By: Christine Zopf
When we arrived back at the hostel for the night, a majority of the group chose to stay in. Half of the GAPP students and I crowded into one room. As is expected of a room of twelve teenagers, we were too loud and told by our teachers to quiet down a bit. Their warning had no impact, and we continued to cause an uproar. Looking back on my time in Munich, this was the best night we spent there. Although we didn’t go out and do anything in the city, we bonded and became better friends through random games and telling stories. Our favorite game to play was called Get Down Mr. President. In this game, one person must start by putting their finger to their ear like a secret service agent. Others follow suit, and when all but one person has done this, the group will tackle the last person to the ground, all while yelling “get down Mr. President!” We chose to play while my brother was in the bathroom, and once he came out he was tackled to the ground by four people. It’s safe to say that upon entering a room, you wanted to have your finger to your ear; you never knew when your friends were plotting against you.
On our final full day in Germany our group split into two groups. One group would be touring Munich on bikes, and the other group would be touring first by tram and then by foot. I toured with the walking group, my ankle had becoming swollen in the past few days and I thought biking would irritate it further. The walking group consisted of myself and four others, including Frau Wenck, one of the German teachers. Our first challenge was finding the tram. Little did we know it was above ground, and we were searching in the underground subway station. Once we finally found it, we got off at the wrong stop and had to ask multiple people for directions to the English Gardens, our destination. The most helpful was a small, elderly woman who not only gave us directions, but took us to the subway we needed to board. By this point it had begun to rain, and none of us had thought to bring an umbrella. The temperature was also chilly in comparison to the last few days of touring. The rain didn’t discourage us, and we trekked through the rain, determined to get to the English Gardens where Frau Wenck had told us of surfers who came to the river, rain or shine. We did eventually find the Gardens, but we didn’t stay long. We had a time restraint and had to find our way back to Marienplatz, our central meeting point. When we asked for directions back to Marienplatz, we were given false directions twice, and walked thirty minutes back towards the square, where we met up with those who had biked, and spent the afternoon shopping.
That evening the GAPP students dressed to impress. We would be having a farewell dinner at Munich’s Ratskeller, or restaurant located in the city hall. The dinner was fantastic, but I still didn’t think that the following day I would be on a plane. Despite my disbelief I still packed my bag that night, finishing long before my roommates, who were up packing until 4 a.m. I had mixed feelings about heading home. During my trip I had reveled in my freedom, it was the first time I had ever been away from home for an extended period of time. But although I was sad to leave, I looked forward to sleeping in my own bed more than anything. As I fell asleep I thought of home.