A winter in Munich and learning how to be Bavarian

Roaming Newton: Chapter 13

Heading back to Munich I found, that slowly the summery senses that once engulfed the city was now falling away. The light became a little less apparent as the sun set a lot sooner and even before the winter snow began to fall, I found myself clinging onto my warm coat a little tighter than before.

I wanted to prepare for a winter that I had never seen before. I wanted thick snow, fast skiing and the warm taste of Glühwein. However how was I going to make this happen, I am a South African after all and snow, skiing and Glühwein are not things that have been hardwired into me. The answer, came via a slightly awkward stumbled upon conversation on a train about cricket in Germany (yes German Cricket) with a Shoemaker (yes a cobbler) who quite boldly stated that in order to be equipped for a German Winter one needs to be as Bavarian as one can. Hmmm, Bavarian… it wasn’t going to be easy but it wasn’t going to be boring either! So there I was learning the ways of the Bavarian like Luke did with Yoda!

Lessons in being Bavarian…how to cope with a German Winter!
Learn how to drink Glühwein http://www.gluhwein.net and then progress to feuerzangenbowle - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feuerzangenbowle 

Underwear because Long Johns didn’t hurt anyone’s pride. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_underwear 

Man up and learn how to deal with extreme heat and cold in the same place, check out the Monte Mare in Tegernsee. http://www.monte-mare.de/de/tegernsee.htm 

Learn Bavarian greetings and don’t be afraid to use them. Check out the Oktoberfest website’s dictionary: http://www.oktoberfest.de/en/lexikon 

Eat Bavarian food, because heavy food and beer, creates a natural covering on the human body that counters the cold.

Learn to sled: careful sometimes you can be fooled by ice, its quicker and nastier than snow.

Learn to ski: first cross country skiing and then alpine skiing.
Watch Willy Bogner’s Fire and Ice, yes because the 80’s where just that cool.

Buy Bogner’s clothing range because anyone who can put together a movie like Fire and Ice can sure put together some decent looking threads. http://www.bogner.com 

Good winter/snow shoes, because footwear stops you from falling on your bum when walking on ice and keeps your feet warm.
The Munich Ice hockey Team: it’s more like Top Gun on Ice and just super awesome! Check out Eishockeyclub München, http://www.ehc-muenchen.de 

Sure, I wasn’t the best Bavarian imitation but I did a good job in keeping up with the Munich crowd. I got strong enough to handle a minus 17 winter with a chill factor breeze that could cut you like a hot knife through butter. I fell off my sled and survived my many tumbles whilst learning how to ski. Now as winter sets in at full blast and I attempt to badly converse in Bavarian, I realize that being Bavarian is a lot more than wearing a solid pair of long johns and managing a Glühwein hangover. It’s about learning that with every Munich winter an adventure lies in wait and for every summer an Oktoberfest is just a hop skip and a jump away.