A New City, A New Year

Even temporary homes are homes.  We lived only three months in Cologne, but we all feel a little more like Rhinelanders after that time.  Our land-lady even bought us a crystal cathedral that lights up, all giving us a sense that we will be missed.  But at 9:55 on New Year’s Eve all was to change.  Our plans were made: pack, find our place in the Kinderabteilung (Children’s compartment), and head to Munich.

Four hours later we arrived in Munich, and loaded a taxi.  Our new home was waiting, and, now, the glass cathedral has a new place to glow and spin.

This move was much easier than the last, from Berlin to Cologne.  We planned better, and knew what to expect.  We also off-loaded some things we thought we would need, but have not used.  Moving on Silvester (New Year’s Eve) made things painless as well–the train was mostly empty.

No better way to ring in a new year than to play with fire..on balconies.

We had to rush to the grocery store immediately.  On Silvester every store closed at 4p, and of course nothing would be open on New Year’s Day.  We found a local market 5 minutes away, and had 15 minutes to find meals, and essentials.

By then the fireworks had started, in what would be a 9 hour onslaught of bottle rockets and every other pyrotechnic imaginable.  Our neighborhood is a mixture of low-middle income families (mostly Eastern European and Turkish immigrants) and middle-income Germans, and those economic disparities seemed to matter little through the cacophony of gunpowder-driven joy.

New beginnings are different things to different people.  Some choose to celebrate by drinking, others by lighting the sky with rockets.  I prefer to take everything in…enjoy the moment of transition.

Bavaria is a proud state, and sits sometimes in its own cultural and economic vacuum.  This is why I wanted to come to Munich–to learn how the “other Germans” live. If after three months I am proud to have a crystal cathedral to remind me of Cologne.  We will see what ends up  on the mantle after 5 months here.


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