On Thursday night, I had drinks with Sue, my awesome teammate’s Kym’s friend, who had lived in Hamburg for 7 years to find out what it is like living there as an Aussie expat. Sue was extremely well-prepared – she brought maps! – and filled me in on everything I needed to know from where to live, the important life skill of layering, lüften and dealing with the directness of Germans. It was also reassuring to know that the things I had read and researched myself were all correct and I wasn’t really going in with any wrong ideas.
I have also been told what football club I must follow (Hamburg has two) and reading up about the club and their anti-racist, anti-homophobic, left wing mindset, their embracing of sub-cultures, the fact they banned right wing neo-nazis from attending their games and their logo (the skull & crossbones), I am now a St Pauli (pronounced Saint Pal-li) fan. Seriously, how could I, a goth-lite, forensic anthrolopolgy nerd, not support a team whose logo is this.
Also, their games sound like they have a real party atmosphere. Scary to think that there is a good chance I will become a football/soccer fan.
I am also steeling myself for the weather. I knew that it rained in Hamburg about one day out of every three, but, as Sue informed me, I will be inside for at least 6 months a year and that the weather is so bad, that they call grey skies blue. Excellent. Don’t be surprised if there is a lot of bitching about the weather in my blog posts.
After meeting with Sue, I am feeling much more confident about the move. Yes, there will be times when it will all become too much, too alien and too different (I’ve been warned), but on the whole, I think it will be a good thing for me.