So, the Blogwagon has been jumped upon, and here I am!
I’ve been in Germany now for more than 2 weeks, and I’m not sure yet whether it feels more like 2 minutes or 2 years. In either case, the road to getting here wasn’t without its almighty potholes- notably on the accommodation front.
It’s not like at KES (King Edward’s School, Witley if you’re not an Old Witleian) where assistants were usually offered a little flat in one of the boarding houses, oh no, dear Reader. In my case it was a frantic bout of emails sent out to people offering a room in a WG in Hamburg (Wohngemeinschaft – flat share. It would seem that the Germans can’t get enough of WGs), trying to come across as sane and neat and tidy as possible.
Despite trying to tailor my emails to each ad and only slightly bending the truth (‘Funny you should mention it, but I’m also a keen gardener’), I got no replies. Hmm. Plan B would ideally have consisted of maintaining a sense of calm and putting my thinking cap on. But no, it involved a reasonable amount of hysteria, tears and a panicked call from home in Aldershot to my Dad over in Bonn. Calm as ever, he was straight online, booked a flat viewing, and I flew over to Germany the next day. We saw the flat, signed the contract, job done. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without him- it pays off to have a parent abroad sometimes!
So once it was all signed I could actually look back with huge relief on one particular lucky escape I had. I could so easily have ended up living with a somewhat ‘questionable’ character. I saw an ad for a room in this beautiful-looking flat overlooking one of Hamburg’s many rivers (this city is beautiful- if you haven’t been I’d definitely recommend a trip!). So, I sent an email. The shocking thing is though, that I actually got a reply within about 2 hours! (I should’ve known something was wrong at this point. No one replies. Ever.) He suggested I add him on Facebook so we could get to know each other, so I did.
Well, dear Reader, I should’ve guessed it. He was looking for a female flatmate, aged 18-33, and some of his ‘liked’ pages on Facebook were along the lines of ‘Singles in Hamburg’ and ‘Singles Holidays in Hamburg’. To cut a long story short, this man (who, by the way, must’ve been pushing 40, if not 50) was actually looking for more of a live-in lover situation. Hm. So he was deleted and blocked quicker than you can say, ‘I think we want different things.’
So here I am, sitting in my little Wohnung (flat) in Hamm-Mitte, Hamburg. Thanks again to my Dad, I have furniture, all beautifully assembled. I’ve done my bit though, I went all out and bought a pin board.
So far I’ve been having a brilliant time! Along with some of the other assistants in Hamburg who were also at the initial training course near Cologne 2 weeks ago, I’ve been able to explore different parts of this wonderful city, including the delightful and eternally modest Reeperbahn (I’ve seen some thought-provoking things in Nottingham, but my God). It pains me to think that my Grandparents used to go there. I’m dreading answering Granny’s questions on how it’s changed. I don’t think she’d want to know about the Eiffel Tower shaped dildos proudly on display 24/7 in the windows of Europe’s largest sex shop. (That is also why she must never know about this blog.)
I might have to embellish and sugar-coat a tad when we’re sat round the table on Christmas Day.
So I’m going to leave you on that tasteful bombshell, and look forward to filling you all in on work & play in Hamburg very soon!
eure Charlotte xxx