The time has come, my dear friends, colleagues, and enemies. We all knew that it would come to this eventually, but who would have thought so soon? This, I regret to inform you, is my last blog post.

After much deliberation, I have come to the decision to write about a recent day trip I had the opportunity to take. After deciding on Friday night that we wanted to go somewhere on Saturday, we chose Nuremberg due to its proximity to Munich and our overlooking of the weather forecast.

Alas, we arrived in the morning and I immediately set the trip off the right way by forgetting my phone on the bus, which was actually a safer place for it than outside, where it was pouring down rain. This was not a problem, however, as any traveler of Bavaria will tell you that Nuremberg is home to many, many wonderful museums. Naturally, we chose the one closest to the bus station.

It was a modern art museum, and much to our delight, we were able to enter for free. It is unclear at this point if our free entry was due to a student discount or due to the quality of the museum. Please enjoy the following photographic memorializations of several of the exhibits:

Outdated appliances represent our aging workforce and the inevitable obsolescence that comes from consumerism
Aristotle discovers that the Earth is round, 330 BC, colorized
Luckily this was a fake person and it didn’t stand up and scare me
Society’s a cage, man

This was a hard museum to follow. But after leaving, we decided to give the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, which was founded in 1852 and is Germany’s largest cultural history museum according to Wikipedia, a try. Naturally, it couldn’t live up to the modern art museum. I didn’t see a single exhibit about outdated appliances.

After that we saw some medieval churches and a castle. Very pretty, slightly dreary. Nuremberg is a little more Winterfell than King’s Landing if you know what I mean. But it’s a great place for war trials. Here are some pictures:

different church




















It was truly a great trip, but perhaps the highlight actually came upon our return home. At this point, we decided to stop by a supermarket in the subway station to purchase a few refreshments. As I was checking out and putting my things in my bag, a bottle broke (for, like, no reason) and cut my finger. I found myself being shouted at in German from all directions: the cashiers, the people in line, perhaps God. As I dripped blood and my bag dripped beer, I realized something. I could understand these native speakers. And they weren’t happy. Truly a great moment for my German language progression. Unfortunately, I couldn’t savor it and instead had to clean up beer and glass as I tried to not become lightheaded from blood loss.

Now the time has come for parting words. If you have read this far, I do hope you have enjoyed keeping up with my blog and with my trip. I thank you for reading and sticking with me through the highs and the lows, the ebbs and the flows, the B2s and the C1s. Nobody means more to me than you, dearest blog enthusiast. You.

Auf Wiedersehen with much love,

James Moremen


To give you, beloved blog reader, a sense of my food-related expectations going in to this trip, I’d like to let you know that I have been eating at North Dining Hall almost every day for the last two years. So, naturally, my expectations in the old Food Department were extremely– if not unreasonably– high. Also, my mom is a chef.

My favorite Bavarian dish is traditionally served in a frothy 1-liter glass and… actually I’ve already discussed this meal in previous blog posts. Why don’t you use this time to read over the dedicated notes that you have been keeping about my blogs to refresh your memory.

Are you back? If so, then I’ll now discuss the side dishes that sometimes come with this meal. First, there is the classic Brezel. Before you whip out your German-English dictionary to figure out that difficult word, I’ll just tell you that it means pretzel in English. Add that to your notes. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Pretzels? We don’t have those in America. Well, first of all, I don’t like your tone. And secondly, while you can certainly purchase a similar pretzel at any ballpark in the United States, the German pretzel is not exactly the same. In fact, they are generally sold and consumed at room-temperature. But they’re still delicious, in part because of what you can dip them in.

