Yesterday I got told off by a very grumpy old guy for parking my bike for ten minutes in front of the building. Allegedly he couldn't reach the bell- which he had just pressed. I sweetly told him I didn't understand any German until he shuttup, but he tried for quite a long time to convey his wrath by shaking his fingers in the direction of the bell and snarling at me. Uptight? Not at all. It was extremely satisfying to stare at him bemusedly until he fucked off.
What a mad place this is- I'm really starting to like it. Spent the weekend in Hamburg catching up with family and eating a lot of cheese. My current cheese habit is now about three times a day, but it can get up to five if I'm really not feeling up to making any hard decisions about how to get a veggie friendly meal out of a German supermarket. I am also supporting a rather enormous bread habit- about five slices/rolls a day seems to be the average. It's not that there isn't other stuff to eat, it's just that it seems so normal to eat almost nothing but bread and cheese, and drink beer.
I was at the bank the other day waiting for my students to turn up and checking out the art on the walls. There was this series of coloured drawing about the building of the north harbour and one sentence was something like "and then all the town came to watch the new harbour being built, with bread and cheese and beer, and made a picnic".
Finally got to speak to Benjamin the other day which was lovely- he is going to Azerbaijan to teach English there which is utterly insane. On our trip to Hamburg Matt and I, who are still in mourning for Benjamin because he's not coming back, were sharing a ticket with two people, a guy and a girl. The girl turned out to be from Benjamin's home town and the guy was from Azerbaijan. Unbelievable. It's like his ghost is following us around.
Tomorrow is my birthday and I have four lovely packages to open- can't wait.