A while ago now, on October 12 – 14, our class went on a trip to Münich. The purpose of our visit was to experience a different Germany than that which we were experiencing in Berlin. Where Berlin is modern, trendy, and ever-changing, Münich is traditional, classic, and conservative.
We headed out early on Friday the 12th of October. We boarded our German Wings flight at 8:30 AM, landed in Münich an hour later, and checked into our hotel by 11.
Right after checking into our rooms, we set off on our first site visit of the day – the world headquarters of OSKA Atelier fashion house. OSKA is a high-end fashion house catering to middle-aged women. We met the owner (whose name I unfortunately can’t remember at this moment, but will be sure to update soon), who explained to use the process of producing fashion. We also talked about the labor policies of Germany – and Bavaria in particular – which have enabled OSKA to prosper and to survive the 2008 financial crisis. The owner confirmed that it was due to these policies that the rather small company was able to survive the 2008 crisis. He also talked about the apprenticeship program which helps OSKA hire young people new to the fashion business. As we discussed in Prof. Lang’s class, the government pays for the apprenticeship and training of young workers at the start of their career. This allows them to work several days a week, and learn new skills for the rest — without their employer having to pay for it themselves. This leads to a very stable employment situation.
Another thing we had discussed in class was legal requirement for the inclusion of low level employees in the governmental boards of every company. In class discussion, we had decided that this would allow all company decisions to be well informed of the realities of labor and what could and could not be set as goals. OSKA has also benefited from this legislation. As it is a small company, the ratio of regular employees to administrators is high. Every decision is, therefore, based in the wishes of the employees.
After OSKA, we returned shortly to the hotel, and then set out to Marienplatz to take a 3 hour walking tour of München.
We walked from Marienplatz in a big circle. First, we went to see the Frauenkirche, then the Bavarian government, the famous Hoffbrauhaus, and ended again at Marienplatz. There, we had dinner in the basement, at the Ratskeller restaurant. We had our first taste of traditional Bavarian dishes such as Schweinebraten, Knödel, and Käsespätzl. I also had the pleasure of having one of the best Apple Strudels I have ever had.
The next day, we headed to the BMW World and BMW Museum. This is a must-see for any and all car aficionados. The museum in particular is amazing. The architecture leads you on a trip through time and purpose, during which you learn about design, aerodynamics, and other aspects of car making you would have never expected.
We had Sunday afternoon and all of Monday free to do exploring of our own. I bought myself a dirndl from the one and only Angermeier of München, and that same night wore it with the group on to our dinner at Hofbrauhaus. It was an interesting cultural experience — I was not the only girl in Hofbrau in a dirndl. In fact, it was the people in regular clothes that stuck out — traditional German wear, or “Tracht”, was the dress code for the night.
Here is a photo of me in the dirndl 🙂
The next day Jahuei, Yasmin, Peony, Chuhan and I visited the private Brandhorst Museum of modern art. No photographs are permitted, but here are some open source photos available over the internet. Overall, this is a fantastic museum. Since the building was built specifically for the collections, the layout of the floors complements the artwork and influences your perception of the works. I particularly liked the works by Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, and Eric Fischl.
And that’s it for my München post! I am a bit behind on posts, mostly because getting good & fast internet is hard to get. I’ll be writing about the KaDeWe, the Daniel Liebeskind Jewish Museum of Berlin, The Lives of Others, and the Mauerpark Flea Market.