Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Rugby + indie = weekend

It's still fucking snowing over here. I can hardly believe it when I look outside my window, but it is. This is ridiculous. I hate the snow and it's so warm and sunny back home that I just want to scream! On the plus side, I got another package from the emo last Saturday filled with about fifty photos of me and my buds. I covered my wardrobe with them, so that whenever I feel down, I can just look over and feel a little bit closer to those I love. These packages he's sending are unbelievably sweet and thoughtful. I feel terrible, too, because I've just been sending letters with various ramblings about various things in them...

If all goes according to plan, this week he should be booking flights to come over here in June. A group of us are all heading to Rock am Ring together, but the emo is coming two days earlier than everybody else so we can spend some time alone (and because he's dying to see my flat). A part of me can't wait until he comes over, but then I start to think that, when he does, my time here will nearly be over. Even though I've only been here a month next week, I still think it's sad that, before I know it, this will all be over...

So, the emo is coming over here in June. Before that, Dylan is arriving some time in April. That should be interesting. I don't really know what to expect from his visit, although I'm assuming we'll get hammered together because we've never properly done that before. And then, Star is coming over in May with Niamh, a friend of Saz and I. A part of me cannot wait to see her, but then the other parts are dreading it because I know I'm going to have to confront what happened that night, and the fact that she lied to me, disrespected me and fucked with my head... Still, at least I know that we'll tear this place up properly when they come!

Anyway, moving on from my always eventful love life! Last weekend was a very strange one indeed, for various reasons. First of all, me, Charley and Saz took Friday off from our language course thing so that we could sleep in in preparation for finally heading to a rock bar that night. We did pre-drinks in Saz's flat with Marina, too, which was really good fun. The bar we went to was called Der Keller (which means the cellar) and is in a part of Munich city centre that is famous for its' clubs and bars. When we arrived, the area was loaded with people. One of the weirdest things about this place, though, is the fact that nobody really seems to dress up for a night out - not even the women. It's really hard to get used to, especially coming from the over-the-top scene in Ireland.

The bar itself was small enough, and packed with emos and indie kids, all dressed down and averaging about 17/18 years of age. Of course, everybody stared, but that's nothing new. Jager was €1 a shot, so we started on those. The music was pure indie (all weird, unknown stuff) but I was reassured that there would be heavier stuff later on. The website had been checked in advance. Of course, the heavier stuff never really came. The DJ was an indie purist, so much so that I actually cheered when he played Muse. I hate Muse, but it was nice to hear something familiar. We did eventually convince him to play some Bullet but it came a bit too late for me. I like pretty much every kind of music there is, but indie just doesn't do it for me. The high point of the night was the Arctic Monkeys followed by Kasabian. It reminded me of an injoke between me and Noodles. I considered texting him, but realised I had no idea what I wanted to say.

We weren't drunk, the music was shit and we ended up home around 6AM. Not the worst night out I've ever had, but if the metal withdrawal gets any worse, I'll be on a train to Stuttgart before anybody even realises I'm gone. They have the best metal club up there, der Rock Fabrik (or rock factory, if you will). I was there when I was 16 and thought it was the best place in the entire world. Only Sin City (in the Electric Ballroom) in Camden really compares to it... But I remain hopeful that the one metal club I've managed to discover in Munich (aptly named the Titty Twister) will deliver and I'll get my fix soon enough...here's hoping.

I slept late on Saturday, went running, watched some stuff online, took a walk to the nearby supermarket with the girls to get some red wine (€2 Merlot - yes please!) and chocolate and then headed back for lunch. I was aware that Ireland were playing against Wales that day and that if we won we'd win the whole competition, but seeing as I have zero interest in rugby, I'd chosen to deposit that information at the back of my mind where it wouldn't bother me.

Unfortunately, Saz wanted to go and watch it, with the lads, in the Irish pub in the city centre, and seeing as Charley wanted to spend all day slobbing, I reluctantly accompanied her. The bar itself was packed, and pretty nice. We were given seats by friendly Corkonians (one of whom started on me later on in a hilariously drunken manner) and happily settled down to watch the match with icy Cokes and a big basket of chips. There are a distinct lack of chips in Munich, and these were heavenly. We had some of Marina's shepherds' pie and found it to be delicious also. We've already made plans to go back there purely for the purposes of eating.

