud? Oops.

      Anyway, back to reality: today is the second of my days off, making this the final day of my four-day weekend (sigh of happiness). Sadly, a show Saturday and babysitting last night prevented any fun trips from taking place, but it's been a good few days nonetheless. Unfortunately for me, today's the one day of the four that's actually a holiday (Allerheiligen, or All Saints' Day). The joys of living in a Catholic country are getting days like that off, but religious holidays in Bavaria mean eeeeeverything is closed. Okay, the cafes remain open, but other than that not a whole lot else. So I've spent most of today reading, sleeping in, watching How I Met Your Mother, and hearing about Nate's exciting Romanian adventures. I promise, the day should be redeemed by going to hear Strauss' Der Rosenkavelier at the Bayerische Staatsoper this afternoon, followed by dinner/drinks with some friends.

      Jumping back in time, some minor adventures of the last seven days:

      Last Thursday was the weekly ToyTown 20-something drinks night, which I've attended about three times since coming here. After a pretty dull day (not helped by the mopey weather we've been having), my friend Leigh and I agreed to get out of our funk and at least get out of the house (and have some company other than the sort under the age of six).  The bar for this week was Beach 38, and a beach it was. The interior is sort of like a giant cabana, with sand underfoot and beach chairs to sit on, in addition to more typical tables. I remember tiki torches as well, but that could just be my memory filling in the gaps. Adjacent to the bar was a huge room filled with beach volleyball courts, sand and all.

Photo credit to Leigh Stephenson! And her new iPhone.
      A friend of mine from Chapman, Austen Stranahan, was coincidentally in town for a few days, so after we had lunch Wednesday I convinced him to come out to drinks with us to meet some people and maybe find a lead for getting a job.  We had a great night (with admittedly far too much beer), and I met some cool new people.  These events are wonderful for getting to know people--everyone's basically there for the same reason (aside from the occasional guy who completely stops talking to me when he figures out I have a boyfriend. Always annoying.), and it's very relaxed and laid-back and fun!

      Friday I spent most of the day recovering from the previous night's festivities. The day was mostly a blur that thankfully passed pretty quickly, and I retired to my lair to watch the previous weeks TV shows and do some Skype-ing with back home people. 

      Saturday was quite a pretty day. Had a leisurely morning and headed out to the local mall, where I picked up some more winter gear at H&M and spent a couple hours in Hugendubel, Germany's equivalent of Barnes and Noble. I started the first Hunger Games book (and then was forced to go back to the bookstore for about four hours yesterday. Am now two-thirds of the way through the third book and in a bit of agony waiting for the bookstores to reopen so I can finish it!), and I highly recommend it, if you didn't catch that from my parenthetical explanation.  Saturday night Anne had tickets with her friends to see Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot at the local English theater and invited me along! We had dinner with her friends at a cute little German restaurant, where I got caught up on the ins and outs of Irish politics, and dined on Fennel-Potato gratin and chocolate mousse (NOM), then we walked over to the theater. It was a very intimate little place, with the "stage" in the middle of the room and audience members in stadium seating on both sides of it. Probably not more than 100 people, all told. The production was rather apocalyptic, set on a gravel pile (which lead to a lot of audience coughing), but really well done. I had some trouble staying awake the first half (damn that glass of wine!), but did better in the second half, and all-in-all was really quite enjoyable!

      Sunday was a gorgeous day, and in anticipation of plans with a friend I'd made at the Thursday gathering, I took the tram into the city center for the first time. I adore the U-Bahn, but as convenient and efficient as taking underground trains is, it doesn't really give you a feel for the city itself, so today was scenic route day. The #19 tram is, apparently, the one they recommend for tourists who don't feel like paying for the hop-on-hop-off bus, as it gives you the best scenic trip through the city, and it was indeed beautiful. It was a gorgeous, clear fall day and the colors were absolutely beautiful.

     My friend Alex (British fellow who's hear working for Texas Instruments) and I met up in Marienplatz and set off walking back down Maximilienstraße, back down just where I had taken the tram from. We passed over the Isar, saw the Bayerischer Landtag (state parliament), and sat down to have a cappuccino over by Max-Weber Platz. Some photos:

Isar, looking south

Bayerischer Landtag
Isar, looking north

     After coffee, I realized there was an organ concert I'd seen mentioned in town, so we headed back into Marienplatz and to St. Michael's Church. From the outside the church seems like nothing; surrounded by shops and covered with plastic sheeting (on which the church's face is pictured, of course), it looks pretty anticlimactic. But inside it was gorgeous: spacious, beautifully decorated, and smokey and warm from the incense. The concert ended up being amazing. For 5 euros entrance (standing room, but I'm young), it was a two-hour organ and orchestra concert, sponsored by the Prince and Princess of Liechtenstein, featuring pieces like Strauss' "Festliches Präludium," Bach's Prelude and Fugue in A-Major, Mendelssohn, Rheinberger, Widor, and a beeeeeautiful Saint-Saens, his Symphony Nr. 3 in c-minor. 

Interior of St. Michael's Jesuit Church
      Not a bad evening at all, for 5 euro! The best part is that it's a series, so there are concerts this weekend and all of next week! All with different repertoire. I like. 

     And last night was called babysitting and handing out a few Gummi-bear packs to trick-or-treaters. And watching Dexter, of course. What better to get in the halloween spirit?

      Well, I'm off to the opera! We'll see if I can fit in more than three entries this month...fingers crossed!


  1. You are just having a rough time of it there, aren't you?? Thanks for sharing! Great pix, too!

  2. Hi!
    So glad you and Leigh found each other! I love hearing about all your awesome adventures!
    :)Lisa (Leigh's cousin)