There is a running joke amoung my friends at the office that every time they say that they have discovered a new place to go and get things I always end up saying “ hey, that’s right down the street from my house” and they all make fun of me but its true it always seems to be right down the street from my house. The weather here has finally been good and by good I mean like San Diego good, 23 degrees (Celsius) sunny and not a cloud in the sky. Last weekend since most of my friends were out of town, I decided to take a walk about around the city of Munich, I had to go down to the Hauptbahnhof to get my monthly subway card so I decided to walk it. Keep in mind I don’t have a map of the city so I figured that I would just follow what I thought was the line of the Subway and use the stops as my guide. Fantastic idea or so I thought. About 20 minutes into my walk, I cant find the next subway stop to use as a marker, I don’t even know which way I am going or if I am going in the right direction. But then it dawns on me that I can stop at a bus stop and look at the maps posted and be on my way. No problem right, except that when I finally find a bus stop map, I discover that I am going the wrong way. I finally get on the right track and wouldn’t you know it, its not as difficult as I thought it would be. It sort of funny because Munich is such a large city it seems like everything is o far away but the reality is that I was able to walk to the places I wanted to go in about 45 minutes all a while seeing new and interesting shops but knowing in the back of my mind that I’ll never be able to find these stores again. I found the used English language book store, which is just down the street of my house so I stopped in and got a few books to read, the only problem I have is that I read both of those books in 4 days and now I have nothing to do and I cant really go and get any more books because I am trying to save my money for the last few trips while I am here. While I am in the store I notice that there is a bagel place across the street from it. I haven’t been able to get a decent bagel in this country the whole time I have been here and my first thought is “of course you can’t stupid because there are no Jews in Germany” probably not the best thought to have if you know what I mean. So I ask the guy at the book store about the bagel shop across the street and he says to me “ Well I am a bagel snob” I couldn’t even concentrate on the rest of what he was saying because I the first thing that popped into my mind was the Seinfeld Soup Nazi episode only it came out “No bagel for you!!” So I got some for breakfast and realized that if you put enough “Philadelphia” on it, it tastes just fine. So the next day I pack my backpack with water and a book and take a ride down to the Zoo, I decide that the Zoo is too expensive right now so I start hoofing it down the bank of the Isar river and I have a blow out. Well actually my sandal had a blow out and I cant exactly replace them here because that would cost like 50 euros and honestly I would not pay the equivalent of 70 dollars for a new pair, so I guess I am out of luck. So as I am cruising down the Isar there are people grilling, sunbathing naked down by the river. Sweet naked chics down by the river. NO! naked fat old men, needless to say I am thoroughly disappointed and find a spot on the river with no naked fat hair men in my view and read for a few hours. It was glorious.
With the realization that money is tight, partly because my internship does not pay that much and partly because my house is right around the corner from everything I decide to fill out my Federal Aid forms so I will have money waiting for me when I get home. Well let me tell you, the U.S government doesn’t value education. How can I say that? Well I made less than 3000 dollars last year and they have the gaul to tell me that I don’t qualify for Federal Aid. I have to rely on a Pell Grant and Aid from my University. This really torques me off because here in Europe they pay a stipend for their students to study abroad. My old roommate, gets 5000 Pounds Sterling to study abroad and he gets another 5k during his internship. All my friends that go to North Eastern get a stipend which makes up the difference from what they make to 1000 euro, so most of them are getting like an extra 400 euro a month. You might be saying that they pay 40,000 a year to go there and that’s where the money is coming from. I say if its required for me to have an internship to graduate, I should be getting the same deal from my University. But I am not bitter at all, seriously, I’m not. I’m just torqued that I can’t get money from FASA, I’m a safer investment than the stock market right now. WTF?? In two weeks I am going to France and I hope to god that we all make it back in one piece, why wouldn’t we you might be asking yourself? I don’t know, four Americans in an Audi A4 rent a car on the Autobahn and 2 days in Canes, its bound to get out of control. I was also invited in June to go white water rafting with some of the French girls from work in Austria, and you know it, I am going to go for sure. The last part of my 100 days here is going to involve a trip back to Sweden for a week to visit a friend of mine, and to quote Good Will Hunting “ It’s about a girl” sort of odd for me right? How often can you say that you are going to Sweden because “Its about a girl” but more about that later. I gotta go prepare for the Ultimate Frisbee in the Englisher Garten don’t want to pull a hammy but then again its all good because I’m pretty sure an authentic Swedish Massage is in the works, and by authentic I mean a hot Swedish Broad….