I wasn't expecting to get into the match, and spent a lot of it conferring with Sophie, a French girl, about what the hell was going on. But then, in the last half hour, it got really, really interesting. Suddenly I found myself on the edge of my seat, hands clapped over my mouth unless I was screaming for Brian O'Driscoll (saw him TWICE in Wagamamas - oh yeah!) to do something, and when we won I embraced everybody around me as if we were family. I actually had tears in my eyes, it was unbelievable.

Afterwards, we had a couple of drinks while a covers band played away in the background. They were pretty good in the end, although they did a cover of Vertigo and pronounced the titular word like "wertigo". We were all pretty exhausted by midnight, and thus we headed home fairly early. But it was a really good night, even though watching rugby in a pub isn't something I can say I've participated in on many occasions...

So, it was nice to try two very new nights out and I ended up having a really good time all weekend, even on Sunday when I did nothing but lounge about in my pjs, run, chat to people online, write and eat...

If only it would stop fucking snowing!!

Song of the day: Slipknot - 'Til we die.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Paddy's Day in Muenchen

This is the first day, since I arrived here, that I can honestly say that I feel genuinely homesick. I mean, people were homesick on the first day and I almost scoffed at them for it - how could you be homesick when we're embarking on such a fantastic adventure?! Alas, today I know how they feel. It seems ridiculous that I should feel so down today, because last Paddy's Day I did nothing at all. In fact, as I recall, after the usual family dinner in the best Chinese restaurant Dublin has to offer (Charlie's at 3AM doesn't count - anything tastes good drunk), I went home and had a quiet night in with some chocolate and America's Next Top Model. Pathetic, really, considering this is my country's national holiday. The fact is that, back then, the group of people I was part of considered me a bit of a loose cannon. And we were all paired off, thus there was no point in going out and doing anything as a group. That's kind of makes this year suck so much, I'm finally part of a group, or a few groups, rather, who love having me around, and who I love being around, and who are fun and spontaneous and mad. They're all preparing, as I write, to get hammered and tear it up in proper Paddy's Day style. And what am I doing? Sitting in my flat, writing a blog, preparing a presentation, listening to All Hope Is Gone and feeling very, very down. Bleh. Dylan warned me I'd be letting the side down if I didn't go out and get hammered tonight. Oops.

I suppose it could be worse. In fact, upon waking up this morning, I had the distinct impression that I may be suffering one of my horrible depressive episodes. My head felt heavy and there was a darkness surrounding absolutely EVERYTHING; from clothes, to food, to the bright, sunny weather. I decided, as always, to endure it and just take everything one step at a time. The afternoon was pretty rough. I wasn't bothered getting into the Paddy's Day spirit (it's a bit of a novelty to the other people in our class that we're from Ireland), but at the same time, I was dreading going home and being left alone with my own thoughts. I did my best to pretend to be in high spirits, and I think it worked for the most part. It hasn't been so bad since I got back here. Thankfully, it seems to be abating at the moment, and once I distract myself as much as possible, it hopefully won't get any worse.

I did wear a lot of green today though. I even wore polka-dot neon green bows in my hair! And, of course, the "Ireland Rocks" T-shirt that Hel got for me before I left. I was looking through photos earlier and I found these ancient ones from my first (legal) drunken Paddy's Day, back when Doran's used to be a novelty (now it just sucks). I was 18 years old and completely carefree, which is weird considering I was on the cusp of one of the biggest changes in my life.

I don't know who even painted that shamrock on my face... Sometimes I really miss having colours in my hair, but I don't really think that's me anymore. I'll put streaks in it when it gets a bit longer, anyway, for the laugh. And now I'm writing about my hair - how exciting! This fucking sucks. I knew before I came here that I'd be missing out on loads of fun stuff back home (Frodo's pirate ghost party - sob!!) but this is the first time that I really feel that I'd rather be back there. Sadly, there is nothing I can do about it now. I hope this day ends really, really soon though. I'm quite sick of feeling this way.

It's also strange that today was so shit because I happened to get some lovely photos!

The boppers were presents from Saz's mother, and they were a huge hit in college! I wore too much green, though, so Marina stole mine and paraded around for most of the day with them on. She was quite sad to give them back, actually, but I have them displayed on my desk now so it's not like they're going to waste.

I should really get some writing done now. As in, proper writing, not blogging. I think I'm in the right frame of mine to get lots done. Well, I hope so, anyway, because nothing distracts me like writing. Homesickness sucks.

Song of the day: U2 - Where the streets have no name (made me feel very Irish this morning).

