I went downtown this afternoon and evening, to find the English bookstores, which I did:
(Not bad, but not great. Which is good. It’ll help me save money.)
But way before that, as soon as I got onto the S-Bahn platform in Allach, I started seeing lederhosen and dirndls. EVERYWHERE. Four out of five people were wearing at least some article of Bavarian costume…
People of all ages were dressed up… N. told me that until about ten years ago, wearing the traditional costume was something only older people (or little kids) would usually do. But since then it’s gained popularity, and during Oktoberfest even all the tourists and college kids coming to Munich “Spring Break”-style buy their own costumes. I can’t understand how they do it, since these things are expensive.
And once I got further into the city, it was packed! I’m glad I got here two weeks ago, so that I can appreciate how crazy this is.
And this is Munich, so there’s often a religious sister or two walking through the crowds.
After I went to the bookstore I went down to the Marienplatz, which was bustling and joyful and full of people.
I walked into a store selling lederhosen and everything, and browsed through the hats, thinking maybe I’d get one for Jeffrey. Except they all cost €90 AND UP.
This is my favorite jewelry chain I’ve seen all over downtown Munich. Christ jewelry! Come and get it.
Then I went to Mass at St Michael. It was fun seeing all the other international worshippers here. They do like me, and follow along by ear and memory.
When I left, it was darker, and raindrops were starting to sprinkle… So it was back to the S-Bahn.
I like this kind best – they are actually called bundhosen.
I couldn’t get a better picture of my favorite piece of Bavarian clothing, which fewer men wear – the outer jacket. It’s a lot like a regular sport jacket, but it’s wool (or something) and doesn’t have lapels.
Also, on the S-Bahn this afternoon I started talking to a group of Americans here with a one-year research program centered (I think?) in Magdeburg (but then they would split up to do their projects in different locations). It sounded awesome and they were all extremely nice. I hope I keep meeting more Americans! I want to make friends with Germans, too, but it’s hard to find situations where it’s natural to strike up conversations. When you’re trading travel stories it’s a little easier.
Oh, and one of the guys was from the Seattle area and when I told him that I was from Bellingham he positively gushed about it. “What I love about Bellingham is that you can walk down the street and there will be a nice family with little kids– and they’re walking their pet goat on a leash.” EXACTLY. One of the girls was from St Louis — in fact that’s how our conversation started, because I was wearing a SLU t-shirt. Don’t worry, St Louisans, I asked her what high school she went to. Another of the guys studied medieval history at his school in Iowa and was doing his research project on a medieval convent up by somewhere-I-forget. Super jealous.
Anyway, I better get some rest for tomorrow…