Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

I've never traveled to another country with friends before. I never got to go on senior trip at the end of high school because I was interning at ESPN in Singapore. So while everyone else was swimming in the sea and riding mopeds in Koh Samui, I chose to put something on my resume. When my friends traveled to Miami for spring break two years ago, I went to Fort Lauderdale. With my dad.

Yes, I have traveled to beautiful places with Nico, but it's not the same.

This past weekend, Ai, Tiff, Nick, and I went to Munich.

Oktoberfest was different from what I expected. I was anticipating beer everywhere, vomit everywhere, drunks everywhere, people groping me from behind, people groping me from in front, people licking my arms, people kidnapping Ai... but the whole event was much tamer than I thought it would be. The beer was delicious (mixed with lemonade), but the festival wasn't just about getting wasted. There were so many theme park rides and food stands; it was more like a carnival. Plus, everyone dressed up lederhosen, and women wore what I thought I saw in Party City as a "beer maid wench outfit." People were in such high spirits, and so was I. I haven't been on a rollercoaster ride in so long, and when we finally mustered up the courage to ride the free-fall (after two beers and a little something extra), I felt butterflies lift my stomach and everything... everything was good again.

We also visited Marienplatz (gorgeous, gorgeous gothic town hall), The English Garden (larger than Central Park), Hofbrauhaus (our own version of the Oktoberfest tents), and the Olympic Stadium (1972).

The weather was beautiful and the air so refreshing, all I wanted to do was stay in Germany. I really didn't want to return to Prague. I began thinking that I would love to take a month (or two, or three) and just travel from country to country and explore and discover and admire and learn.

Nico told me that visiting tourist attractions is not truly experiencing culture. I agree to the extent that seeing what everyone else has and doing what everyone else has done is not truly immersing yourself in that society, but it's the quick way to see something grand of the area. Junior year of high school, I went to Fiji and lived with the villagers of Rukurukulevu Village for a week. I shared their bathroom, their kitchen, their front lawn. I opened myself to them and them to me. I participated in their rituals and kava ceremonies and played with their children. I learned so much more from them than I did in the museum we visited.

So I guess experiencing culture is really doing as the locals do. I guess I sort of did as the Munchens did, by drinking a liter of beer (their necessary food staple, a close tie with bread) and eating meat and potatoes. And when they began singing songs, there was a sense of comraderie that I haven't felt in Prague. They sang the song played in the Rugby 7's (Heyyyy, heyyy baby. I wanna knowwww if you'll be my girl). At a beer garden, one guy told me "I can see your ass." I told him I could see my ass too.

I guess you could say I felt more connected to people in Munich.



  1. eeeep. this sounds like so much fun and I definitely agree about traveling with friends--it is different! and also, Prague looks beautiful :) it's nice to see that you are having so much fun already! It makes me excited to go abroad too. and I LOLed at the guy in the beer garden incident ahahah

  2. I really enjoy reading your blog posts. I find myself sometimes quite envious of you (in a good way I guess hehe) that you are able to experience different parts of the world. I guess I could too, but with pharmacy school, it becomes too difficult to do. I wish my program had a study abroad program....

    Anyways, I'm just venting now, and really just came here to say that I enjoy reading your blog ^_^

  3. By the way, MJ=Michelle Jeong :) hehe


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