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Trail Along the Isar

It’s Sunday afternoon and we’re just back from a rather lengthy walk. I’m doing this post now because if the coming week is anything like the last two weeks, I won’t have time to write much. It’s fair to say I am obsessed with my German studies and I just don’t have enough left in me at the end of the day to do anything but collapse into bed.

Today is a warm and sunny day so we and what seemed like 95% of “Munchners” took a walk on one of the many trails in and around the city.

The natural state of the land in all of Germany is dense forest. If left untended, any vacant land soon reverts to that state. Unsurprisingly, the city of Munich is segmented by huge swathes of forest. We live beside the Perlacher Forst or, as Mary calls it “Pear Licker Forest.”

We began our walk south along the Isar River (which, by the way, is the place to see nudists. Much better than Englischer Garten!) After an hour and a half, we turned east into the Grunwald neighborhood. I think we enjoyed our walk through that neighborhood more than along the Isar – a lot of uniquely German mansions there. This one, although by no means the largest, was my favorite. Note the widow’s walk on the roof:

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I have two conversation partners assigned by the school. Both are German women about my age who are taking English classes for the fun of it. Mary and I took a drive yesterday to a nearby lake for a nice walk and restaurant meal with one of my partners, Edith (pronounced “Ate It.” Of course, I have a lot of fun with that.)

Mary: Lief, have you seen my apple?
Lief: Didn’t you know? Ate It ate it. hahaha!
Mary: Did she eat two?
Lief: No. Ate it ate eight! hahahahaha!

My other partner is Josephine (prnounced “Ho Suh Fee Nuh.” “Ho” sounded inappropriate so I haven’t had much fun with her name.) Edith speaks English quite well. Josephine’s English is more on the level of my German. I told her I had learned about 100 new German words in the last week. She said she had only learned perhaps two English words.

“Which English words did you learn?” I asked.

She thought for a moment then said, sheepishly “I forgot.”

Josephine invited us to a concert at the Ear, Nose, and Throat clinic where she works. It was a very posh place with it’s own small theater or concert room that held about 40 spectators. A clinic seems like an odd place for a concert to me, at least in America it would, but this is Germany after all. The concert was a beguiling mixture of East-Asian Music and Elizabethan Ballads done by a husband and wife duo. Unique.

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At the Eye, Ears, & Throat Concert

On my subway ride home on Friday I found myself sitting across from this girl who was flipping through a stack of cards with writing on them. This is a favorite activity of mine. I usually carry a stack of cards with German phrases on them for practice. I watched her for a while then took out my cards and showed them to her. I asked her what she was trying to memorize.

“English” she told me.

“Ha! I’m learning German” I told her. “Perhaps we should trade cards.”

She declined.

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My Alter Ego. Note the cards in her hand.

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