Prostess with the mostess- your 2017 Oktoberfest guide

Prostess with the mostess- your 2017 Oktoberfest guide

SEEERRRVVUUUSSSS (expat) M√ľnchners and travelers!

Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 9.37.04 AM.png

Wiesn season is right around the corner and fast approaching. Hopefully you all have your Dirndls and Lederhosen ready to go. If not, and if by chance this is  new experience for you then allow me to make the proper introductions.

 

What is Oktoberfest?

Oktoberfest ( or known to the locals as Wiesn ) is a 16-18 day yearly event in Munich, Germany. It starts mid September and goes until the first week of October. The origin of this beautiful beer festival began in 1810, when Prince Ludwig ( King Ludwig I)  married Princess Therese and they had a nice large party for the locals to celebrate.

What is it like?

There are fourteen different beer tents to attend. Inside they are full of loud, fun madness. Lots of live music, singing along to songs, dancing on tables and great big litre glasses of Wiesn Bier! Outside is spectacular. It is basically a giant carnival ( or fair). WIth rollarcoasters, a ferris wheel, haunted houses and games galour. And the best part, loads and loads of people dressed up in fantastic Trachten.

Location and getting there

Theresienwiese

By Sbahn:
S1 ‚Äď S8 to Hackerbr√ľcke, then about a 10 minute walk

By Ubahn

U3 or U6 to Goetheplatz or Poccistraße
U4 or U5 to Theresienwiese or Schwanthalerhöhe

By Tram

Line 18 or 19 to Holzapfelstraße or Hermann-Lingg-Straße

By Bus

Line 53 to Schwanthalerhöhe
Line 58 to Georg-Hirth-Platz or Goetheplatz
Line 131 or 132 to Hans-Fischer-Straße
Line 134 to Schwanthalerhöhe

 

Oktoberfest 2017 schedule

Saturday, September 16th at 11:00 am ‚Äď Tuesday, October 3rd *

*always remember on weekends to be there around 9 or you wont get in a tent!

Beer Serving Hours
Opening day: 12.00 noon ‚Äď 10.30 pm
Weekdays: 10am ‚Äď 10:30pm
Weekends: 9am ‚Äď 10:30pm

Daily Tent Closing Time: 12:30 am
FYI: The Käfer Tent and the Weinzelt are open until 1am with the last call for alcohol is 12:15am.

 

Food Guide

Common snack saviours to indulge in at Wiesn

Brezeln: Large soft Preztl
Hendl: Roasted chicken
Schweinshaxe: Pork knuckle
Weisswurst: White sausage ( typically eaten before noon)
Käse Spätzle: aka food of the Bavarian gods. Think extra scrumptious mac n cheese

Making a reservation

As fun as Wiesn is, finding seating can sometimes be a buzz kill. If you are looking to go in the weekends or evenings, the best plan is to make sure you have a reserved spot. Most times I only go then if I have a table with friends to sit ith. Otherwise you risk walking around for ages or even not being able to get into a tent. Prices tend to be reletively high, and its always best to book in advance. Often times however you cannot book individual spots but will need to book a full table ( a few hundred euros in the least)

Cost and cash calculation

If you have never been to the oktoberfest, first off let me tell you, it ain’t cheap.

Beer only is served in liter glasses called ma√ü. This year they will be between ‚ā¨ 10,70-‚ā¨ 10,95 (plus tip!) depending on tent . In addition you will get hungry, snacks start at around ‚ā¨ 4 and meals around ‚ā¨ 10. Tents only accept cash, so its best not to enter with less than ‚ā¨ 50 in your pocket.

General  tips

Do’s:

Pace yourself: Honestly. A litre of beer at a time can be fun enough but remember this beer is also typically higher alcohol content so before you get into the peer pressure of cheering and chugging, check yourself before you potentialy wreck yourself ( Wiesn Virgins, heres looking at you)

Hydration: As with the previous message, a Wiesn hangover is quite possible the worst hangover you will experience in your life. So much sodium so little time. However, if you manage to slip out, the next day Paulaner Spezi will be your beverage bff

Always carry cash: As I said before, 50 euro minimum is good to bring in a tent, if you plan to stay all day I would definitly keep a good amount more in your pocket as the atms are scarce and qeues nightmarish.

Dirndl Goals: Ladies, now is your time to shine. The dirndl is quite possibly the most amazing dress a woman can wear. It makes anyone look fabulous. But remember, where you tie the schleife counts. Left means single, right means taken and in the middle means virgin.

Lederhosen guidelines: Keep it simple gents. Lederhosen, a white shirt and haferl shoes. Perhaps a wool jacket or waist coat, but for goodness sake no checkered shirt or Lederhosen made out of jersey or jean. I will find you, and injure you.

