Arrived in Hamburg after a nice 6.5 hour train ride. I had four changes of neighbors during the journey: the first a Siemens businessman, the second a German professor of French, the third and fourth were less friendly.
I hadn’t seen my dear friend Y in over a year! Even though she had work the next day, she stayed up to greet me and a little longer to catch up. Munich isn’t as much of a tech haven as Berlin, according to Y. But the city seems young and very thriving! There are many businesses and secondary schools for medicine and business.
Half of Friday was spent hunting down stain remover and bleach products to clean some items of mine, namely D.W.S., or the “dank white shirt” as coined by T. Between spaghetti milanese and rust stains from Dubrovnik’s walls, the shirt was not white, to say the least. However, with the consultation of many moms and after a few washes, the shirt can now be deemed clean.
I joined Y at her office for Friday happy hour which was beer AND ice cream. Located near the chic shopping district, the office has a very open feeling with more natural light than most tech offices I’ve visited. And what a multicultural bunch of engineers!
Went to New international for some food with Y and her boyfriend, L, exchanging college stories and experiences, contrasting the American system with the French.
The next day we set out to buy a rain jacket for Y and an umbrella for me on Mönckebergstraße. We succeeded by 2pm, and ate at Ahoi, a Japanese-western fast food fusion created by TV chef Steffen Henssler.
We finished the afternoon with a visit to the Museum of Art and Industry (Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg). There was a facinating but long hallway of design, from gaming consoles to coffee cups. Y and I spent most of our time in the East Asian art collection, consisting primarily of ink wash paintings and porcelain, and the Islamic Arts collection, where we could see the influence from one region on the other.
From 9:00 PM until 4:00 AM, we attended a house party, which I was told was quite special. It was located on the top floor of a historic looking apartment, modernly outfitted with loft beds in most of the bedrooms. Between four roommates, the house guests were quite diverse, and I met an Italian, an Argentinean, a Pole, a Persian, a Turk, a Chinese-Costa Rican, a German-Tanzanian, a German-Italian, a Moroccan-Italian, and many others. It was a great way to meet young people of Hamburg and hear about their work, typical Saturday nights, and travel recommendations. The most common suggestion was “don’t stop traveling.” A common drink is “Mexicana” which is some alteration from a bloody mary. It reminded me of salsa.
Around 3:00, dinner became a popular talking point, as all the party snacks were long gone. Frozen pizza was brought out from the reserves, and we listened to pop tunes till our hosts hinted we should return to our abodes by playing closing time.
We got brunch the next day at a reasonable hour of 1:00 PM, and headed to HafenCity for the afternoon. HafenCity is the former port of Hamburg, where shipping companies used to hold their merchandise in big red brick warehouses.
Towards the wider waterway, newer construction has redefined the area into the next hip place to live, a concrete jungle with organic shapes and reflections from large glass windows. Unfortunately, I left my phone at the apartment so Y shared her pics from the day.
Also, as we were walking in HafenCity, we saw the beginning of the G20 protests. The protests were in German, and I am not sure which issue the protests were addressing. There were several tractors present as well as some blow-up earth globes with a “save our planet” motif.
We finished with a ferry ride, which afforded me a quick glimpse of the Hamburg skyline. Then it was a quick goodbye to Y and a cab to the train station to continue my northward journey. Can’t wait till I can come back to hang out in Hamburg with Y and others!
Couldn’t make a German playlist and American pop hits are also on the top charts here, but check out Max Giesinger.