Munich – July 22nd

My thoughts are with everyone in Munich, especially the victims and their families and friends. Every shooting is terrifying and upsetting, but for me this one feels so much more real and scary. I got home from a 10 day holiday in central Munich less than 24 hours ago, it chills me to my core that if I had been on holiday for just one more day I could be dead right now or caught up in the fear in the city, miles away from home.

I had a great time in Munich, it was a mix of lovely warm weather and a load of rain, tourist activities such as going up a glacier, visiting Bavaria Film Stadt, and more simple activities like going on a boat ride round a lake and wandering around the city. I visited the olympic park and the summer festival there called Tollwood, both of which are incredibly close to the site of the shooting (The Olympia shopping centre). I read about the olympics and the attacks that happened there in the olympic village, and thought how much safer Munich was now and how comfortable I felt there. Coming home to this news has made me realise that no matter what the place, or the people, or the day of the week, or the time of year, you never know when or where there will be an attack.

Whilst in Munich, I was travelling on the U-Bahn (Munich’s equivalent of the Tube/Metro) with my family. My little sister and I were sat down when we heard some shouting, and we really thought very little of it just thinking someone was perhaps a little angry or maybe drunk. We turned round to see a man shouting. He wasn’t shouting at anyone in particular just shouting angrily at anyone and everyone really. I have no idea what he was shouting about because I can just about order and ice cream in German if I put my mind to it, but everyone seemed to just be ignoring him, the way you do when someone a little crazy is on public transport. He started moving around and flailing his arms about when my sister and I noticed he was making a gun sign with his hands. My parents didn’t notice this but my sister and I looked at each other with concern. Luckily, he got off the train at the next stop and we started to feel more relaxed about the journey. The next stop we heard some more shouting, and he was back on our carriage again. We didn’t know what stop we were meant to get off at but I agreed with my sister that we would get off at the next stop whether it was our destination or not (luckily it was). We thought very little of it after that, despite being a little shaken. Jump to the next day, and there’s a report of an attack on the U-Bahn somewhere in Germany, I couldn’t understand the TV report as it was again, in German, but I realised it was in Bavaria the state of Germany in which Munich lies. I brushed the report off thinking it wasn’t near Munich, Munich is a lovely calm city, and continued my holiday travelling on the U-Bahns and wandering around.

Cut to today. The news is on my TV as it usually is, just general background noise. It’s nice to be able to understand the news again and it not be about brexit (oh how I haven’t missed brexit). Then suddenly – SHOOTING IN MUNICH, 9 DEAD (as of the time of writing), GUNMAN AT SHOPPING CENTRE. It’s all that’s on the news. I watch as I recognise places that I have been days, hours, beforehand. Places I have had special family moments in. Places that I have created life time memories in. And I am so so thankful that my flight back was on Thursday July 21st and not Friday July 22nd. But that doesn’t stop me worrying. Just a week before I had met up with my friend Anna, my german exchange from when I was 15. We’d met up for a catch up over coffee due to little contact for 3 years. We discus brexit, trump, learning to drive, american schools (she spent a year there), english schools, german schools, university, a whole range of what we’ve been up to and what the world has been up to in the 3 years we’ve been apart. It was a lovely couple of hours and it was like we’d never been apart. Anna lives in Munich, around 30 minutes from the shooting site, a lovely area where I spent a few weeks when I was 15. I don’t know if she’s safe, if her family’s safe, if her friends are safe but I can only hope that they are.

Currently 9 are dead in Munich due to a shooting. If you’d like to read up more there’s a live feed here on the BBC website
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/world-europe-36870986
I’m sure there are many more places with information which may be more or less biased, but that’s what I’ve been going from. This isn’t a ‘feel sorry for me post’ I just felt like writing it from a tourists perspective and my own experience in Munich in the days leading up to the events of today. If you’ve read this far, I hope you’ve read more about what has actually been happening in Munich today. This post is in no way a full update of what has happened today, in fact, it’s barely that at all and making sure you’re aware of what’s been happening is really important, so please do that.

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