Prepare your vocal cords: One of my favourite parts about Oktoberfest is all the intent singing! so if you are not a fan of sing alongs then its best you stick out to the Biergarten or Carnival. As for me, you can catch me inside belting my heart out to country roads and attempting to catch up to some Wiesn Schlager

Put your foot on the table and chug: If you are ready for some action and feeling tough, a foot on the table signifies to the tent you are man enough to down an entire litre of beer in one go. Hit that up if youre feelin lucky kid, and youll be recieved with the largest amount of applause in your life.

Dont’s:

Dont put your foot on the table and chug:…unless you are really really confident. The 5000-8000 spectators can quickly become a nasty crowd if you arent able to rise to the challenge

Don’t steal a ma√ü: Seriously, hands off. I know it seems like such a cool thing to have and #souvenirgoals, but don’t. Just, nope.

Leave the staff alone: One sure fire way to get you kick out of a tent faster than anything is if you mess with one of the waiters/waitresses. So you better be nice ( and dont forget to tip!)

Leave the open toed shoes at home: Save your feet from the floor tradgedy of oktoberfest. Unless you are preferential to some toe stomping and beer soaked shoes.

Ladies, ditch the big purses: There is a high picpocketing rate in those giant crowds. So the less valuables you bring the better. And the added risk of losing  big purse once you set it down are pretty high

Dont accidently leave the tent: on occasion the exit is very close to the bathrooms and you can easily slip out and then not be allowed back in. So be cautious when heading out around on busy days

 

Have any questions or your own tips you would like to add? Comment below! I would love to hear about your experiences.

Stay safe and have a great Wiesn!

 

xxA

Tips for finding a flat in Munich

Tips for finding a flat in Munich

So you have managed to take the leap and move to Munich but now are in search of the second essential piece; a flat! And I’m certain as you have heard-or experienced- it is a double doozy trying to find accomidation in this sweet little city.

However, my dear expats, Aspen is here to help. I shall provide you with some of my best resources and advice to kill the 089 housing game.

  1. Know German ( or someone who does)

When in Germany, speak German! Most ads are in German and most landlords prefer a German speaker. When applying it is far more effiencent to write applications in German-you get much better and more feedback.

2. Types of rent

Unlike in the United States, rent is not such an easy topic to break apart, so here are some key words you should keep in your flat hunting vocabulary:

Kaution: The deposit. Typically in Germany the deposit will go into a special bank account held by your landlord that requires signatures from both parties. Although sometimes it is just transfered over with your first months rent payment, in which case it is always smart to keep bank statements tracking these transactions.

Kaltmiete: Literally ” cold rent”, this describes a contract in which utilities are not included in the rental price.

Warmmeite: The price of rent which includes utilities and Nebenkosten.

( Warmeite does not include internet,  or Rundfunkgeb√ľhr)

Nebenkosten: These are basically building management fees. So anything associated with the building such as trash removal, cleaning services or elevator maitenence can be included in the NK. This will cost will change due to how much heat you use, in addition once a year you should recieve a seperate water bill. You will have to pay for the water bill if youve gone over your allowence, but sometimes if your under you can get a refund.

The Kitchen: This, to me, was always a strange topic. In Germany you can rent flats that don’t have kitchens, i.e bring your own stove. Coming from America where kitchen is not counted as furnishing I have had quite a few disapointing experiences. It is important to read ads well as sometimes there is a kitchen, sometimes not and sometimes you must even pay extra for the kitchen that is already there.

Wohnungsbewerbung: The rental application. Sort of similar to applying to a job, when applying for housing you will need a cover letter, CV and proof of income.

3. Rental Abbreviations to know:

2 Zi. Whg : 2 Zimmer Wohnung :2 room apartment

WG :Wohnung Gemeinschaft : Flatshare

Mobliert : furnished

EBK : Einbaukuche :Kitchen is included (stove, cabinets, fridge, sink)

EBK (Abl VHB____) : Kitchen include, but for a cost (VHB; verhandelbar; negotiable)

Parkett Wood floors

Laminate: Laminated floors

Tiefgarage : Car garage, usually an additional cost associated

2 OG m. Lift : 2nd Obergeschoss: Third floor (English) , with elevator

Spulmaschine : Dishwasher

ca. 100 qm (or m2) : About 100 square meters multiply by 10 to get square feet

Nachmieter: Someone who is looking to leave a lease earlier than scheduled

Untermieter: Sub-letter

ab. 1 Juli: Available 1st of July

ab sof. :sofort frei : Available right away

 

4. Websites to find housing

IMMOBILIENSCOUT24

IMMOWELT

 S√úDDEUTSCH ZEITUNG IMMOBILIENMARKT

WG-GESUCHT,

AIRBNB

Hopefully this can be a helpful start to your search. As always, feel free to contact me if you need some more advice or have some to share.