PS Saz didn't get a kiss for being Irish - but Anna (who is, in fact, Polish) did!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Munich is an odd place

Another week is over and done with. It seems quite mad, really. These past seven days went by much faster than the previous week, which is either a good sign that my Erasmus trip is going to fly by, or a bad one that it'll be over before I know it. And I'm having such a good time too! The money issue is still weighing heavily on my mind, though, but I'm trying to push it down with positive thoughts of all the new, fun stuff I get to experience while I'm here.

Okay, this week was great for a number of reasons. I received a huge package from the emo in my tiny letterbox early in the week, stuffed with 18 postes, a Skype microphone (scary technology, that - but great too!) and a love letter of sorts. Well, not really because nothing that comes from the emo is ever really traditional, boring or even plain normal. Anyway, the letter was so heartfelt that I felt tears rolling down my cheeks when I was only a page into reading it! I felt quite emo, even a little over-emotional, but something he said about seeing the good person in me really touched my heart, and the tears just started to flow. The posters were great too, because I finally got to decorate my boring, white walls. Saz was a bit freaked out by them, though, especially one in particular of a Ken doll posing seductively in a pile of brussel sprouts... But whatever, I love them. And they really brighten this place up too! I still feel really spoilt by all of these sweet little things he does for me... Charlotte has her boyfriend driven mad with stories of how many nice things the emo is doing for me, when we're not even properly together.
Poor guy!

The language course is still going well...presentations next week though...bleh!

On Friday we went to Dachau, which was the site of a concentration camp during Hitler's reign. I was really dreading going, because I don't really deal well with stuff like that. I almost fainted about a hundred times during the tour, but it was still really interesting. We barely spoke amongst ourselves for the entire time we were there, which was about three hours, but I suppose it's better to be informed than otherwise. German history is so fascinating, and even when I think I've heard it all, I'm surprised by another side of it.

Dachau was, admittedly, a bit of a downer, but on Saturday me, Saz and Charlotte went shopping in Marienplatz (kind of like Grafton Street and Oxford Street mixed together, and bigger). The weather was sunny, which was a nice change from all of the snow and rain we've had over here so far. I wasn't intending on buying anything, but we found a fairly upmarket hair product shop, and I managed to get bleach cream, powder, a brush and a mixing bowl for twelve Euro, which seems ridiculous compared to how much I pay to have my hair done at home! I was terrified to do it myself (because bleach is notorious for making hair fall out upon contact), and Saz had to help me do the back, but in the end it actually turned out really well (although it is seriously WHITE!!).

We couldn't go out this weekend because we had to get up early this morning to go on an excursion to a castle in the Alps, called Neuschwanstein, where King Ludwig II once lived. It took us two hours to get there and it was fucking freezing. The walk up to it was really nice, the views were amazing, but the only food on offer was traditional Bavarian cuisine which isn't really to my taste... The castle itself was fairly gaudy and tacky on the inside, but I suppose it was still good to see it. And we got some nice photos. We were exhausted though, and only got home around seven this evening. I'm glad that was the last of these trips, I don't have the energy for them anymore!

My hair looks ridiculously white against the snow... Still, at least I didn't fuck it up! I'm learning a lot of new things over here, in fact. I was already quite independent, but there's a proper sense of independence when one is living alone, providing for oneself, etc. It was quite an odd feeling, signing a rent contract and opening a German bank account and stuff. I feel so grown up. I do miss Dublin terribly, though, and all of the people back home. The adventure's only just beginning though!

I should really be working on this presentation...

Song of the day: Slipknot - Psychosocial (got me really, really hyped up for Rock am Ring!!).

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Funf Jungen und ich

As promised, now that I have been here a week and have somewhat settled in, it's time to blog about the madness of my first seven days in Munich. I can't believe I've only been here a week, it seems like much longer. Home seems so far away, like it never even happened... It's a pretty strange feeling, being in a new city, a different country to the people I love. Still, it's pretty fucking awesome too!

Okay, even though it took us one hell of a trip to get here, there is no doubt in my mind, looking around at my room, and my flat in general, that I will make it my home. My bedroom needs photos, posters and Joey touches galore, but I know it'll get there eventually. I got a plaque for my door yesterday that I'm really excited about; it has a picture of this evil cat thing on it with crosses for eyes and it reads "Welcome To Hell". It's really silly, but I love it. I think it fits.

