Six Months

It is hard to believe that half a year has passed since I moved to Munich for a new job, a new home, a new everything. During these six months, I continously felt that I did not have enough time to do all the things that I wanted to do. And I think that is a great thing because it means that I had the urge to go out and do not just one but many new things. While my to-do list keeps growing just as in Madrid, it is more diverse than before. In particular, I am very happy that it now allows more giving back to others, which is the shortest path to happiness that I know. I am still far away from there, but at least now there appears to be a way forward :)

Happiness in simplicity

Only Lyon

A twelve-hour ride on a night bus from Munich to Lyon. That sounded like a plan to me. On the bright side, I slept significantly more than I expected on that bus. On the not-so-bright side, the bus stopped what felt like a million times, which means that I also woke up again and again. Mais a la fin, on est arrivé en France! The slogan of the city is "Only Lyon" and indeed, we only saw Lyon ;-) On the way back, I drove all the way to Munich myself by car. This made me feel how far both cities actually are. While we were faster than the bus, it still took the whole day... and a lot of traffic jams, which at night had of course not been there!

The "Musée des Confluences" is at the "confluence" of the Saône and the Rhône

The facade of the museum: each triangle has a slightly different orientation

At the other end of the city, facades are not that modern

Pixel art for non-french speakers ;-)

But not all of the street art in Lyon is pixelized

¡Cuidado con la pelusa!

Pushing the button will be "taken into account", which does not sound very promising

The metro line we took was fully automatic

Rail of one of the funiculars that travels up the mountain on one side of the city

A very popular but rather new church awaits at the top of the mountain

Less is More

The first day, the house was really empty. A wardrobe and a shelf that I had bought from the previous tenant. That's it. But I loved how uncomplicated and simple it felt. A few walls, a few windows, and the bright sunshine filling the room with light. At that time, I was reading "Everything That Remains" by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. It is a wonderful book about minimalism and my house at that point in time was really minimalistic. I decided to do an experiment. Instead of going to IKEA and buying everything that I thought I needed, I would buy it on demand and only after being sure that I needed it.

I do recommend this book :)

The first time I ordered at IKEA, I bought a bed. That seemed quite necessary. But I did not own a table nor chairs until two weeks later, which made me really be aware of the value of having dinner sitting instead of standing. I have done my best at only buying things that I need or that I really enjoy. I never actually went to IKEA since I knew that the moment I entered the store, I would be bombarded with things that I apparently "need" at all cost. I only went once to a physical store to buy a vacuum cleaner and I still regret it. The salesman did not let loose until I did buy the more expensive model that I did not really want.

Minimalism explained

I do not agree with everything in the above book, but most of it makes a lot of sense. As they say, "the problem with homes, however, is that once we establish a long-term dwelling, it's easy to accumulate a bunch of junk we don't need". The problem with that is that "the more you have, the more you stand to lose". Thus it is better to only have the things that actually add value to our lifes. And most importantly, "Love people, use things. The opposite doesn't work."

Am Campeon

The office of my new job in Munich is literally in the middle of a park. The nearest train stop is at the edge of the park, which means that I must walk about seven minutes through the park to reach the station. At first I thought this was a disadvantage, but then I realized that otherwise I would never take such a walk on a daily basis. A lake surrounds the office buildings and the trains float past the wide park greenery as if it were toy trains on a model railway. Ducks and gooses live in and around the lake. One can literally see the little ducks grow as weeks pass by. That park is the best refresher one can have after a full day of productive work.

The lake surrounds all of the twelve buildings that form the campus

The sun sets over the train station at the border of the campus

The many paths that cross the park are great for a short walk after lunch on sunny days

A duck swims in the lake as the sun sets behind the clouds

Housing

Two months sounded like a lot of time to find an apartment. Well, not in Munich, or at least not to a reasonable price. At one point, I even started meeting the same candidates at the different houses I visited, and we wished each other luck. It is no one's fault that the demand exceeds the offer by far. The good news is that in most cases the offer is on average better than in Madrid. The bad news is that it is very hard to get. Fortunately, the search ended well and just in time before the two months of temporary housing are over. It has been a nice place to stay for the start of my new bavarian adventure :) Before I move out, here a few pictures of my nice but unreasonably expensive flat in trendy Haidhausen:

When I arrived, I was surprised that the kitchen had wooden floor! Now it seems normal :)

The living room is the largest space in the house

All of the rooms face south, where a square with trees allows for a green view

But it was not always green: a comparison when I arrived end of March (bottom) vs. now (top)