Lifestyle & Culture

‘Amis’ in Munich: 9 things Americans can do that will remind you of home

“Amis” is, depending on who you ask, a term of endearment or a derogatory term, used by Germans to describe Americans. And there is an abundance of Americans who make their home in Germany.

In the 10 years leading up to 2015, the number of American immigrants who arrived in Germany totaled 324,000.

That number doesn’t even include the more than 55,000 military and civilian government employees and their families who live and work in Germany, but who under the Status of Forces Agreement aren’t technically residents of the country. 

If you are one of these Amis living in Munich and you are feeling a bit nostalgic for the States, here are nine things you can do that will remind you of home:

1. Go to an American-Style Football Game

You know that “football” in German is soccer to us Americans, right?

So don’t ask your German neighbor to join you for a football game at Allianz Arena unless you want to end up watching FC Bayern. Not that that would be a bad thing.

FC Bayern is the most successful team in Germany’s history, having won 27 national titles and 18 national cups. But if it’s good old American-style football you want to watch, check out the schedule for the Munich Cowboys.

The bad news is that they were just knocked out of the playoffs, so they won’t play again until spring. The good news is that prices are way, way lower than they are for NFL games, so even season tickets aren’t out of reach.

2. Watch the Haar Disciples Play “America’s National Pastime”

If football isn’t your sport, check out a baseball game in Haar, a suburb of Munich.

The Haar Disciples play at the Sport- und Freizeitpark, a municipal facility right next to the Haar S-Bahn stop. They are playing in the championship series this Saturday and Sunday and their final games of the season are over Labor Day weekend.

Tickets are super affordable and can be purchased online or at the gate.

3. Jonesin’ for a Grilled Cheese Sandwich?

If you have a craving for deep-fried diner food, visit Jones K’s Original American Diner on Karlstraße in the Maxvorstadt neighborhood.

The menu features everything from chicken wings to onion rings. Leave enough room for dessert – apple pie, of course.

4. Stop by a Fast Food Restaurant

You really can’t feel too homesick in Munich where you can find a KFC, Pizza Hut, Burger King, McDonalds, or Subway around every corner.

Unfortunately, the only Chipotle is in Frankfurt, but as the Rolling Stones would say, you can’t always get what you want. 

5. Go to a Concert

Neil Diamond, Tori Amos, John Legend, and Train will all be playing in venues across Munich in September and October. Tickets to see these American musical artists are for sale now on ticketmaster.com.

6. Throw Yourself Into the Political Fray

Feeling left out of the American political scene?

Learn about new initiatives, help U.S. citizens living in Germany register to vote, or take part in letter writing campaigns with the Munich chapters of Democrats Abroad or Republicans Overseas.

7. Socialize With Other Americans

If you’re just missing the company of people who like ice in their drinks, eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and watch NASCAR, check out InterNations Munich.

InterNations is a global online network of expats, broken down into communities by city or region. The Munich pages have local guides that promise to give you “all the essential information about expat life in Germany…from visa requirements to healthcare,” listings of expat events in Munich, and a way to contact Americans living in the area with whom you have common interests.

Membership requests are carefully reviewed so you (hopefully) won’t have any creepy interactions, but as with any social media site, use good judgment and report any behavior you might find unacceptable. 

8. Visit The Munich Readery

Founded in 2006 by John Browner, who “started in the book business as a clerk at the original Barnes & Noble Bookstore in New York City,” this independent shop is the largest second-hand English language bookstore in Germany.

John and his wife, Lisa, make several visits to the States every year to scour “yard sales, library sales, and thrift stores” for quality used books which are then shipped back to Germany to take their place on the shelves of the Readery.  John and Lisa also accept books in trade for store credit.

Not only does the Readery have the best selection of used English language books in the country, it also has wifi, comfy chairs, and a small café where you can grab a cup of coffee or tea. Check their website for upcoming events including open readings (think open mics for authors), writing workshops, author events, book clubs, and kids’ story times. 

9. See the JFK Exhibits at Amerikahaus

It seems like the whole world is still fascinated with the legend that was John F. Kennedy. Amerikahaus, in cooperation with the US Consul General in Munich, is hosting not one, but two, Kennedy exhibits through the end of September.

The first, John F. Kennedy’s Life and Times — American Visionary will feature “framed photographs culled from Getty Images, noted photojournalist archives, and Kennedy’s Presidential Library collections” and the second, JFK@100: The Kennedy Presidency and the Kennedy Myth, is a curated exhibit that “takes a new look at Kennedy’s political career, his presidency, and the Kennedy myth.” Entrance is free.

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