I was terrified when I first arrived here, and a part of me still is. But I know that this experience is going to change my life, and who I am, forever and the best thing I can do is embrace it. My mother got me a card before I left. I only read it on the plane, so as not to embarrass her, but I was sorry I couldn't ask her more about it in the end. It said: "Be true to yourself. You'll know when you get there - trust me on this. Love, Mam". I think I kind of get what she's hinting at, but I'm not sure. I suppose it'll become clearer over time.

So, I'm living in my very own flat now, with five boys from all around the world. We share two bathrooms, two showers and a kitchen. The space itself is quite big and bright, but they're kind of filthy too, which I'm not really used to! The fact that I'm the only girl makes me more comfortable, though, as opposed to filling me with dread. I've always got along better with males, and besides, now the only person hogging the bathroom is me (not really, I'm still not that girly)! They're all really sound though. One of them, his name is Rudi, is absolutely MENTAL. He's into electronic and trance and shit. Last night, he invited us all to a kitchen rave in some lad's flat upstairs in my building. It was incredibly surreal. One of those moments when I find myself looking around and thinking "What the fuck?! This is my life now?!". In a good way, of course.

We went out on Friday night for this Brazilian lad's 21st, to this club in the city centre. A lot of people ended up not getting in, so it turned out just being me, Saz, our new Brit bud Charlotte, a French chick called Sophie (who is tiny and adorable!), our Brazilian friend Marina (who I have a tiny crush on) and the two Irish lads who came with us from college. But it was a fucking fantastic night! The music was ridiculously bad, everything from German hip hop to the Backstreet Boys! We somehow managed to dance the night away till half four (when the U-Bahn, or Underground, starts) even though we were all exhausted.

And there are photos of us tearing it up on some German website somewhere, which is hilarious! It was so bizarre sitting in the Underground station at 5AM waiting for the train. Looking around me, I knew it was going to suck getting the fucking Nitelink again when I eventually have to head home. The transport system over here is just incredible, I dunno how I'm ever going to settle into the shitty Dublin excuse for it again. We live twenty minutes from uni and are quite central, too. Saz is in her element, I don't know how she'll ever sit on a bus for 90 minutes to college again...

We really need to find some metal clubs soon, though, because I don't think I could do pop or electronic every single weekend. We haven't got enough of a chance to explore yet, because the weather has been freezing cold, wet and even snowy at times (although Saz and I trekked out to BK last night for dinner - the weirdest one I have ever been to in my life). The city is pretty fucking cool, though, from what we've seen so far. We don't start college at LMU until April, but we're doing an intensive German language course at the moment and it's really good fun. We have to do lots of roll-playing games ("Not the good kind" I quipped) and shit, and what we're learning has been really helpful so far. The university itself is amazing. It's huge and filled with history (the Weisse Rose resistance group worked out of there). It makes my uni look tiny! We've met so many interesting, awesome people too. It's awesome! And everything is so cheap, especially compared to Dublin. We do a week's grocery shopping for a tenner. I can see myself living off nothing, though, because we still have to pay rent and shit, but even so, this place kicks ass! I can't imagine leaving here and heading back to Dublin. I don't miss it per se. I miss my room and the life I had with all of my friends, but at the same time, this is my new life and I love it. It's nice to be away from the bullshit and so-called "drama" that seems to follow certain people around though. It's a huge relief. I do miss certain people, of course... I don't want to get all mushy or anything, but I miss the emo quite a bit. He sprayed one of my desert scarves with his deo before I left, so everything that was in my suitcase smells like him now, which is awesome because I'm missing having him wrapped around me in bed more than I care to admit. He and Star are the best sex I've ever had, too, which makes it even more difficult to be away from them (although it's slightly easier to be away from her because of how she behaved at my going away party). That sounded awful, I know. And it's only been a week! Still, life is for living as I always say. Anyway, we've only been here a week, and I wish we could go a month into the future when we'll have everything more figured out, but until then I take comfort in the knowledge that Munich kicks major ass and we will have made it ours by the end of this!
Song of the day: Mindless Self Indulgence - Evening Wear.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Auf Wiedersehen, Dublin

So, here I am in Munich, typing the first blog post of my Erasmus trip. I finally have internet after four days, a letter to the Hausmeister and a phone call in broken Deutsch. It feels slightly strange to be here, but in a good way. I really shouldn't be writing this, because I have to head out in a bit to some mad club somewhere and I still haven't showered.. Alas, if I don't get into the habit of writing this now, I'll neglect it and that would just be stupid. Okay, more about Munich later. First off, the going away party to end all!

