This is the EuroArab Team of AEGEE-Alicante who attended the awesome Youth In Action exchange, hosted in Munich last September.
Each of us will tell you the whoooole story of our YiA exchange, as a diary, day by day.
Monday, 2nd September
by Juli Tello
The second day of the EuroArab event started soon, maybe too soon for some of the participants who fell asleep and almost don’t get any breakfast. And what a surprise! After breakfast we already broke a stereotype about Spanish people: we are not always late!! In fact, our team was at the meeting point at 9:25, 5 minutes before the time!! Awesome!!
It was then time to go at the Clubin where Tommy and Charlotte were ready to introduce us to the event; what topics would be discussed during the EuroArab and what the main aims were. The message was clear; we are here to exchange opinions, to share experiences and what it’s most important, we are here to learn, learn and learn!! They also gave us some advices about how we should behave in Munich in order to avoid problems and misunderstandings with Germans. Here there are a few of them for further visits to Germany:
– First of all, we should keep in mind that German people are very polite and friendly, that friendly that even the police officer will smile at you while giving you a fine. Yes!! They won’t doubt to fine you if:
– you cross the street with the red traffic light.
– or you walk on the bicycle path.
– Also it is important to remember that recicling is a big issue in Germany. So don’t throw neither plastic bottles nor glass bottles to the normal garbage. For those who don’t like recicling but love money, let them know that here in Germany you get 25 cents back for each plastic bottle and 8 cents for each glass bottle. (I’m still investigating why glass is much less paid than plastic).
– As I said before, germans are very polite. Nevertheless, don’t get surprised if while staying on the left side of the scalators you find out a German driving nuts behind you and shouting at you because you are on his way. So always stand on the right side!!
Once we already knew how to behave in Munich, we headed to the Mensa Platz (student cantine) where you can enjoy a lunch for just four euros!
The tour showed us that there couldn’t be a better place than Munich to organize an event about multiculturalism. From Christian churches to synagogues and mosques, everything close to each other, demonstrating that sometimes the closer you are from a different culture the more you know about it and the more refpectful you are. So if any one decides to go to Munich don’t be surprised by seeing the main synagogue and the Jewish museum in front of a Christian college, or a mosque 80 metres from a church.
Also, you can visit The Frauenkirche, the only gothic cathedral in Europe that doesn’t have gothic style due to a lack of money during the years it was built.
Most of us we were already knocked after the city tour. Nevertheless we still had a few activities left. The first one was quite useful for those who desire to visit either the October Fest or another beer festival (something that happens twice a year in each Bavarian city). A language course of Bayrisch!!! (Bavarian language). Be ready to repeat a sentence 1000 times before pronounce it properly!! I just can remember the two most important sentences: I hōb an Duaschd (I’m thirsty…so give me a beer) and Hōsd an Freind? (Do you have boyfriend?)… Sorry girls, due to a problem of selective memory I can just remember the basic staff to survive so I deleted from my brain the way to ask if you have girlfriend… Guys!! A good clue to save time when flirting with Bavarian girls! Every girl wearing a Bavarian dress will show a bow on her hips. If the bow is placed on the right means that she has a partner, so don’t waste your time. If it’s on the left and you like how the girl dances, smiles, sings… You better go to sit next to her and start practising your Bayrisch skills!!!
The next activity was useful as well in case of participating in a beer festival. A course of Bavarian dance!! A group of dancers tought us the best movements you can do to be a real Bavarian. Foot to the right, foot to the left, hold the hand of the person standing next to you and smile, never stop smiling, foot to the left, foot to the right…done!! You are a Bavarian!! (Don’t blame me if it doesn’t work, maybe I’m missing 98 steps more). Nothing better to complete the Bavarian night than enjoying a typical dinner from the region: pretzels (a baked bread in a unique knot-like shape), pasta salad and weisswursts (white sausage)!! Ñaaammmm!!!
We finished our day chatting at the hostel with some of the participants while having a Helles (Bavarian beer), a perfect ending before getting the best reward…a bed!!!