What's with this "Munich '94" stuff?

A few words of explanation for the uninitiated: In 1994, I got a 12 week summer job working for Siemens AG in Munich, Germany, through the organization IAESTE (International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience). So did many other students from all over the world. (Some also got their jobs through other organizations, such as AIESEC, and others came alone and had organized the traineeship themselves.) Throughout the summer, we got to know each other - and also quite a few of the local students - very well, through activities organized by the local IAESTE organization (not least the "Stammtisch" every Wednesday at the Löwenbraukeller!), and through trips and parties and other meetings that we arranged among ourselves.

We had so much fun during the summer, and some of us became such good friends, that we just couldn't bear to lose contact. We promised solemnly that we would keep in touch, and we agreed that we would definitely meet again - the reunion was, already before we left, scheduled for the Oktoberfest 2000.

At Christmas 1994, I sent a poem to my friends from this summer, which ended with these lines:

Believe, like me, the words I say:
We'll meet again some sunny day!

Through the following couple of years, we actually managed to keep in touch - much more than could have been expected. E-mail and web pages were an indispensable tool for this. Our never-tiring Utku set up a mailing list that is still pretty active, and on a special address page (the URL of which is not published, send me an e-mail if you need it!) I have tried to keep updated contact information as well as new pictures of people.

Several of us have been to visit each others' countries. The friendships of Munich '94 have been vital for several wonderful holiday trips and weekend visits. We have met each others' friends and spouses and siblings and formed friendships with them, too, and we have learned a lot about each others' countries and cultures.

The planned and much anticipated reunion at the Oktoberfest 2000 actually did take place (and we had more than just one sunny day together!), in the last week of September 2000. I think it surpassed most reasonable expectations. We traveled from Brazil, Turkey, Finland, the Netherlands, the USA and Norway, some to spend a whole week, others just for the weekend, some with partner or spouse, others alone, but all of us to rekindle old friendships, relive some of the experiences from 1994, and most of all, to drink plenty of beer and just have a lot of fun! As indeed we managed to.

Now all there is to do is start planning our 10 year anniversary reunion in 2004!

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