All right, so Saz and I discussed it and decided to tear up one of our fave bars for the last time as a going away thing, so that everybody we love could be there and, more importantly, get hammered on the cheap. Noodles and I did pre-drinks beforehand as per tradition, and although it was kind of bittersweet, I was really glad of it because the night that followed required me to be very, very drunk. Firstly, I hooked up with two lads to begin with, one of them was Dylan and the other a mate who I occasionally make out with for no apparent reason (lovingly known as Sticky). However, while I was mid-kiss with Dylan, I opened my eyes to meet the emo's gaze, as he was sitting only a few feet away, and all hell broke loose as a result. He flipped and stormed off, leaving poor Noodles to calm him down as always. Of course, Noodles had a few drinks on him by that stage and actually ended up shouting at him for quite a while. Anyway, it seemed to do the trick. He got over it, and the two of them FINALLY ended up bonding!!

I was in a pretty good mood. I had new, blue zebra-print shorts on that I got in Camden, the emo was dealing with me better than ever before, and everybody was kind of getting along. Kind of. And then somebody showed up who, to be honest, I never should've invited in the first place. After the way he treated me at his 21st, I should've sent him a big FUCK YOU message, but I took the high road. Man was I a dumbass. He turned up, swaggered over to me and fed me some bullshit line that I chose to ignore. I responded by telling him Star was upstairs. He told me he was there for me, a blatant lie. I can forgive a lot of things, but not lying. Those who lie have no place in my life. Anyway, this particular guy was quite good to me when I was on a downward spiral at the start of last summer and I foolishly believed there was more to him than what most people see. I was wrong. He's been after Star for a while, as I've previously stated and, of course, he spent the rest of the night humping her on the dancefloor, while she happily reciprocated. Bastards. If he weren't a supposed friend of mine, I wouldn't give a shit. But he is, and she knows that. I'll never forget the feeling in the pit of my stomach on that dancefloor. However, I managed to get even drunker and when the emo whipped out a permanent marker, we all had a fantastic time writing shit all over each other.

So I began to cheer up and not give a shit. After all, Star had threatened me that this would happen if I didn't treat the emo like dirt the way she does. So I thought, fuck it! The music was fantastic, the company was great (minus him, of course) and I FINALLY convinced the DJ to play some Radiohead for me. Luckily, he didn't turn up in the middle of it and ruin it by pretending everything was okay. I probably sound like a jealous bitch. I'm not. She can be with whoever she likes, it just felt like a fucking betrayal on both of their parts. And doing it in front of me just isn't on. Having said all of that, I shouldn't have expected anything less from him. No surprises.

Anyway anyway anyway, we were all drunk off our heads, running around the place drawing on each other, getting fucked up in the beer garden, picking fights with metalheads, etc, etc. It was towards the end of the night, I was on the dancefloor with a few people. One of them, a guy I've known for years, was particularly hammered and kept pushing me. I thought nothing of it. That is, until he grabbed me and started hooking up with me... It was quite random and came out of nowhere, but I wasn't exactly thinking straight at the time, and so, I went for it. Afterwards I was filled with regret, and Noodles was incredibly pissed off at me. It was at this point that we all spilled out into the street and Star informed me that the emo had yelled at her and called her a cunt. "That's because you are behaving like a fucking cunt" I replied simply, moving away from her as I did so. Noodles and the emo were sitting at the bus stop on O'Connell street, waiting for me. Everybody else sat upstairs besides the two of them, me and Scooby. I sat with my head against the window and listened to Radiohead the entire way home. Kind of pathetic, really, but I needed it. In retrospect, it was a fucking awesome night, and I sorted stuff with the bud of mine who pulled me so I needn't have been so worried. The emo and I had breakfast with Noodles the next day and discussed the night in full. I was feeling like shit, but it was a sweet way to say goodbye.

I slept in the emo's arms and the next morning we got stoned, fucked and then headed off to the airport. I had to take stuff out of my suitcase in the airport and put loads of it on because I over-packed just a tad, but anyway, it was all worth it because one hell of a journey later I am HERE sitting in my very own flat (which I share with five messy boys) wondering how much things are going to change in the next five months, and how much I actually want them to... Life is fucking crazy, but I'm away from a lot of that right now, which feels amazing. Lots about Munich in my next blog - time to get ready!

Song of the day: Bullet For My Valentine - All These Things I Hate.