Friday, August 2, 2013

The Story of Munich: Part 1, The Beginning

So you may or may not be aware that I am back in the states for a month.  This is not really by choice, but rather the result of a stressful period of time in which I realized I had to come home due to visa complications.  My original plans would have allowed me to stay in Europe to March, travelling from Paris to Munich to Paris to Vienna.  Obviously this did not go as planned.

It has been a few months since the Munich Incident.  I have been avoiding discussing it with most friends and family lately, as it is an extremely long story and one that upsets me a lot.  However, I'm putting it down here at the suggestion of my mother, and in the hopes that it will provide some sort of closure for me.  Here is The Story of Munich, subtitled:  My horrible experience as an Au Pair for the worst family in the world.

I went to Munich to work for a family* with three children, the two eldest, a boy and a girl, were eight year old twins and the youngest son turned six while I was there.  I was all set to work for them for three months, before which I would visit my boyfriend in Paris and after which I would work in Vienna, Austria for six months.  Everything was organized online and I arrived four days after graduating college.

The family seemed nice online, and in person they seemed okay as well.  I was excited to practice my German and live in one of the most well known cities of Europe.  I had my own room and bathroom to myself, that I was supposed to upkeep.  My contract cited working 30 hours per week, a pay of 260 Euros per month, one day off per week, and three evenings.  (All of this information is available in the European Agreement on Au Pair Placement of 24 November 1969, if you care).  None of this was followed.

I had been there a week before I heard that the children had a break from school for two weeks.  I also heard an offhand remark that the whole family would be going to Italy without me.  No problem, I thought, just give me the dates and I can make arrangements to go back to Paris so I won't be alone in a foreign city for a week.  I hadn't met anyone yet and was excited to go see my boyfriend again.  Well, I didn't hear when the family was leaving until about two days before they did, meaning I had to make very last minute (read: expensive) arrangements to get to France.  Still, no problem, I was so excited!

Read part 2 here

*not sure if I will name the guilty party here yet, though they would deserve it.

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