‘Hämburger’ – A person (or persons) residing in the city of Hamburg, Germany.
I grew up in Alice Springs. If you don’t know where that is….look it up! We are a small town (less than 30,000) in the middle of the outback, but on almost every and any world map you will see it, right there in the middle of Australia. This was my home. But I up and left the rural paradise for a taste of the city life, the bustling streets with strict time schedules and abundance in shopping, entertainment and strangers. A taste of a new culture in a new country and new languages…a whole lot of NEW!
So, in the spirit of new things, this is not just a list or advice. This is, a confession.
Moving is hard, moving cities is hard, moving countries is hard, moving continent is hard. It is all hard. I moved a lot as a kid but I always had my family, I had my sisters with me. Here I’m living in a house full of people I met only a few months ago. Yes, I consider them my family now, but we were strangers 4 months ago. There are so many strengths to moving out of your comfort zone (or time zone) and many of them involve being forced to be yourself without the support of other people, people who know you. You find yourself being tested, the true you. For some people they may already have this down pat, but I struggle to know who I am sometimes and without those people around me this becomes harder again!
My confession is this: I am scared. I find living in a new place scary. I find having to make friends scary. I am scared of being alone. I find being myself scary. But like I have said before, the best things in life lie beyond the barrier fear creates.
But this fear of the unknown means that there is so many secret places to discover and explore! And I want to share just a few with you! Here are the top 5 things I have done in Hamburg (that aren’t on the flyers)…
ONE: Das Feuerschiff LV 13 – Live Jazz bar every Monday Night!
Now this is a weekly treat for me. Something I can count on! It is a live Jazz bar in the bottom of a boat on the river Elbe. If you do not have an appreciation for Jazz then this is not for you. The music is loud and only during the breaks can you really hold a conversation! But it is beautiful, there a people of all races and ages coming together to celebrate and appreciate the talent of the musicians!
TWO: Gänsemarkt Viertel – A small local exhibition building for artists
I will confess, I have only been here once! My friend took me there during a bike ride around the city. He had an art exhibition there and almost every night there is something going on! From music to parties to art to film exhibition! You are guaranteed to meet some interesting people and have some amazing experiences!
THREE: A WAFFLE STAND!
Okay, I don’t know the name of the Cafe…But in Levantehaus on Mönckebergstraße, near Hauptbahnhof there is a small cafe at one end that has take away waffles for €2.50. The waffles are very simple and only have icing sugar on top, but are the best waffles in Hamburg (maybe even Germany!). I am sure this says a lot about me, that eating doughy, sweet treats is one of my favourite things to do…but they are just SO DAMN GOOD!
FOUR: Walking through Planten un Blomen…AT NIGHT!
Okay, so Hamburg is a safe city. But still, I would suggest choosing a friend (maybe a tall one?) to take with you for safety. Planten un Blomen is a famous park in pretty much the center of Hamburg. Hamburg has plenty of parks spread out throughout the entire cities, which is one of the things that keeps me sane in city life! These parks are beautiful and I love spending a Sunday riding around the city through all these parks with a friend, but they can be very busy! Once the sun goes down a lot (sadly not all) of the people leave and these beautiful oases of nature are left in the silence of birds and crickets. If you want to walk through and feel the crisp newly oxygenated air these trees can provide I strongly suggest you try it at night! Whilst the colours are less vibrant due to the dark it is one of my personal favourite things to do!
FIVE: Café Entenwerder One – A café on the river
Now this is not a must see tourist destination, this is simply a MUST. For a relaxing time in a qwirky café with great staff, on the river side this is where you want to go! It is right near a large grass park and down the path a bit is one of my favourite chill places, Brandshofer Deich 45 (More or Less), an urban landscape with rubble, an abandoned crane and bridges (Great for filming)! This café has parts of an old plane, shipping containers, mismatching chairs and tables, colourful everything all floating on the river!! It is a little bit out of the way…but somewhere definitely worth the travel time!
So there it is, my new found life scares me so much! But I have found some great places and great things to do since coming and I am sure there will be plenty more adventures in this funny land called Deutschland!
Johanna – Wakilele