Hallo! It has been two months since I have been off American soil and in the beautiful Bavaria, Germany; I’ve had so much fun, the past two months have just flown by. I have been keeping myself busy adjusting to this new lifestyle and immersing myself in the culture that was once so foreign to me.
I am living in a small village outside of the city of Memmingen where I play hockey. In this village, I am an au pair for a family of 5 (parents Petra and Robert; Nico, 15; Timmy, 3; and Jan, 3 months). Although it has only been two months, I feel that I am a part of this family and I’m growing very close to everyone in it. During the week, I help out Petra with Timmy and Jan. We play with train sets, toy tractors, building blocks and sand castles. Tim is so cute and we are very close now that I have the German vocabulary capacity of a 3 year old. Knowing a little bit of German helps me so much in communicating with him. For the first month, I really struggled because I never knew what he was saying and I never knew what to say to him. When you are in a new country and do not know how to communicate, nonverbal communications (such as hand gestures) are so clutch, but with a 3 year old, this was not enough. Not only do I occupy Tim, I spend time with the happiest baby I’ve ever seen. Nico is 15 and does a lot on his own but we do hang out and talk about school, girls, and drinking. In Germany, the drinking age for beer and wine is 16 and hard alcohol is 18. Kids can pretty much drink if they look like they are a teenager. When my German gets a little better, I will hopefully make it to one of Nico’s high school parties and hang out with my new brother and his friends. He always asks me to “make party” with him on the weekends but I never can due to hockey and traveling. I am so lucky to be living with such a great family. It has made my adjusting to this new country a lot easier.
I guess I am here because of the hockey so I should talk about it, right? So the team I play for is the Memmingen Indians. We are sponsored by Calu, which is a German cosmetics line. Our jerseys are white and magenta! I think they are sweet! Maroon and gold were getting boring (jk miss you Boston College). I am playing in Deutschland with my former Boston College teammate, Jessica Martino. Our teammates refer to us as the “Ami’s”, which is short for the Americans. The girls on are team are awesome. What I have noticed about every team I have ever played on is that all hockey girls are the same no matter what country or what team. They all dedicate their lives to hockey and are in love with the sport. Not only do they love the sport, but all these girls make a family out of the team. Everyone is like a sister. I feel part of a family on this team in Memmingen and the girls make it known that they are happy to have Jessie and me as part of their team.
The hockey league in Germany is very competitive. All of our league games have been close so far. We have only lost one league game, which I am very happy about. The euro style of hockey is pretty physical, which I really enjoy. Most of the girls here grow up playing with the boys so they can give and take hits and are very aggressive. The referees are not as strict as the refs in the states, but I still somehow find my way to the penalty box quite often. At one point in Hockey East, I thought the refs were out to get me but now I realize I think it’s just me, haha! Our team practices two times a week and we usually have two games during the weekend. If we want to get more ice time, we can practice with the other boys teams during the week but after four years of college hockey, skating two times a week is perfect for me. Less is more these days.
So far with traveling and doing touristy things, I have been to Oktoberfest four times, visited Neuschwanstein castle in Füssen, Germany, went to Prague, and this coming up weekend I am going to Finland! All of these places were amazing but Oktoberfest was unreal. Words cannot explain this event. If you are from Boston and are familiar with Marathon Monday, Oktoberfest is a Marathon Monday on steroids. People from all over the world come to Munich and buy the dirndls (authentic Bavarian dress) and lederhosen (the men’s Bavarian outfit) and celebrate Bavaria by drinking mass amounts of beer and eating a ton of food. It was like heaven on earth for me and I got to experience it four times in four different ways. This event should be on everyone’s bucket list!
Anyway, so this has been my life for the past two months. Every day I learn and experience something new and I am looking forward to what is to come next in my Euro adventure.
Danke for reading.