This is a difficult post to write because a very dear young man that I grew up with died last week. The topics I blog about seem so meaningless in comparison. As the Swedish (and English) express it beautifully indirect, he went away in cancer. Some 60 years too early. I will miss him very much.
I am very behind with my updates here. I wanted to write about how Michelle was here and we had a nice weekend with 45 degrees celsius on my baloncy. Shortly thereafter, Malin came despite her cold and we met three Swedish groups during two days. I believe there must be a nest somewhere! Two weeks ago, Michelle and I went to the Baumarkt to get some stuff for Heimwerken. As we were waiting for the bus, I saw the logo of the Hamburg transportation company and sometimes I get confused because when my friends that I have only been in Sweden with and that speak Swedish to me are somewhere else with me, I can look at the German logo and be like, “Look at this, this is just like in Germany!” – until I remember that it is in Germany. This confusion is increased when suddenly a Swedish couple joins us at the bus stop. I looked at Michelle and my brain tried to rearrange where we were. Luckily, my brain is fast at these things. Michelle and I immediately and intuitively switched to German. The Baumarkt is not located in a tourist area at all so I found it funny that they were there. (Jugdging their poor knowledge of the transportation system they were tourists.) It got even crazier the week after when Malin and I had to go back to the Baumarkt. (Yeah, visiting me is basically only going to Baumarkt and doing Heimwerker things. I am so thankful that I have friends who not only put up with that but support me in it.) And as we approach the Baumarkt, we hear native Swedish behind us again. Tourists! I think either there is a Swedish nest in Wandsbek or there is a tourist attraction in that suburb that is extremely interesting for Swedes. Like a store that gives out alcohol for free or something.
Malin and I went grocery shopping that night in my quarter which is also not a tourist spot. Guess who we meet in the vegetable section? Just right, a Swedish family. We finally figured that you cannot trash talk anyone or anything (not that we had done it) in Hamburg when we walked through the Elb Tunnel the next day. A lady wanted to take a photo and I was unintentionally blocking her way. Malin made me aware of that in Swedish to which the lady replied, “Nej, det är ingen fara!” So either Malin draws all her countrymen towards her or there is a nest in this city. Both would be fine for me.
We also went to the beach on Saturday night with my friend Annika. Yes, Hamburg has a city beach! It was crowded because the Hamburgers gathered to wave the cruise ship Queen Mary 2 goodbye. This is a thing in Hamburg and while I might not fully have understood why that ship is so important, it was very nice to see the smaller ships accompany the Queen out of the harbour with her passengeres waving to us. I stood on the shore imaginging that they were going to New York and thought of the immigrants that have left from Hamburg in the 1800s.
When Malin came, we also met Annika and went to Strand Pauli, a bar that Nicola was so excited about that I just had to go there.
We also went on a tour with the tourist bus but unfortunately the guide spoke poor English and only translated 30% of his German explainations…