Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hamburg, Sauerkraut and Wieners!

My time in Hamburg was nice.  I was just thinking today how I cool it was to meet Laura and how kind she was.

Saturday night we had been out dancing and seeing the town.  I'm not sure if you know... but Hamburg DOESN'T sleep.  Laura ended up going home.  She invited me to go with her.  I decided not to since it was "still early".  The night progressed and I never looked at the time.  The next thing I knew I was off to the next place, and the next place.  Long story short I noticed that everyone around was starting to be kind of shady.  You know, facial expressions etc.. I decided to leave. When I stepped outside the sun hit me straight in the face and I almost melted. I guess you can't get into the last place with garlic.

This photo was apparently taken at 7:09 am.
      This guy started talking to me and let me know the scoop about the place I was in.... now alone.  I let him know he reminded me of my brother and we became friends. Haha!  
     Eh Tim?  Small resemblance after 9+ hours on the town?

This is what was outside at 8:59am when my phone says I left. Not shady at all.

    It was now 9 am I was..... some where and it was starting to rain.  I knew if I walked around long enough I could find a train, go back to the main station and figure out how to get back "home".  After a long, long walk in the rain I finally found the subway. Yay!  I jumped in the first train I thought might go the right direction and viola.  I was at main station, four more stops and two on the bus and I would be home.  I remember standing, waiting for the bus which said "4 minutes", falling asleep standing up, waking back up, seeing "4 minutes", falling asleep, waking back up, seeing finally seeing "2 minutes" falling asleep, waking back up...... finally "1 minute".  Now I have to sneak on the back of the bus so I don't have to pay.  Two stops and four naps later I made it!  It was now almost 11 am and the plan was to leave Hamburg that day.
     I slept little bit.  It was now 5 pm.  I needed to shower and figure out how I was going to leave Hamburg.  The original plan was to hitchhike but it was now nearly dark and I didn't have an escape route.  Plus, as you can imagine I was pretty tired and my stomach was upset.

     I decided to try and sneak on the train to Essen.  This way I could stay the night with my friend instead of sleeping.... who knows where.  I figured out the next train was in 15 minutes.  I was starving so I grabbed wally and went upstairs to grab food.  Like an idiot, I didn't know how to open these special kind of train doors and I missed the train.   It was two hours until the next train.

     An older Spanish gentleman started talking to me.  He as on his way to Paris with an old suitcase and  clothes that were thrown inside with everything else jumbled together.  He was cool.  When the train finally came I opted to sit in the same area as him.

      Since I hadn't paid the 70 euro for the ticket in advance I was going to try to plot a free ride.  Well... it almost worked.  The ladies who checked tickets were nothing short of jerks.  I mean, yes, I was trying to get a free ride but if my story had been completely true they were ruthless.   I mean, 70 euro or almost 100 USD was a lot compared to a free trip hitch hiking.  This was also money I didn't really have.  But whatever.  I got a nap in a warm place.

     When I arrived at the Essen HBF I realized that I still didn't know where I was going and that my friend was most likely in the next city.  I had to find wifi now and get a hold of my friend.  Finally, a starbucks in the center of town and free wifi!  I messaged him and he said he would be back in Essen as soon as possible.  Since it was now 3 am the next train would arrive around 6 am.  I decided to wait there on a sweet granite bench so I had internet.  It was now getting quite cold.  I had all of my jackets on, scarf, gloves, warm socks, hats... everything I owned on!  I decided the only remedy would be to jump into my sleeping bag.  I kept checking my phone through out the night.  Around 8 am I decided my friend wasn't coming so I could just sleep.

       The next thing I know boomboomboomboompshhhpshhhhboomdoublebooompppshhhh,drum rolll, wake the heck up!! we've got and orchestra of samba drums and whistles and you need to wake up!!!!!!  Get out of bed!!!!!

      I found this quite entertaining.  I had never been woken up so officially!  I felt a little strange since I was literally sleeping in the center of town, in a sleeping bag.... like a bum.  The impact of this group of drums, so intense and perfectly in sync with each other I couldn't help to smile and be amused!  I packed up my sleeping bag and headed for a bathroom back at the station. This way I could brush my hair and splash some water on myself.

      I then realized that this drum roll was not just for me.  It was also for a marathon that was taking place throughout town. These drums were there to help cheer the runners on to the finish/lap line. I should have really captured this moment for the blog but I didn't for some reason.

      Around noon my friend finally got in contact with me.  He ended up sleeping in the other town on accident but we were going to meet up and have a late lunch/dinner.  It was nice to see him!  He is the only person on my trip so far that recognized me from LA.  When I was missing home a bit he helped me re-realize that everything was more jolly where I was.  Some times that's all it takes.

Before a..  well.... a few minutes on the town.
Essen peeps!
      I spent a week with him in Essen, had some traditional German food (like sauerkraut and wieners), met his friend, cousin who was visiting from Morocco and later his family and best friend.  All of the above were pretty awesome!  The week was pretty relaxing for me.  I took some sweet baths and caught up on the blog there.

     That weekend he, his cousin and I all went to Düsseldorf for a day on the town.

Exactly!   Hallå!
A view of Düsseldorf from above!

Me and my new friend!

Yep.  That's where we were.  Not in the lamp post silly!  The TV tower!
Salma, Tobias and me in Dusseldorf!
The historic trolly 

The Rhine  river 

We left Dusseldorf just as it started raining and headed back to Essen.  Yes, we went out again.  The next day was Tobias' mother's birthday.  I was happy to be invited!  We went to Wuppertal where he was raised and had an awesome tapas dinner with the whole family, listed to a bit of opera and had some delish coffee and moroccan pastries. (Not in that order.)  It was a night of warmth, family, friends, laughs and friendly kisses.  I truly enjoyed it!

Salma's cousin, Salma and me at dinner.

    The next day I woke up, cleaned a bit packed my things, had dinner with Tobi and snuck on a train to Wuppertal to meet my Tobi's friend.

    Those stories coming soon!


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