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Monday, October 5, 2009

Day 2: Touring downtown Munchen

Slept in late, until about 10 I think. Breakfast was brot (bread), britzen (pretzels), quark donuts, and things you can spread on such things. I think brot is a heavily featured part of the German diet. Did Atkins ever take hold here?

 
Ines is insistent on being my Deutsch Lehrerin (German teacher). Unfortunately, her idea of teaching is teaching math, and I already know my numbers from einz to hunert, and my times tables, which she is working on. So she gets good practice, and I’m happy to oblige, but I do wish the efforts were bringing about some greater understanding in me. I understand kids that much more, I suppose. She is learning English too, and we both do the exact same thing: ask Elke how to say something, start off strong, and end in very garbled syllables that faintly resemble the original.

We drove downtown, saw the grand new architecture of Munich (BMW has motor-inspired architecture for their office buildings).  
Munich, being an old city with very well constructed old buildings, doesn’t have many, or room for many, tall buildings. So they’re mostly about 8 stories tall at most, and look old, even if they aren’t over 50 years old. I am impressed at how many BMWs I see here, but it is a rich city, in a rich country, and we are in the city that produces them. I want one!

We stopped by a channel in downtown Munich where a hydraulic produces a surfable wave, and watched surfers play on the wave.  
I proudly told my hosts that I knew all about this place, my boss was the first to surf the thing when he studied in Munich. So Jeff: it is done. I have seen people do tricks and fall ingloriously in the place where you were the first to do both.

Then we toured and toured and toured and toured, and I don’t really remember much, but there are a lot of old buildings, some new ones, and many many Germans dressed in dirndls and lederhosen for Oktoberfest. I think it got to the point where I was too busy being shown things to actually look at them.

  I found a BMW bike for my boss. I don't know if it's actually The Toaster, but with that scooter-hood, you could easily pretend you are a slice of bread.

I am taking very slowly to German. I think it is true that one must do/hear/say/contemplate something 7 times before it sticks. My first experience trying to communicate in German only, I ordered some carbonated water (wasser mit kohlen zauere, literally water with coal-gas) and it took twice the time that German would have done it in, but I stuck to German mostly and convinced the clerk to say things in German even though he spoke perfect English. I am sure he was annoyed, but he smiled.

When we got home, I was so tired from all that German and English coming at me through my eyes and ears that I had to lie down. I slept for 2 hours, during which my mother called, and supposedly we had a conversation, but I don’t really remember any of it. When she woke me for dinner, my aunt told me that I look groggy like my mother. Some things run in the family.

Phases of the day:
Entschultdegung and Es tut mier leit (sp?) - Sorry, literally deguiltifcation and it grieves me (or something dramatic like that)- one is like “pardon” and the other is more like “I am so very sorry”
So/Wie sagt man das- how do you say?
Wie fil- how much?
Es kleich - is equal to

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