The Good Life – more early impressions on Munich

More early impressions of life and love in Munich

Munich is a place its impossible to imagine anybody being miserable in. Grumpy yes. You wouldn’t be in Germany if you didn’t have to contend with hard starring, grumbling malcontents, but real misery is an impossibility in this town. Life is just too sweet. The town exudes wealth, contentedness and health. Parks and forests are everywhere, Alpine air and soft water, crime statistics have to count littering just to make up the numbers and the weather system, while changeable, is generally benevolent. Crucially it never gets windy. This allows people to be outside a lot of the time. Even in winter, when it can easily hit -10 or more people stand outside cafes or sit in beer gardens and sun themselves. Any cold there is, comes at you feet-first through the frozen ground.

Its an amazing town for children and families, its an amazing town for adults and couples too. The good life is going on here and it’s had to imagine anyone falling out or breaking up. The misery just never sets in. It would be like Adam and Eve breaking up pre-apple snack. People don’t yearn for other things in Munich, they don’t pine after some unknown adventure. There is nowhere in the world where the grass is greener. Routine is a pleasure in such a land and whether in their modernist flat with the south facing balcony, lounging by their local lake with all their clothes off or looking gently across bear gardens at you as they conduct a practical conversation, planning their next task or mildly disputing whether the train takes 15 o 16 minutes to get across town, man and woman is contented here.

They should send couples to Munich from other parts of the world for therapy. Couples who can barely stand to look at each other, who are stuck in such a circle of resentment that hate greets the mildest of inquiries or most innocent habitual gesture. Put them in a comfortable flat with all the mod cons. Give them double glazing, two foot deep walls, efficient heating and never-ending supplies of hot water. Send them to the lake for a swim, send them into the Alps for a weekends walking, let them stroll around town, drinking in the gentle, humble atmosphere of this provincial city. Soon the man will be putting the lid on the margarine tub, washing the dishes, making realistic plans for practical ends, his woman’s hostility easing all the while as she too takes a new found joy in routine, whistling as she performs the daily chores. Why complain? – life could just not be better, anyone can see that!

Unless perhaps you are single in Munich. For starters, you might complain that virtually no-one, over a certain age, is single in this town. Nearly everybody has got a partner tucked away somewhere, even those acquaintances who you manage to convince yourself are singletons, looking a bit too lonely or keen or just too weird; their all attached. They all surprise you in the end as they suddenly talk about their weekends hiking with a significant other. Surrounded by happy couples living their happy little lives is perhaps not the greatest situation for that rarest of specimen, the München single. In most places you can reassure yourself, as a single, that at least your life is a little more exciting, less drab, more fun. In Munich, couples don’t look drab or bored with each other or at least if they do they seem happy about it! Worse still once you’re in this unfortunate minority it’s not easy to get out. The place is too wholesome to indulge in any of the late night drunken debasement that is the weekly opportunity of singles in any other town. To drink yourself silly and throw yourself at a blurry stranger in Munich would somehow be wrong, it wouldn’t fit. The walk of shame the next morning as grinning couples jog past you, too much of a price to pay.

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