Meeting the Villagers of Munich: The Vitamin Capital of the City

Meeting the Villagers of Munich: The Vitamin Capital of the City

By  Sunday, 11.1.2015, 10:58    Food

I have lost count of the number of times people have told me that Munich is not a city, but rather a big village. Coming from an island home with a populaion of 1,500 people, it looks like a city to me...

But if it is a village, then where are the villagers? One of the things I am enjoying in my early days is having time to meet people and see how their Munich looks. I would not normally have given a second thought to this fruit and vegetable store, for example, but my new friend wanted me to meet him, for he had been buying fruit and vegetables from him for years. An important part of his weekly routine, and my friend admitted he struggled to walk past sometimes without buying something.  

"Welcome to the vitamin capital of Munich," declared the owner, whose young complexion belied his 60 years.

"The best advertisment for your products," I joked, only half-jokingly. If I could look that young at 50, I would be a happy man.  

It turned out that our grocer friend was from Lebabon, had been in Germany for thirty years, and in Munich for ten. For the last five years, he has been standing at this very spot near Goetheplatz, where Adlzreiterstr. and Kapuzinerstr meet, with no water or electricity connection, and from the brisk business he was doing while we were chatting, it would seem he has built up quite a good business.

"Here, try this," he said, offering us a slice of apple each. "Fresh in just now." Delicious.

It was too much for my friend, who I don't think had any intention of buying anything when he pointed out the stall, but was soon on his way with half a dozen oranges. The wide selection certainly looked appetising, and it will be nice to go back and try some, and to learn more of the Lebanese villagers experiences in what I still call a city. 

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Paul Bradbury

After 12 years living on the most gorgeous island in the world, Hvar in Dalmatia, I have begun to wonder if there is still life beyond its shores. Prior to discovering Paradise in 2002, I was a world traveller, living and working in Japan, Georgia, Somalia, Rwanda, Russia... and Munich.

After 95 countries and some 25 years have passed, the memories of my year in the hotel industry in the Bavarian capital (fired by the Sheraton for losing our pet snake, the first male chambermaid at Hotel Arabella, and a truly eye-watering introduction to five-star living in  my days as a bellboy in luxury Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten) are strong, and the call of Munich has been a constant theme over the last quarter century. 

And so here I am, answering the call some 25 years later. Twelve years of island living have changed me for sure, but also left me curious about life in a big city, and whether or not I could adapt to it after such an insular decade. 

I was surprised to see that for such a magnificent multi-cultural city, English-language blogs and regularly updated information are not that available. Static tourism information, such as that provided by the excellent tourist board website yes, but accounts of daily life delivered daily? Hard to find.

And so I have decided to take a break from my idyllic island and see if I could live in a city again. And what better way to try than to discover modern Munich in all its facets after so many years. It is a journey of discovery which I am relishing, and I hope the site proves to be of interest for Munich residents and its numerous visitors.

About Paul Bradbury

Author of Lebanese Nuns Don't Ski, Lavender, Dormice and a Donkey Named Mercedes and Hvar's first comprehensive guidebook, Hvar: An Insider's Guide to Croatia's Premier Island, as well as co-author of Split: An Insider's Guide with Mila Hvilshoj, I have lived in Dalmatia full time since 2003. In addition to running Total Munich, I also run Total Split (, Total Hvar ( and Total Inland Dalmatia (, as well as being an accredited Google News journalist for Digital Journal in Canada.

I also have various blogging clients, including the Central Dalmatia Tourist Board, European Coastal Airlines, Touristar TV and Andro Tomic Wines, and print clients include Qatar Airways inflight magazine, Out! magazine from New York, and Croatian Hotspots. 

In December 2014 I was delighted to receive the Marko Polo 2014 Award from FIJET Croatia (Federation of International Travel Writers and Journalists)  at a ceremony for the Croatian Journalists Society for the best international tourism promotion of Croatia. More here.

Ongoing writing projects:

A History of Hajduk Split, co-author with Frane Grgurevic - in 2015

Around the World in 80 Disasters - out in 2015

Total Hvar in the Media:

Interview of the Month, Croatian Embassy in Washington (May 2013)

Special Feature in Globus Magazine (May 2013)

Featured on Croatian TV show, More (2012) - watch the report here

Interviews in Slobodna Dalmacija, Dalmacijanews, Radio Split

I am available for writing services. Please contact me on [email protected] or visit my main writing website, 

Website: Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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