It’s been one month to the day since I first landed in Munich. Already one month!

I remember my first few hours here quite vividly. The journey from the airport to the JYM offices to Studentenstadt was exhausting: we (Maureen, Anthony, and I) had braved the subways lugging huge suitcases, dragging them through construction and dodging cyclists all the way. It was hot, so hot.

Having located the Orange House, I wrestled my luggage up the stairs to the elevator (totally counter-intuitive, no?) and saw that all the numbers on the buttons were rubbed out. Oh great. Not only that, but there were fewer buttons than floors. what the what. So obviously, I hit them all. After a bit of sleuthing, the resolution was to get out at the second floor and huff up a half-flight of stairs to find room 335: my room. I slid the door open.

Oh God, it won’t open. I try again.

Again.

Again.

And again.

Nothing: I was stuck.

By then I was totally burnt out: my feet and arms ached, my hair was frazzled and coming undone, my throat was parched. I was totally panicking, afraid of spending my first night curled up in the stinky elevator. Just before I burst into tears, someone came and pulled the door open.

It opened like any old hinged door: with a simple push and pull. I was trying to slide it.

Things have gotten better; I’ve since been able to open every door that’s come my way. I am immune to the odors of the StuStadt hallways. My subway commute to and from classes is robotic and if asked, I could recite to you all of the U-Bahn stops along the way. I know to snag the €.89 strawberries at the grocery store and I always keep my €1 coin saved as a deposit for the cart. I sort my trash meticulously, agonizing over garbage that integrates both plastic and paper parts, like cartons of milk. I string up my wet laundry all over my room. I have a bank account here, and I can point to you to the best bargain bakeries. Seldom do I feel like a clumsy little kid trying to figure out how to get out of the elevator.

In conversations with the other JYM students, we throw around suggestions of weekend trips to Strasbourg, Budapest, Verona, Prague, and Vienna like it’s no big deal. I’ve established a solid reputation as class-napper. (haha ok, this isn’t a proud point).

But still. I have a routine; things are normalizing. The beginnings of a life in Germany have begun to form, and I think it’s a good one. ^^

On another note, I don’t have Friday classes so my school week is over! I scouted out a dim sum place, so we’re going for all-you-can-eat lunch. I’m psyched. Also, it might snow here on Saturday! We were thinking of going hiking in the Alps, but I might chicken out. Perhaps Austria instead?

And lastly, I’ll introduce you to one of my new friends, who sits outside of the Happy Discount Bakery every morning to greet us.(:

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