Hello dear readers, it is long overdue, but I am finally here to fill you in on the last few months of life in Munich. The most exciting time was Lauren’s visit from the 5th of July to the 4th of August. It was a feeling somewhat reminiscent of seeing her for the first time on our wedding day, at the moment that I first saw her in the airport when she arrived. More details of our short time together can be read in previously published posts from Lauren.
At the time of Lauren’s arrival, I was still living in the spare bedroom at the office. I had only barely gotten an apartment from a lovely Romanian girl named Ramona, to move in on July 7th. This was to be a short term arrangement, meaning I had to move out sometime in September. Well, September has arrived, and Ramona and I have agreed to end the lease on October 1st.
Since Lauren left, I’ve been working longer hours at work, and also spending a lot of time on trying to find a new apartment. There have been a few promising leads, but in the end, I ended up taking a charming flat in a dull town north-west of Munich called Kissing. The downsides include having to take a long-distance train to work, not living close enough to cycle to work in less than an hour, living far from most of my friends and work colleagues, and living in a very bland town. The advantages are that the rent is very affordable, there is no commission to a real estate agent, the owners are very nice, a brand new kitchen is included, there is floor heating throughout the flat, and it is an attractive space. Overall I’m pleased, and just having a place to live for the foreseeable future is an enormous weight off my mind. After work today, I met with the owner to sign the lease. It is an open ended contract, with no end date. We just have to give three months notice when we want to move out.
A few weeks ago, I bought a good quality used bicycle from someone on Toytown. It is a commuter bicycle with eight speeds, which is more than enough for the flat city of Munich. I really enjoy riding it, and I’ve ridden to work a couple of times once I fitted it with reflectors, lights, and a bell, which are legally required in Germany. Tomorrow morning, I plan on riding south for a couple of hours to Wolfratshausen, a town which lies at the end of the suburban train line. From there, if the weather holds and I still have energy, I’ll keep riding, or take the train back into town.
Coincidentally, another document important to my future livelihood was signed and sent to South Africa by courier on this same day as my lease signing. My company’s five year agreement was finalized and signed today, after many months (years?) of being wrangled through a corporate maze of compliance, committees, legal reviews, and the like.
I’ve really enjoyed living in the Schwabing area of Munich these last two months. Some days after work, I like to wind down with dinner from the Mexican cantina which is located just to the south of my flat. Their tacos al pastor are delicious, and just around the corner I like to go watch the old timers duel on a field of 8ft by 8ft of alternating alabaster and onyx colored squares. It is always the same guys, and the action can get testy at times.
I will miss these pleasures in Kissing, but I know it is not permanent. Now that the pressure is off, Lauren and I can properly search for a an affordable place in or closer to Munich, at least close enough to cycle to work.
On Tuesday, Lauren booked her tickets for her next visit to Munich. She’ll be here for another month, to do research at the Bavarian state library, from October 13th to November 13th. Hopefully on the weekends, the weather will allow for some hiking in the alpine foothills to the south of Munich.
As for me, yesterday, I booked passage to America for the winter holidays. I’m using what will be left of my 2013 leave from work, as well as four public holidays, to visit from December 17th to the 11th of January. To all my friends from St Louis, I hope we can see each other then.