WITWIE: Vagabond in Munich (Day 1)

Note: I go to Germany a lot, though far less frequently than I'd like, but I'll often be sharing the certainly uninteresting, but amusing to me, stories of my trips to my home country (and probably everywhere else I go; I'm a compulsive writer, after all).

Without further ado: welcome to Where in the World is Ella?


Arriving in Munich at 8:30am sounds like a lovely idea because you have the entire day to immediately begin your adventure and can run around for a full 12 hours, at least. Unfortunately, if you're like me and do not sleep well on planes for whatever reason, even if you're on an international flight, you're likely going to already have been up for 20+ hours when you step foot out of the terminal.

Fortunately, traversing the Munich airport while sleep deprived isn't too difficult when you have aunts that know Terminal 2 has the Starbucks in it. And a Ricschart if I'm not mistaken, which is where I always get a butter brezn to celebrate being on the ground in my favorite city in the world. 

Aside: in Munich, you're probably going to hear people call pretzels "brezen" (spelled brezn, brez'n, or brezen) instead of the Hochdeutsch "Brezel".
Just a heads up. 

Day one in Munich is also a camera-less and phone-less day, owed partially to the fact that I hardly have the presence of mind to compose a photo after being awake so long, but also because it is nice to simply exist in the presence of family for a while. 

After a small detour to the restroom to freshen up and throw on a bit of mascara, we sat outside of the McDonalds—which, I have to say, had a really nice seating area—and talked, though I spent most of the conversation focused on the butter brezn in my hand. 

In order to ensure I was not stuck in a perpetual jet-lag cycle—consistently six hours off from the time zone I was in—it was necessary to stay awake until at least 7pm, but that obviously meant there were 10 hours left before I could rest. You do the math.

I’ll be the first to admit I am terrible company once I have gone over the 24-hours-of-being-awake threshold, but that is what family is for right? Dealing with you when you’re staring deeply into the soul of a pretzel instead of engaging in conversation. (This is why I could never pull all-nighters in college.) This pretzel soul gazing would continue for the duration of the day.

Naturally, I’d regret the soul gazing at some point and that moment came when we arrived at one of my Tante Karin’s haunts: Joon.

Joon is amazing. Granted, I did not order anything because I had been noshing on food continuously since that (or technically, the previous) morning and could hardly stomach the Spezi I was drinking, but don’t feel too bad for me; we went back.

After staring directly at the carbonation in my drink until my vision was blurry, it was time to visit my Oma. Someone can fight me on this, but my Oma is the best and sassiest human on the planet. She's the best. The. Best. 

While lounging on a couch being poked continuously by my aunt so as to entreat me to remain awake, I think I actually lost my mind. Snapchat filters are generally an entertaining pastime, but faceswap quite literally made me cry from delirium-induced laughter and I think that is the moment I knew it was time for some well needed Kopf-auf-Kissen action. Lo and behold: I didn’t get it.

Another detour.

These are planned detours, mind you—built in to keep me from falling asleep—but I was tired and am reliving my frustration just thinking about it. I love sleep, what can I say?

We left my Oma after only an hour and a half which was still enough time for her to send each of us away with an armful of food and sweets we absolutely did not need, but would be deranged to refuse. I am personally thrilled with the bag of mini hanuta and keep two or three in my purse because why not. They definitely came in handy as I was dozing off in the car on the way to drop off luggage and meet the AirBnb hosts with whom I was staying. Nina and Oliver are the absolute best, in case you were wondering, and they happen to live two buildings down from my aunt and two minutes walking from the Sbahn. If you need a place to stay, let me know. I'll refer you.

Anyway, long story short: we dropped off luggage, saw the bed, and still didn’t get to go to sleep. It was only 6pm, after all. So a short trip to my aunt’s, some tea, and more of me staring blankly into the distance eventually got us to about 6:45 before it was impossible to stay awake.

And then.



11 hours of it, to be exact.

The moral of the story is to have family who tickles you and employs snapchat filter distraction tactics when you need to stay awake. Or drink coffee. 

Lots and lots of coffee.

Cheers to sleep!



See you all in the next installment of WITWIE.

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Lashelle Johnson

Lashelle (a.k.a. Ella) is a Munich-born writer, creator, and all around world-saver.

She holds a Master of Public Administration and a Bachelor of English from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her research interests lie in the intersection of predictive analytics and social policy, ranging from using machine learning to predict negative externalities to crafting evaluative techniques for foreign social policy. Her creative interests revolve around utilizing words to create universes, evoke emotion, and promote action. She writes and curates non-fiction content for QuailBellMagazine.com, has two novels in the works, all while working as a research associate at a University. You could say she's a Jill of all trades.