To be honest, I have no idea if I can really make this blog post fluid, spell checked, or even meaningful… All I know is that I will look back and remember drinking beer while writing this and thinking about my next beer… Astra to be exact.
Anyway, today was my first full day in Hamburg and it.is.amazing.
To be honest, I think the northern American cities (Boston and NYC particularly) are a lot like Hamburg. Not necessarily in culture, but the people.
It is crowded, people everywhere and at all hours, people of different races, sizes, ethnicities, and happiness levels. I quite enjoy walking down the street, making eye contact with someone and producing a smile in both directions. I also enjoy that there are lots of attitudes that can get feisty if you cross someone the wrong way… It’s just more human (maybe people living in Køvenhavn weren’t human?).
Even before I get to today, I must tell you my experience of yesterday! Well, I got to Hamburg on my train. I had no idea where I was… And surprisingly (even though all my American friends have assured me that all Germans can speak English) no one at the train station could help me. I walked by myself down the street first and then returned for those directions to the hostel since I was lost after only 1/4 mile. The lady at the bakeshop was helpful but told me to take the bus…. The lady at the information desk thought I was Dutch and just started speaking the language to me (actually she asked me if I understood Dutch, to which I responded yes because I was already confused by the first 4 sentences in Dutch….).
Anyway, I luckily started following my original footsteps, took a couple turns and voila, I found my street. The hotel is only 800m from the train station but I took the longgggggg way.
The hostel was busy and loud with mostly Germans? I don’t know why, but it amuses me that people stay at hostels in their own country. Americans have such a way against hostels and we only stay at hotels in America. When I got to my room I was lucky to find two German girls (Christina and the other name I forget) in my room of 8 people. They invited me to the roof to hang out with them. They had come down to get jackets because it had gotten cold on the roof deck, but of course I don’t ever pack anything worthwhile.
The German girls spoke perfect English and we just chatted about everything and anything (especially this cool interactive theatre show in London called the drunken man?).
When I woke up in the morning I figured I should go see the museums and walks around the city. I usually avoid museums because they are expensive in America but I got a student pass for 15€ about 20$. That gives me entrance once to each of the five hamburg museums.
I was up and had already had a pastry and kaffe at a bakery by 10am which is the time that all the museums opened. My first museums was the Kunstehalle Hamburg museum. It much reminded me off the typical American museum with the different types of paintings and arts. However, I fell in love with two of its exhibits. One was by Lagerfeld which was modern mythology with semi-erotic images of models in the wilderness. Lagerfeld is a famous fashion designer who works for Chanel, Fendi and really himself. The other exhibit was ‘C’est La Vie’ but I was most enamord by the works of Honoré Daumier. He pictured life in almost newspaper comic fashion with sly comments and explanations (now a days they just assume you get it, he actually wrote two-three sentences to go with it). I laughed all the way through the comical drawings.
Each museum I visited was separated by a walk and usually a sunbathe.
I then went to two more museums, neither of which I was too fond of. The very next was Bucerius Kunst Forum. It doesn’t have a permanent collections and features what socially is relevant. To me, it was a bunch of lithographs I didn’t quite think were amazing. To each his own.
My last museum of the day was Museum für Kunst and Gewerbe Hamburg which had a really nice selection of different time periods and a lot of sections with religious art. However I most enjoyed the film shown in the museum which were various advertisements around the world. Some as American as the Kayak.com commercial wheee the surgeon operates on a guys head and makes him use kayak for him. There were also commercials from Coca Cola that featured surveillance camera footage from around the world to show the kindness of everyone and lastly one that was advertising the Israeli-Palestine Blood Project which showed how we need to look beyond the name of our origins and see that we are humans, doing so in this commercial by donating blood to one another.
My feet were tired by the end of the third museum, watching the swans fed by passerbys and sunbathing that I needed a nap at the hostel. I grabbed a rather lengthy hour long nap, headed to the grocery store (where everything is unbelievably cheap) and now I’m watching the World Cup with a bunch of Germans in the hostel.
Tomorrow will be filled with a day at the reeperbahn which is the nightlife street filled with bars, cafés and brothels…. Let’s do this!
PICTURESSSSSS: Instagram – jlwright12