Some such pretzels and a white sausage that we received on a wonderful brewery tour

Namely, Obazda. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Obazda? We don’t have that in America. That’s better; I appreciate the non-sarcastic tone because you are correct. As far as I know, Obazda can not be found in the United States, at least not easily. And that is a real shame because this cheese is wonderful. A traditional Bavarian dish, Obazda is made from combining come sort of soft cheese with butter, beer, and spices, and can only be made while wearing lederhosen. Truthfully, the most difficult part of coming home could be the lack of Obazda. My friends and I have settled in to a routine of eating this cheese almost every day with lunch.

My last lunch in Munich, appropriately consisting of a pretzel, obazda cheese, and beer. I care deeply about my health.

Dearest blog reader, I beg of you, please find a place that I can buy Obazda in the US. I am desperate.

With love,


Image result for habib's imbiss münchen
This is our friend Habib from Habib’s Imbiss. He served us Döners and never failed to ask me about Donald Trump. Great man.


The lights go dark. The alarms go off. The security wall lowers around the entryways. We had just entered.

Confused faces look around and the security guards try to deal with the barrage of questions in various languages. Was ist passiert? What’s going on? [However you say that same idea in other languages].

An unwitting museum visitor, seconds before crisis struck

As the brilliant and beautiful Benedikt Graf told the future international travelers at the Notre Dame safety summit, emergencies–while not likely to happen– can occur while traveling abroad.

Luckily for us, this was just a technical problem at the BMW Museum… or possibly the latest corporate guerrilla warfare marketing stunt from competitor Porsche. Either way, after hurriedly becoming acquainted with some of the exhibitions in the museum mid-lockdown before being told to leave, we were able to return the next day and see the rest of the exhibits with the lights on. But which visit is more memorable?

If you know, you know

What this has to do with German, you may be wondering, is that I explained the situation to the front desk lady the next day using only the German language, hand gestures, and onomatopoeia for the alarm sound.

Myself and friends rallying at BMW Welt the next day in a test car that comes with a customer support servant and plays Migos songs

Furthermore, I feel that a major aspect of international travel is learning about oneself. And in those several minutes where we thought anything could be happening, I learned a lot about myself. And even more about my friend who was in line and chose to enter the lockdown area as the walls were descending instead of going outside. Until next time, regular readers (and there is at least one of you s/o @kate_feldman_eh).


I consider myself something of an art connoisseur. In the third grade I sculpted and painted a clay penguin, which was labeled as “satisfactory” by the teacher. I once received an A in a high school art history class. I could offer a convincing, and at least partially accurate, definition of the term “three-point perspective.” I mention these momentous accomplishments not to be braggadocious—though I can see how it would come off that way—but as an introduction to this blog post, which will focus on the art of this city.

In an effort to prove ourselves to be intellectual, several of my friends and I decided this week to go to a museum. And, after my suggestion of the BMW Museum was shot down for lack of intellectual rigor, we decided on the Neue Pinakothek, a renowned art museum here in Munich.

After several rooms of many paintings and even some sculptures, I found myself drawn to one painting in particular.

not that one

The painting of which I am writing was in the penultimate room of this museum. It was a seemingly insignificant painting. Large brush strokes. Simple colors. A commonplace subject.

It was a vase of sunflowers. I couldn’t figure out why I was so drawn to this specific piece of art. And then it hit me: sunflowers are one of my top 5 favorite kinds of flowers! Also the painter sounded kind of familiar. It was a Dutch fellow by the name of Vincent van Gogh. I sure hope he lived a long and happy life surrounded by people who appreciated his talent for painting!

The aforementioned painting of sunflowers

To offer a conclusion, I would like to mention my appreciation for the fact that a city like Munich offers many different kinds of fun and engagement, including but not limited to the following: intellectual, athletic, nightlife-related, and cultural.

In awe of the size of this painting, absolute unit

Finding things to do

Last Friday my friends and I were faced with a dilemma. Dedicated SLA blog readers will remember from my last post that there is currently a worldwide football tournament going on that the residents of Munich—and by association I—have taken great interest in. However, between the group stage and the knockout stage of this tournament there is a one-day break, a sorrowful day on which there are no football matches. This day was last Friday. So, you see, this was the difficult situation we found ourselves in: we had to find something to do in Munich besides watch football.