Best wishes little fishes

xxA

 

How to kill it in the Munich expat game

How to kill it in the Munich expat game

One topic I hear a lot is about Americans not being able to make it abroad. Namely in Munich. Germany in general is a very different cultural climate but Munich is the cream of the crop when it comes to culture shock on us Americans.

We all know how reserved Germans are and how this, in the start, is different for Americans. However, In Munich it is much starker. It is a very conservative city and the people are a bit more closed off then in some of the other major German cities, but honestly I feel these are just excuses. Sure there are cultural differences everywhere, you wanted to be abroad and now you are, so this brings me to my first point:

Get a thicker skin

tumblr_inline_mgdubqk0NT1rt2432.gif

From my expat friends the thing I hear the most is the endless complaining about how cold Germans are. Well, tough deal babycakes. Maybe don’t be so sensitive. You are an expat for a reason, mainly being you wanted to live abroad. And with that comes cultural differences you must a just to in order to thrive ( if this is what you want). My first and biggest tip would have to be simply avoid sweating the small stuff. Don’t try to stay in your comfort zone. Embrace the difference, not be offended by it.

 

Find your social circle

boys_dancing_-_giphy.gif

We as humans are very social creatures, not having a circle of like-minded individuals to share with can be rather devastating. A lot of my expat/ attempted expat friends have said this fact was the make or break to the whole game. Which I toootallly agree. My first year here I was rather miserable. I chose to hit the books and work constantly, so next to being the odd American out I was also  flooded with feelings of loneliness. Which did not help my adjustment one bit. It really made me doubt my ability to strive and thrive. I know people who had similar situations and eventually went home, blaming it on the city and saying they just weren’t allowed to make it. Honestly though, you need to try to work on finding your peeps first thing. It makes alllllll the difference on your progress. There are so many resources for meeting people. Meetups, expat groups, expat-german groups, sports groups, language exchanges..it’s endless. You just need to go out and search.

 

Find your purpose

tumblr_nfu03jKrTn1r7xloyo2_1280.gif

toughened up, Check‚úď

Friend circle, Check‚úď

Whats next? Finding something you enjoy. I’m not talking like go grab some hobby, jog or knit a scarf. Find something that gives you a reason to wake up in the morning. Most of us expats are here to study or work ( or if you are a spouse, same samesies) but that is not enough to be a happy camper. We have so much work here adjusting, learning the language, adapting cultural practices,  sometimes we face the fact we’ve lost ourselves a bit by trying to be an other person in this new life. Essentially you need something to combat all the work, and balance it out. For me, I found running. It’s great because it allows me to have a routine by myself but there are also many group in Munich where I can combine multiple things I enjoy; running and speaking German. So get on out, take a cooking course, get your sporty spice on, travel,  volunteer a bit. Just focus on finding something for you.

 

Find out how to do stuff

200.gif

Last but not least, let me remind you to get down to business. There is nothing more alienating than not know how to do basic life tasks in your new home; setting up a bank account, finding a language school, knowing what store to go to, filing taxes etc etc.. It drove me bananas. At first arrival I felt so limited and lost. You cant expect to branch out and hit your full potential, you’ve gotta go forth and find those resources,  be independent and learn how to get things done. Youre self-esteem will shoot up and everything else will be a breeze. I mean, honestly, yea it’s a bit intimidating at first, but three years in now everything is eassyyy peassyyyy.

I’d recommend googling some blogs, or checking out these sites for some help on day-to-day Munich questions:

Toytown

Expat in the City

Internations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best online resources for new expats in Munich

Best online resources for new expats in Munich

Moving abroad it a task, boy oh boy do I know. Once you have made the leap there are still so many questions that need answering.

  • Where to find a flat?
  • What language schools are best?
  • What areas of the city have the most night life?
  • How much do Germans ( if they do) tip?
  • Why are Germans so into recycling everything?
  • How and with whom to make friends?

etc.. etc..

Lucky for us we live in a time when all the answers we need are just a hop, skip and a google away. The question then however is, what are the best resources? Here are my top 5 picks for Munich’s online solutions.

InterNations

InterNations is an excellent place to connect with others abroad. It is a social media site created epecially for expats. They organize events and meetups, have resources for jobs, and have groups for nearly everything.

All you need to do is sign up for basic membership( free!) state your country of origin and choose the location for the community you would like to join.

Blogs

Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Congrats youve already found one. I find expat blogs perfect because there exists so many of them. They dont just answer basic questions but provide many different solutions to everyday problems people face living in a foriegn country, combined with great ( or not so great) opinions about it. I think its always refreshing to hear another persons point of view on the matter. Sometimes I dont agree but sometimes Im just like yas, spot on, you got it girl.

Toytown

Toytown is a good online resource for the local english speakers community. It has many different discussion boards and forums for information on everything from childcare to questions on where to find the best hairstylist. However, I must add FYI,  for some topics it can be a bit outdated and the posts quite old.

