October, or Oktober in German, was definitely a fun month! Oktoberfest to be exact was one of my fondest experiences this month. We luckily had an off weekend the last weekend that Oktoberfest was going on. It wasn’t the nicest day out so wearing my dirndl got a little chilly but it was so much fun wearing the German attire and just being like one of the locals, until I tried to speak German and it was immediately apparent that I was a foreigner again, haha!
People spend a lot of money renting out tables in these beer gardens for the day and luckily I happened to know another guy playing in Germany who had a few tables that day with some of his teammates that we were able to squeeze into. The whole day people are singing German songs, chanting, dancing, and last but definitely not least- drinking beer!
October is when our season really kicked into gear as well. Playing in Berlin was one of the cooler places to travel to play. Berlin is so big! Our bus took us through basically the whole city just to get us to our hotel for the weekend. Who would have thought that it would take over 30 minutes just to drive from one side of the city to the other!
My parents visited this month as well; they came for 10 days, which meant they got to see 3 of my games, which was awesome. It was cool to show my parents where I live and how they do things here in Germany! I had them try my favorite thing to eat native to Germany, called a döner. We had it planned since the end of summer that when they came to visit we were going to go to Italy for a few days. The morning of our flight out to Rome, I received a text from my team manager asking which airline we were flying on because one of the airlines was on a company wide strike- which meant all flights were cancelled. Naturally, it would be that airline that we were flying, so that was the beginning and end of our trip to Rome! After much deliberation on what our next move would be, we decided to just head up to Munich for 3 days.
The first day we just walked around the downtown area that was loaded with shops, markets, street performers, restaurants, and so on. The city is beautiful and there’s plenty to see and do there. Day two was a definite eye opener and humbling experience. We took the train to Dachau where we toured the Dachau concentration camp for the day. No pictures can compare to witnessing something like that first hand. Very sad to see, but its also very informative and was something that I am glad I got a chance to visit. The last day in Munich we spent touring the Neuschwanstein Castle. This was truly a fairytale experience. It was crazy to try and grasp the fact that everything inside that castle was authentic and built by the King, and lived in by the King. It was a cold day so we had to dress warm, but we never expected it to be snowing on top of the mountain where the castle resided- it was freezing! … literally. That was the conclusion of our trip to Munich, although my parents had spent that Thursday in Salzburg Austria, which they said was beautiful as well!
Another event worth mentioning that happened this month, is that Tracy McCann, the other American import, tore her ACL in our game versus Planegg. This is probably one of the worst things that could happen to an import player while in a foreign country. She found out she needs surgery and will be out for 6 months, which means she will not play for the rest of this season. She has decided to stay in Germany and get her surgery here so that means lots of R&R for her for a while; while I do everything I can to help her out! Our entire team and anyone else we have met has been nothing but helpful to us, offering us help whenever we need it. We were planning on taking a trip to Prague this month, but the ACL tear put quite a damper on those plans since it is not an easy task to crutch around on cobblestone roads all day. Hopefully we can start traveling again soon, just depends on her recovery.
This month we also started our jobs at the Audi headquarters. Our job opportunities were very limited due to not being able to speak German, so we are not doing anything glamorous by any means! It’s ironic to work at a car company yet not have a car while we are here. We have bikes, which I have not depended on a bike as a means of transportation since I was young. That being said, my tally count of amount of times I have fallen off my bike is at 3! Let’s just say consuming German beer and trying to ride a bike is not the easiest task!