Naturally it wasn’t easy for a group of 18-24-year-old international visitors to find something to do on a Friday in a major European city, but through luck alone and also the internet we did find something going on on this day: a music festival featuring names such as Earth, Wind, and Fire—a band known for noted dorm party song September—and Alanis Morissette—a singer known for not understanding what irony is.

(Myself and friends outside the festival; by the time of the second picture you can see that many of us are tired of taking pictures.)

This festival also included a large flee market. And I truly believe that the best way to gain an intimate understanding of the intricacies of a culture is to look through people of this culture’s old clothes and speak with the sellers. What I learned is twofold: Germans have some excellent headwear and most vendors prefer to speak English than broken German with foreigners. Nevertheless, after engaging a vendor in a German conversation, I came to the very difficult decision to not buy a hat.

What I instead bought was a train ticket to Salzburg, Austria to visit someone I would normally have to walk all the way down the hallway to see. I am speaking of a friend of mine from Notre Dame, who graciously offered for me to come visit him and stay with his family in Salzburg. Despite an early confidence drainer of speaking with his 13-year-old sister, whose English is already significantly better than my German, I had a wonderful trip. I climbed a mountain, had a 20-minute German conversation about nothing but small talk with a woman my friend knew, and spoke only German with his family at meals (or, more accurately, mostly listened to them speak really fast German at meals).

View from the mountain

A video I took from the peak of the mountain in Salzburg

A personal favorite photo I took atop the mountain. Why is there only one tree in the middle of this field? Austrian tradition? Deranged farmer? Obstacle-ridden football field? Who could know?

In conclusion, this family told me that they noticed an improvement in my German, so if they are to be trusted (and I think they are; they’re a wonderful group of people), then I’m doing something right. If I had to guess the improvement is exclusively the result of hearing the German announcers of football games, but who knows. Until next time, dearest blog reader.

First week

Guten Tag. I am writing this after one full week of staying in München! It has been quite an interesting week, as I have had to adjust to many aspects of German and European life that are very different from what I am used to in the United States. For example, the locals and even many of the tourists greatly enjoy watching a foreign sport known as Fußball, which literally translates to “football.” However, this sport is played with the feet, unlike the football I am used to. I discovered the affinity for this game because there is evidently a tournament going on, wherein countries that participate in this sport compete against each other to be the champion of this “World Cup,” and the locals of this great city enjoy publicly watching the “matches” in Biergartens. Naturally, in order to fully experience the culture of my host city, I have joined the locals in Biergartens for this tradition during Germany’s first two games.

one such public game watch

And this brings me to the next cultural adjustment about which I would like to write. The residents of Munich– more so than the average global citizens– enjoy Beer, which is generally consumed in Biergartens (“beer gardens”) and also on the subway. I have to say, it sure has been nice to be able to drink beer again for the first time since I visited Berlin last summer, since I am not yet 21; I forgot how tasty it can be!


(Myself and a friend getting to know the local cuisine)

The language learning itself has as much of a rollercoaster ride as watching Germany’s team play Fußball. I was originally placed in a B2 class because that is where I ended my program last summer. However, my teacher quickly realized that my wonderful German professors at Notre Dame had prepared me almost too well for the grammar lessons and vocabulary for this class level, and recommended that I move up to C1. It was naturally very sad saying goodbye to my fellow students from the week that I was in that class, but after a heartfelt “Auf Wiedersehen,” I entered into my new class today, Monday. This new class has allowed me to meet many interesting new people that I wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to meet, such as a man from Iran, a woman from Brazil, and two Notre Dame students who live all the way across campus from me.

Overall, it has been a wonderful first week, and I can’t wait to further my experiences with this city and its many Biergartens as well as my language skills, as I continue to try to communicate with the people therein.