Monday, 7 March 2011

Hamburg- Part 2

Click here for part 1.

26/02/- 5:36
Today started well as I discovered a setting on the shower head that turns the flow into a sort of hot mist, which you can then immerse yourself In. The day then commenced with some typical tourist site seeing, where I took the kind of photos where you have to work to not get another photographer taking the exact same photo in the frame, before putting my camera away and deciding to not get it out again till I saw something worth shooting.
After the touristy sightseeing tour, I hopped on the Ubarn (what they call the tube) to head back and was (for the third time this week) told off by a stern German man. This time he was not an official and it was not for having the wrong ticket, but for simply resting my feet on the edge of the seat across the isle. I found this dressing down rather hard to take, not only because the man reeked of alcohol, but also because I had observed many times that same day people (and when I say people I don’t just mean tramps, I mean regular members of the Hamburg public) removing things from bins, prompting the conclusion hygiene and cleanliness weren’t top of the agenda. The items removed from the bins varied, for example I saw one perfectly respectable women delve into a bin at the train station to retrieve a newspaper, however the other instances featured slightly less respectable looking gentlemen (that probably were tramps) diving in to fish out empty bottles or cans, as they can be exchanged for a tiny amount of money at the super market. Anyway, I was tempted to explain all this to the man, as well as to tell him that I found Hurmburgers?.... people from Hamburg a very unfriendly bunch, who only seemed to be nice to you when you were purchasing something off them... and then call him a ‘hooganzoon’ which is one of the five or so German words I know and means ‘you son of a whore’, but I thought this might cause more agro, So in response to his ‘In Germany, the people have to sit on the chairs, so we don’t put feet there’ I thought id fly my flag with a bit of sarcasm and simply replied ‘thanks for letting me know mate’ and got on with the day. (I hope you didn’t think that story was going to culminate with some cracking come-back.. I imagine if you did that was somewhat of an anti-climax). Walking through the streets we came upon a protest against to road systems or something, in comparison to recent protests around the world, and indeed the student ones in London, it was rather underwhelming and, with the exception of the person who had made a pair of large papier mâché buttocks and a large pile of papier mâché shit and towed it behind their car, it required a bit more effort.
Statue of liberty..
Chilli and Wasabi flavoured chocolate.

Today there was a mental fellow on the train, shouting abuse at other train users, spitting, and banging on the windows, I couldn’t help but feel a little resentful after my telling off yesterday that no self righteous man took It upon themselves to explain to him that’s not they way they do things in Germany.. possible because it is, as this is not the first person I’ve seen of this variety. Anyway, after a couple stops he hopped off, and peace on the train was restored for about 3 minutes, at which point a busker appeared with a guitar and began singing and playing loudly in Spanish. Although this impromptus performance was a little intrusive, it was nice to hear a language I actually understood for a change. After a quick walk on Hamburgs windy wasteland, masquerading as a beach, when in fact its just a river bank, I headed over to check out the official red light district of Hamburg (thought I might as well complete the tour) called the Reaperbarn. Strangely it was probably the nicest, most interesting place I visited for the duration of my trip, however there were far less hookers there than on my street, which made me feel weirdly smug.

Today my stay grew to a close. The day began with one final delightful hot misting and walk down the street on which my hotel lies which I have actually become quite fond of, passing the familiar sex shops, which were already open, and prostitutes, who were already fixed to their posts outside said shops, presumably to offer an alternative to a morning job for men wanting to keep in shape and have a bit of fun whilst doing it. As I arrived at the airport and headed through security, I was stopped by one final stern German, who told me that he had to test my laptop (refusing to give me anymore information until we were safe inside the little glass test room). On entering I had a short wave of fear that his plan might be to slip one of his bratwurst like digits up my bottom to check I wasn’t smuggling anything, but thankfully, all he did was ‘test laptop for explosive’.. which turned out to be just a brief swabbing, which shockingly yielded no results, after which, in the same tone of voice with which he had summand me, he informed me that my laptop was in fact not an explosive, at which point I had to refrain from telling him this was something I could have told him 20 minutes ago, as my laptop is filled with important files, and so blowing it up would be quite ridiculous.
I proceeded to the gate and boarded the plane, and squeezed myself into a ridiculously small seat, along with the other thousand people on board, only worse because I had a nauseating couple in front of me who not only ignored the put your seat in the upright position request, but also ‘snuggled’ in a sickly manner throughout the entire journey. And then that was it. Touched down and headed home with nothing but good things to say about Munich... and plenty of stories and an idea for a new photo project from Hamburg.
Some scenic ones:

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