The Beginning of the End

Happy October everyone!

This week I moved to the Online department, kicking off the last phase of my internship here in Hamburg.  While the work so far isn't quite as familiar as what we did in Design, it is quite similar to what we did in Advertising.  I expect it will wind up being a fairly even blend of the last two departments.  Four out of five of my new coworkers are tall blond guys (how German!); the fifth is a petite brunette girl.  Two of the boys look so similar they could be twins, which was thoroughly confusing when I was having names explained to me.  Having now spent two days in their company I can confidently say they are a friendly bunch and I foresee us all getting along quite well.  The whole bunch are complete coffee addicts, so at least three or four times daily we head to the company espresso machine for a brief social and a hit of caffeine.  I've found this has been a good opportunity to break the ice and get to know them a little.

If living/working in Germany has taught me anything it's that the key to getting to know people is persistence.  It would seem that especially when cultural and language differences are introduced everyone becomes quite shy, and it's up to you to help them over it.  At this point I just do my best to be relaxed, humorous, and inquisitive, and they usually get too distracted by my 21 questions to feel overly self-conscious.  So, before you know it everyone is friends.  This isn't to say that you'll all be going on weekend shopping trips together (at least not for a while), but at the very least you'll be able to chat and banter comfortably, which counts for an awful lot.

Things in general are pretty great right now.  I'm indescribably excited for my trips to France/Ireland, and am also a lot happier now that my return home isn't quite so distant.  Furthermore, plans for my return are slowly coming together.  I always like to have plans in place: not just Plan A, but Plan B, Plan C, etcetera.  I think I've already mentioned the career opportunity in Toronto, which is currently a tentative Plan A if things come together.  What's really making me content, however, is that I now have two additional back-up plans if Toronto doesn't work out.  Over the last couple of weeks two particular Design companies have been brought to my attention.  One is based in Vancouver, and the other has locations in both Montréal and Toronto, not to mention in several European locations.  I haven't had much time to research the former (I only discovered it today), but the latter is quite prestigious and could be a major step career-wise.

If life works out perfectly here's how it will go: I will return from Germany and begin on the Toronto project.  Following the Toronto project (which could be anything from 6 months to a year, who knows?) I would be able to score a job at either the Montreal or Toronto site of my preferred Design company, and a while down the road could possibly spend a year abroad in their Parisian office.  Plan B (which is still pretty great): if Toronto doesn't happen then I would hope my German internship would be impressive enough to get me an internship either at my first choice in Montreal/Toronto or (Plan C) at my second choice in Vancouver, which would conclude with a job and pick up where Plan A left off.  So, no matter what I have a plan and a way forward.  The idea of being directionless or without a goal terrifies me a little.  Also, I have a bet going with a friend of mine to see who can be more successful by the time our 10 year high school reunion comes around, and I have no intention of losing (en garde Sam!).

As for the long weekend (Monday was German Unity Day), it was pretty good.  Friday night a few of the Design people took me out to celebrate my last day with them, and so first we hit up the Schanze, followed by some weird sisha (?) bar since it was ladies' night, and concluding at the Reeperbahn.  I didn't get back home until 6:30, so I spent most of Saturday in bed catching up on some rest.

On Sunday I met up with a friend from work at a place called The Beach Club.  It's right down by the banks of the Elbe, and it's basically this big patio.  The thing is, the patio is covered in sand and beach chairs, and all the drinks are tropically-themed.  I gathered it's the place to go when there's no such thing as a real beach nearby.  They played fun techno music and it was a gorgeous day so we stayed there for quite some time (getting complimentary drinks from the bar - not bad!).  After that we strolled along the docks on the Elbe, then took a ferry down past the Altona to an area whose name I don't recall.  I got to see the famous building shaped like a giant glass boat, as well as some of the famed crate-like architecture by the waterfront.  We arrived at a little restaurant/bar area, and went to a little place called Fischerestaurant (spelling?) where we all enjoyed a dessert.  It was a pretty little place with soft lighting and climbing plants overlooking the cozy cobblestone street.

Before getting up to my apartment I made a quick stop at the gas station nearby for some milk, and it just so happened that a big tour bus full of drunk men was stopped there.  While in line one of them tapped my shoulder and said something German, to which I replied I didn't understand.  They proceeded to invite me to drink with them, but I gave them and excuse and slipped away because I had no idea where the bus was headed or what kind of characters they were and it generally seemed like a bit of a sketchy idea.  But nonetheless it was pretty amusing.

Sunday wasn't remotely exciting as it was dedicated entirely to chores.  I won't bore you with the details.

As for romance, there is none in my life and I have no expectation it will be otherwise until I leave the country.  The less I think on it the better.

Well that about sums it up, but I'll try to update on Tuesday (more likely Wednesday or Thursday) of next week regarding my trip to France.  Until next time!

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