Young, Broke and Abroad: Fasching In Germany

Fasching, known to Americans as “Fat Tuesday” is celebrated a bit differently in Germany. When I was traveling through Germany in February and March I kept noticing Halloween stores open. I didn’t think much of it.

Drinks at Fasching

I saw big posters in train station, on the subway and in coffee shops for a Tuesday event. On the posters there were “costume contests” with great prizes everywhere.  Again, I did not think much of it.

Before I left to Germany I was hooked up with a friend, of a friend’s phone number – in case something happened to me – because I was traveling alone. I called these new friends and they came and met me out in Munich for Fasching. This celebration was unlike anything i’d ever seen.

Fasching in Germany

Fasching was half Halloween and half Oktoberfest! Everyone was dressed up in costumes, drinking at bars in the middle of the street like Kiosks. They were trailers people dropped off – serving hot drinks of rum and god knows what else. Live music was around ever corner and in the middle of the day it was so packed, that people were touching me on all sides. I have never been in a group that size – ever!

We celebrated like locals, trying hot drink concoctions I couldn’t even pronounce, enjoyed music in the freezing cold Germany winter – with snow all around us. I learned about my new friends, the woman (was from America) was on Holiday in the Dominican Republic, when she met a Scottish man and fell in love. They are now married living in Ulm, Germany. The interesting part is that she used the money she was saving for a wedding to go on that trip – she thought she should enjoy it – and ended up meeting her husband.

Young, Broke and Aboard: Texas Hold’em in Munich, Germany

Young, Broke and AbroadMunich, Germany – Sometimes after a few to many days in Germany, among all the German sites, German people and the German language you need an English break. Germany is glorious, amazing and strapping, but after weeks and weeks, English can be a sound for sore ears. The great thing about going to English pubs in countries other than the England  is the ease in which friendships are created. You enter into a very friendly environment where you quickly make friends in minutes instead of hours. I think the struggle of traveling or living in a country with another language, bonds people of the same tongue together almost instantly. If you are lucky enough, you can be entertained by stories of immigration, work visas, thoughts of the culture they now live in, their own, and the endless banter of United States popular culture and politics.

After meeting an Israeli woman, who speaks five languages, and Scottish man, who could barely speak English *wink* I knew this pub -in the middle of the trendy schwabing district of Munich- was going to be fruitful.  Here I got introduced to an English speaking network. In the course of the night, my Texas Hold’em addiction popped its head out and was met with the best news possible. I hadn’t played since I landed in Europe and this network organized small Texas Hold’em games! I met the right people who introduced me to the next game’s host over email and after they “vouched” for me – I was in.

Munich, Germany

Munich, Germany

After a journey on the subway and connecting tram ride (deep into a neighborhood I knew nothing about) I took a nerve racking walking in the dark, all alone. I arrived at an English businessman’s flat: whom I never met. It was a great night of conversation with interesting 20-something people from all over the world (England, Australia, Germany, Texas,  etc) that all now live in Munich. I went all-in with pocket Jack’s off a weak flop, in which I had top pair, but ended up loosing on the river card to two-pair. You win some, you loose some – it was the best money I spent in a month long trip to Germany.

“Never hold to an agenda and abandon adventure.”