By Elizabeth Smith
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Additional resources for CultureShock! Munich: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette
The former Central Mint is located in this elegant quarter, as is the Nationaltheater and the Rathaus, the magnificent pseudo-gothic town hall. It also has elegant shops and hotels and a few extremely expensive apartments. The south-eastern area is the centre for sustenance, where the Viktualienmarkt, the main vegetable market, is bordered by a row of butchers. It also houses the city’s museum, the new Jewish synagogue opened in 2006, a large school and the central fire station. At present, the Altstadt is the least densely populated of the central city areas.
Bavarians are in the main orderly, tidy, law-abiding, honest and reserved with people they don’t know. Once you get to know individual Bavarians they can be charming, but getting to know them can be a problem. Bavarians themselves admit that they may often appear grumpy (although they may also point out that Bavaria is renowned for being one of the friendliest regions in Germany). It is disconcerting to walk down a suburban street and no one makes eye contact with you, much less smiles at you. Neighbours rarely pop round to visit without having first gone through a formal introduction, usually by a mutual friend.
Really sophisticated attire can be seen in Maximilian Strasse, Brenner Strasse and the area just northwest of Stachus, where the law courts and the stock exchange are located. The elegant, glamorous and chic can always be seen at the theatre or the opera. Teenage fashion is now pretty much universal and the youths of Munich are no exceptions, their ‘look’ mostly gleaned from the pages of international publications such as Marie Claire, Glamour and Vogue, and from current films and pop idols. People of Munich 39 BAVARIAN SOCIETY Bavaria is still very much a male-dominated state.