“Normal” life starting to form

Tomorrow I have the final exam of my German intensive course, which means I’d budgeted the evening to study for tomorrow. So, of course, I’m now writing a new post.

Since the Oktoberfest is now long gone, everyday life is starting to peek around the corners. Though my normal courses start only next week, the intensive course has kept me plenty busy. After lessons, we (me and some friends from the language course) normally go out for lunch, coffee or just checking out new places in Munich. For instance yesterday we went to the BMW-Welt (=BMW-world), which was some kind of a mix between a car dealership, a trade fair show and a car museum. As the guys of the group payed their attention more to the cars, the girls (of some presumably architecture students) focused on the futuristic, big and alienlike environment.

During another afternoon, whilst we were enjoying a picnic-beer on the lawn of the Alte Pinakotek, I noticed that my Lederhosen were torn from the crotch ūüôĀ Maybe the 100 euro pants were too good to be true. Or perhaps bicycling is not a sport to be done using Lederhosen..¬† Luckily this story has a happy ending, since I got a new pair (for free) from the store I bought them from! So if I’m here for the next Wiesen (=Oktoberfest), I’ll be able to hit the tents yet again with a brand new pair of leathery pants. I did however get to keep the suspenders from my old pants, so technically they are still the original Lederhosen, just with a minor upgrade.

Since the Oktoberfest ended this Monday, the weather has also begun to cool down. In the mornings it’s now only about 5-8 ‘C, so it does get quite chilly. Our German teacher told us that it can get as cold as -20 or -30 ‘C in the winter, possibly because the wind from the Alps.. What is also interesting, is that because of the F√∂hn-wind (wind that has gone over the Alps), we can have very rapid temperature changes: a 20-30 ‘C change over night could easily happen.

With the city going into autumn-mode, the leaves have changed to the nice “Ruska”-colors (=the color that leaves turn into in the fall..) and the sides of the streets have heaps of leaves here and there. The autumn-Munich is quite cool, and I’m looking forward to one day going out with my camera to take some neat pictures.

With the start of the real semester coming ever nearer, I hope that the courses I’ve managed are OK for me. It’s been quite a hassle to find courses to take. If it turns out I CAN take the courses, and I have a possibility to understand the teaching in them, I can proceed to ask permission from my professor in Finland if they are suitable for my study plan.. There’s just so much bureaucracy here, that you just have to keep a cool head and spend 5x the time to do everything, in order to get it done right.

And now to a whole different subject.

We have a thing here called Unisport, which is basically some organization from the University (or some joint organization of many universities), that organizes different kinds of sport activities. If you, for example, like to go swimming, you can buy the swimming-card from ZHS (Zentrale HochschulSport M√ľnchen) and go swimming many times a week for a fraction of the normal price. In addition to these normal, everyday sports activities, the ZHS also organizes different kinds of courses, for example diving or climbing. These specialized courses usually have only 10-30 places for participants, so there is a huge online-signing-up-race when the sign-in starts to these courses.

A course caught my eye earlier this week: Snowboardtourenkurs. “In the course, you will learn how to go snowboard-hicking in the mountains.” The basic idea is, that you walk up the mountains with snow shoes (carrying all of your equipment, incl. snowboard, with you), and ride it down with your snowboard. And by mountains we here in M√ľnchen mean naturally the Alps! The only glitch was that there were only SEVEN places for the course. SEVEN!! So I prepared everything for the big sign-up, collected the mandatory stamps on my ZHS-card and skipped the afternoon from our German lesson to be home in time for the signing up.

After frantically refreshing my browser window as the time struck 13, I filled the form with shaking hands as fast as I could (though I’d practiced filling out a similar form before..). I don’t really know what the multiple texts meant during the signin-up, since I rapidly went directly to the “next” -button after filling in my information.

I MADE IT! Though the group filled up in a mater of minutes, I’m now on the team!! 5 days trekking and snowboarding in the uncharted (well charted yes, but no ski-slopes or resorts..) Alps!! I also signed up for an avalanche-course, just in case.. Just hope I won’t have any exams during the trip, since I’m not going to miss out on this!