There are many aspects of Munich that I find incredibly intriguing: the infamous history rooted in WWII, the beautiful architecture, and of course my dad keeps reminding me it’s where the legendary Oktoberfest takes place. However, it’s also intimidating; I don’t know very much about the city and, after hearing about what I’ll be walking into, I feel pretty unprepared.
There are a few aspects of travelling to Munich that I’m still trying to mentally prepare for, but thankfully I have the great advice of CR alums. The difference of the culture of Germany itself compared to America will no doubt be a shock; that’s something that I have read about and Caroline of CR8 warned me of. I’m interested to see the different customs and slight subtleties in how they carry out everyday life; however, I am also eager not to come off like an obnoxious American. Visiting Dachau is another experience that I am anxiously anticipating. Caroline described the experience as “surreal” and “shocking”, and even her explanation and images elicited a strong combination of intense and confused emotions. I have never visited anywhere with such a marked historical significance, and I have no doubt that the experience will be unnerving.
While there are parts of Munich that I feel unprepared for, there are also parts that I feel like I was born to take on. I won’t get too into detail, but I went through a phase in eighth grade where I was obsessed with architecture, and Munich has a beautiful eclectic combination of modern and historical buildings that I can’t wait to observe. I’m also excited to find out what unique things my CR companions may know about the city; who knows, maybe someone else had a hidden eight grade passion for architecture too. I have no doubt that the things I learn about the people on this trip will be fascinating and I can’t wait to find out what hidden values everyone is bringing along. Also, while this relates more to just Germany in general, I am thrilled to learn more about the culture of the place where legends such as Franz Kafka and Friedrich Nietzsche spent their years. Perhaps spending time among the German customs will shed some light on Nietzchean philosophies? Or at least explain how Kafka got the idea to write a novel about a man turning into a giant insect? I suppose we’ll find out.
I don’t know everything there is to know about Munich; I’ve studied the architecture and the literature, but those things aren’t going to prepare me for the humbling experiences that lie ahead. I’m eager to experience the things that this city has in store, and more than anything, I’m prepared to be shaken.