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December 2000

Foreign Exchange

MF and its readers — a relationship based on mutual understanding

Iremember vividly the daily struggles I faced when I arrived in Germany five years ago — some humorous, some not so funny. I could laugh when I ordered Rosinenbrot (raisin bread) at the bakery, when I meant to order Rosmarinbrot (rosemary bread) — not bad with avocado and turkey by the way. But, I cried after a dinner party at which a heated discussion about our moral obligation to buy free range chicken eggs left me in an “I just don’t get it, and probably never will” mood. It took me about six months to find Munich Found, and I was delighted when I did. Standing in the since-closed British shop on Franziskanerstrasse I eagerly purchased the magazine. As I read that issue cover to cover I was thrilled to be reminded that I wasn’t the only expat in Munich. My career at MF began when I accepted a job as an editorial intern. Now, after two years as Managing Editor, it is time for me to move on to a new phase of my life and so, this issue is my last. Standing at the helm of a magazine and working with a talented, humorous and passionate team has truly been a dream job for me — one that I have quite literally dreamed of since I was a little girl. An added bonus is that I have gotten to know the Isar city and its residents in a way that most foreigners do not — by helping our readers “find” Munich. I am repeatedly surprised at what I learn while looking for answers to your questions; in turn, it has helped me to feel truly at home here.
In tune with the holiday season, Advent concerts abound this time of year. This month, Liz Vannah profiles gospel choir director, blues singer and entertainer Albert C. Humphrey, who will be giving a concert in December. Gospel music is not the only spiritual thing about this talented local resident.
December is a month filled with magic in Bavaria. Who can resist the twinkling glow of the Christmas markets and the sweet scent of roasting sugared almonds wafting through the city streets? Many of the images that we see during Advent and the days between Christmas and Epiphany (January 6) have German origins. Kathleen Saal explains them in one of our two feature articles this month.
The spirit of the holiday season inspires many people to become involved in charitable organizations of all kinds. But, it is difficult to know where to begin. The second feature this month is an article that I have long wanted to write for our readers. For it, I went in search of organizations in need of, and willing to take, volunteers. It’s up to you to decide whether or not you wish to lend a helping hand. Knowing the good character of our readers as I do, I am sure that some of you will.
Winter also means the ski season. The Fieberbrunn ski resort in Austria, a short drive from Munich, is one that Angela Wilson knows well. Her travel article about the region offers great advice and activities for skiers and snowboarders alike.
If you prefer spectator sports, our Arts section has something for you. Claudine Weber-Hof reviews two small theaters in Munich: the Blutenburg-Theater and the Theater der Jugend. Both of their current productions offer an evening of superb entertainment and local charm.
There are things I will miss about Munich Found. The e-mail we receive each November asking for advice on preparing a Thanksgiving meal in Germany and the delightful notes from readers who have discovered something about this city through our magazine are small but gratifying aspects of this job. I still have my “I just don’t get it and probably never will” days, but it has brought me comfort to know that you are shrugging your shoulders along with me. Thank you.
Editor’s note: We would like to welcome two new members to the Munich Found family: Charlotte Elisabeth and Katerina Rose. Special congratulations and warm wishes (as well as a bit more sleep) for the future go to Denise and Steven Hough, the proud parents of twin baby girls. <<<

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