 Facebook groups

ahhhh yes good ole Facebook. Last but not least we have the king of social networks. For me this has been a great resources for finding groups and information. There are many groups such as: sale , housing,Stammtisch, aupair etc… one in particular you may find helpful is the Munich International Friends group.

Wish you were bier

Wish you were bier

As the early summer sun shines on Munich, the locals flock out to enjoy it after a long hard winter-before the typical long hard summer.Engaging in the favourite bavarian past time of sitting around with friends drinking copious amounts of beer.And what better place to do so then in one of Munich’s many and a plenty biergartens.

So be prepared to pack up and go get your prost on, here are eight of the great.

Seehaus Im Englischer Garten

Screen Shot 2017-06-07 at 7.04.00 PM.png

As it is one of the most well known and beloved destinations, we’ll begin our biergarten tour with the Seehaus. Literally named lake house, this charming pavillion sits cozily aside the Kleinhesseloher lake in the middle northern tip of the Englischer Garten. Open for breakfast through dinner, this resteraunt/ garten is prepared to offer you options for all your dinning and day drinking needs.

Adress| Kleinhesselohe 3, 80802 M√ľnchen

Chinesischer Turm

Screen Shot 2017-06-07 at 7.05.38 PM.png

Direct in the middle of Englisher Garten sits one of the biggest biergartens in Munich; Chinesischer Turm. Apply named for its large chinese tower, this biergarten has over 7000 seats and regularly delights its geusts with day long brass band performances from within the tower. Easily accessable by bike or foot, this touristy hub of a biergarten is good for those looking to get social and enjoy a long day filled with oompah music.

Adress | Englischer Garten 3, 80538 M√ľnchen

 

Aumeister im Englischen Garten

Screen Shot 2017-06-07 at 7.09.25 PM.png

 

The final noteworthy Englischer garten beer spot is the Aumeister. This little biergarten is located up in the norther edge of the Englischer garten and often refered to as a bit more of a local spot than the others. A good place to hide away from the summer crowds and heat, the Aumeister terrace has an excellent selection of tradition Bavarian food and beers.

Adress |Sondermeierstra√üe 1, 80939 M√ľnchen

 

Waldwirtschaft

Screen Shot 2017-06-07 at 7.12.53 PM.png

Down near Großhesselohe, the Waldwirtschaft garten is looking to offer you a modern mix on the timeless tradition. As you relax on your spacious outdoor seating, under the bathing shade of chesnut trees you can enjoy your beer and obazda whilst being treated to some live jazz music ( particularly nice on weekends when the bands play all afternoon). In addition to the outdoor patio, WaWi offers four different indoor resteraunts.

Adress:| Georg-Kalb-Stra√üe 3, 82049 M√ľnchen

 

Gutshof Menterschwaige

Screen Shot 2017-06-07 at 7.15.58 PM.png

Over on the edge of Munich, headed towards Gr√ľnwald youll find this nestled away biergarten. Just above the banks of the Isar river, Mentnerschwaige is the perfect place to spend your day. Previously voted most beautiful biergarten in Munich, it offers over 2.500 seats, so if your interested in a visit its best to get there earlier in the day. However, theres always the indoor option if you need to beat some of the crowd.

Adress | Menterschwaigstra√üe 4, 81545 M√ľnchen

Augustiner Keller

Screen Shot 2017-06-07 at 7.19.40 PM.png

If your looking for an authentic biergarten experience, I’d recomend you head down to Auugstiner Keller. As one of the oldest biergartens in Munich, it is garenteed to give you an authentic Bavarian experience. Not only does it have a great outdoor area, but a large indoor beer hall as well.

Adress | Arnulfstra√üe 52, 80335 M√ľnchen

Löwenbräukeller

Screen Shot 2017-06-07 at 7.22.17 PM.png

Right in the middle of Munich Löwenbräukeller offers a good summer escape. This traditional biergarten is the perfect place to get posted with a picnic and enjoy a nice pint or beer or a refreshing Radler ( beer mixed with lemon soda). However, if picnicing isnt your thing, they do offer a lot of delicious alternatives.Such as Flammkuchen ( a pizza esk treat) or a standard hendl ( roast chicken).

Adress | Nymphenburger Str. 2, 80335 M√ľnchen

Hirschgarten

Screen Shot 2017-06-07 at 7.25.33 PM.png

Looking to enjoy a beer and a deer? Hirschgarten has you covered. This greenery and scenery is the perfect mixture of relaxation and entertainment. This wildlife reserve also happens to be an excellent option for families. Bring your kids, let then run around while you enjoy a cold one. Pretty ideal oder?

Adress | Gy√ülingstra√üe 15, 80805 M√ľnchen