Advice to...


Use to get the U.S. version of Google (where ncr stands for "No Country Redirect").

Newcomers to Germany:

When flying between the U.S. and Germany, I recommend making connections on the U.S. side when possible (i.e., through Delta in Atlanta). The worst part about the red-eye flights to Europe is wobbling around in some European airport during a layover when your brain wants to be asleep.

Unlike typical U.S. web sites, most domains in Germany have not aliased their base domain name to So either use some kind of browser extension that automatically tries adding on the www. prefix (possible through Privoxy) or else get used to typing those four extra characters.

Toytown Germany is a web site for English speakers living in Germany and is an invaluable resource.

When delivery restaurants list their <> (delivery hours), they are referring (I think) to the actual hours when the food will be delivered and NOT (as in the U.S.) the hours during which they will accept orders for later delivery.

It is well documented that stores in Germany close no later that 8pm Monday through Saturday and are closed on Sunday (as of 2007 - Berlin is showing willingness to experiment with these laws - Bavaria is not), which is why it is important to maintain stores of food. The loophole built into the law is that stores that service travellers may open on Sundays. These include gas stations and shops at train stations and airports. However, these places reportedly charge extra - in the case of gas stations, twice as much for a frozen pizza as a regular market.

Newcomers to Munich:

The URL for figuring out how to get from Point A to Point B via Munich public transportation is

If you want to download Munich public transportation schedules to your PDA, try

Newcomers to Garching:

Now that the U6 U-Bahn goes all the way to Garching, and to the institutes and university, Garching is a more viable place to live without a car. The biggest problem is that the U-Bahn STILL (as of November 2006) cuts off early every night of the week, stopping just short of Garching-Hochbrück at Fröttmaning. The last train from Marienplatz that goes all the way to Garching leaves at 12:38am most days, at 1:24am on Fridays and Saturdays. There are U-Bahns that go to Fröttmaning up to almost an hour later. (Parts of Munich are served by night buses to deal with these kind of cut-offs. It may be that since Garching is no longer a part of Munich, it gets short shrift.) You can of course take a Taxi from Marienplatz or Münchner Freiheit, or maybe call one to Fröttmaning, but it is possible to walk from Fröttmaning to Garching - the main problem is that that area (the Arena) is separated from Garching by intersecting highways. Here is one way around them:
  1. Take the south exit from the U-Bahn station, in the direction of Hans-Jensen Weg.
  2. Walk east and you will see Hans-Jensen Weg running straight below the U-Bahn station, with bus stops along the side. (For bonus points, zig a bit to the left so that you are walking over the bus stops, still in the bus terminal, and check out the map that is posted somewhere along the wall.)
  3. Take the stairs down. Proceed to the end of Hans-Jensen Weg (where you will see the street sign, so you know where you are).
  4. Cross the road, and a bit to the left you will see a sidewalk heading toward the big grassy barrier of the highway.
  5. Follow the sidewalk to its end, and turn left on to the wide street-like thing.
  6. Head straight until you see a bridge over the highway. This should correspond to Lottlisa-Behling-Weg. Cross it.
  7. On the other side Lottlisa-whatever goes to the left and then later turns to the right. Follow it. After about half a mile, you should get to Freisinger Landstrasse which you can walk north along until you get to Garching. There may be a more consistent sidewalk on the east side of the road. There sure isn't on the west side!
  8. If you manage to survive Freisinger Landstrasse without getting hit by a car, you will have walked from Fröttmaning to Garching in 60 to 70 minutes. Congratulations, you just saved 20 Euros!