November 29, 2010

Why I love Snowy Days in Munich

Walking back home from work tonight, I reflected on the snowy powder coating the ground and realized that I enjoy snowy days in Munich so much more than I did in the U.S. Here's why:

  • I'm not driving in it. It's much harder to die while walking in the snow than driving in the snow. I know that sounds melodramatic, but the crazy, horrible drivers in the US really come out on those days. I remember many a snowy day in Denver when I would have to drive to work and would dread it terribly because the roads were not plowed and the drivers could not control their cars well enough. I would grip the steering wheel the whole way to work. And it's not like it would be the normal 20-30 minute drive either - it took extra long because of the snow, too! Here I just have to go 7 minutes to my metro station and then I'm pretty much covered until I get to work. Focusing on my feet instead of the car in front of me is much easier.
  • Munich is gorgeous when covered with a layer of glistening snow. Everything seems to shine and twinkle so brightly with the snow. All the houses in our neighborhood look like a classic European town. Granted Munich doesn't have the old-time flare that other cities in Bavaria do (like Garmisch, Regensburg or Nuremberg to name a few), but it does have an understated European vibe regardless. The Christkindlmarkts get that added touch of nostalgic beauty to them when it snows. Everything just feels like how December always should be - warm fireplaces, chestnuts roasting, snowy winter wonderland all around. I'm just waiting for some reindeer to show up here somewhere.
Not quite a reindeer in Schliersee, but close!

  • People seem happier. Bavarians are an active bunch so I think when they see snow in their town, they picture themselves cross-country skiing in the city parks, trudging through the snow in their decked out winter boots, and warming up with hot drinks under the stars at the Christkindlmarkts. And it helps to have a variation to the gray skies, too.
  • It softens noise. Not that Munich is a particularly noisy place, but everything gets a blanket of quiet, especially at night, when it snows. The peace pervades everywhere.
  • We don't have shovel it. We had some back-breaking work in Denver whenever it snowed, but here our hausmeister (building caretaker) is supposed to do it. Apparently, it should be shoveled (sidewalk to the building entrance and sidewalk around the building) by 7 in the morning after it snows. Not that that happened this weekend or this morning, but since I'm not on crutches or using a cane, I could care less when he shovels it. As long as I can still get out my front door, I'm cool.
I, for one, hope the snow continues all winter long, but I guess the suckers people who have to drive or shovel probably would appreciate a few breaks in the weather. Happy snowy day to all!

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