I'm currently sitting in a hostel quite aways away from our own, due to the internet not working where we're staying. Needless to say, I hope they don't kick me out once they found out I'm not staying here. We've had quite the long day so everyone is back sleeping, no doubt having sweet dreams about everything we've seen and experienced today! Janet has done an amazing job with this trip. It's only the end of the first day and my mind is bustling with everything we've done.
One of the highlights from today was meeting Janet's dear friend, Hans. He's a philosophy professor at JYM (Junior Year in Munich) here at the Ludwig Maximilian Universität. (Where I'll be conveniently studying next year!). He showed us around multiple places in München and explained the history, including the old Nazi chancellory and the Glyptotek. I found it astounding that people could just walk into most buildings filled to the brim with art and fossils, all for free! In some places, one could even touch some of the displays. I also learned that most of the "greek" statues people see are replicas of the original, true greek ones. Whether they were replicated by Romans a long time ago, or current artists. In addition, a lot of them were extremely colorful and vibrant. Which is a stark difference from how we view traditional greek statues today.
Earlier in the day we had a painting lesson in the botanical garden with Natalia* (spell check). She was a wonderful teacher and I learned a lot from her in our short time. Even though it was raining, we went inside the enormous greenhouse and painted with water colors. There were so many flowers and a plethora of turtles (Schildkröten), see pictures below! We each picked a plant that interested us and simply painted! I lost track of time because I was so relaxed and involved with my painting, that I didn't get to quite finish but it was a blast. I'll definitely continue painting because it's so cathartic, even if I, "paint like a typical man with strong lines and colors," as Natalia said.
We ended the day with seeing Maria Stuart at the Kammerspiele. The set was quite bare, with only textured walls, a changing ceiling, and a few candles, but that didn't stop the actors from doing there thing. It was extremely difficult for me to understand the german because it was delivered like one would deliver a play in Old English. It just so happens I haven't learned old german, so it was quite hard. However, from just watching the actors and catching phrases here and there, I was awed by the talent the actors possessed. My favorite actress was the woman who played Queen Elizabeth. The emotion and life she brought to everything she said and did was subtle, but made her character very complex. I may, or may not, have fallen asleep for a few minutes shortly after the intermission, but I thoroughly enjoyed the show and can't wait to see the upcoming ones.
Food update: I've been eating breakfast everyday and I couldn't be happier about it. I think I shock fellow diners in the morning, because they seemed surprised I can pack down my Frühstück. But after all, it is the best Stück of the day! I will say though, that regardless of how much I eat, I'm always hungry here. I have no idea why, because I walk nearly as much at home. My stomach has turned into a blackhole. Hopefully it will stop before my wallet runs dry, but I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoying eating all the food here whenever I have the chance.
Also, random fact: There is a Michael Jackson memorial on one of the statues here in München that has been there since his death. (See picture below).
Thanks Janet, the International Institute, the Brown Fund through the RC, and everyone who's helped make this trip possible! Bis morgen!