We had no school on the 5th and 6th of May, in celebration of Ascension Day. I decided to make the most of my time off of school. Since the fifth (a Thursday) was Ascension Day, no stores were open. I have been somewhat missing forests and clusters of trees for the last while, and I decided to spend the Thursday at Stadtpark (City Park). It was my first visit there, and I honestly loved it. It was so beautiful, and the trees and nature were in full Spring bloom. I think my favourite part of the park must have been a winding path that I found set off to the side, cloaked by the trees. The tree canopy only allowed stray strands of light to pass through, creating a surrealistic effect. As I wandered down the path there were slips of paper, on which were poetic German quotes, hanging from tree branches or nestled away somewhere - it was fun, felt whimsical, and was a bit of a treasure hunt for all of the quotes. It was great.
After spending a few hours in the park, something else interesting happened as I headed home. While walking to the train station, I was feeling a bit cold and pulled on a black sweater, that I had brought along with me last minute, over my gray button down shirt. I didn't really care how it looked, I was just cold, but I thought that no matter how it looked, it was probably an "interesting" combination. It somewhat reminded me of the Facebook project Humans of New York which always seems to find people with interesting or important stories, and also interesting clothing choices. I was offhandedly wondering what I would say my story was, if something like that were to happen to me. I think it is a big question to ask, "What is your story?", and even harder to answer - and maybe just as equally important. I still haven't decided, even at this point, what I would say my story is. I think that the story is always evolving, constantly changing, and so it is alright that I haven't figured mine out quite yet.
Anyways, this probably seems like a useless story, me wondering this as I walked back to the train station, but I have a reason for sharing it: later on in my return home, I was at another train station, sitting on a bench, waiting for my train to come. There was a lady at the far end of the bench, who was taking photos of the area, and I just let her do her thing, staying quiet. Eventually the photographer politely asked me if she could take my picture in profile, and I replied with a "Sure, why not?" Afterwards, she explained that she takes and develops these photos in black and white on her own. It turned out we needed to get on the same train and so we sat with each other, chatting until I had to get off at my stop, where we parted ways. It was really nice meeting her. Technically, the photographer didn't ask me for my story to accompany the photo, but I thought it was an interesting coincidence.
The next day, I went to the Hamburg Harbor to see the Harbor birthday celebrations. It was extremely hot that day, though, so I did not stick around for long or see much, but it was nice! It was a bright and sunny day, with ships from all over the world sailing by the Harbor as part of the celebrations. After an hour there, I went to Europa Passage - a mall in Jungfernstieg. I did not go in order to buy anything, just to wander. I love Jungfernstieg, it is a beautiful area, and I also really like that mall. There was a prize wheel, which anyone could spin, to get a coupon for one of the stores. I spun it just for fun, and won a 5 euro coupon for a lingerie store. I (obviously) did not need that, but it was funny as I had to go to the makeshift counter to collect my lingerie coupon. The lady behind the counter couldn't hold herself back from laughing, nor could I.
As I was on the train home, a refugee man came up to me and asked in broken German for help understanding how to get a necessary PIN number from his phone contract paper, since he couldn't understand what it was saying he needed to do to reveal the PIN number, which was covered by a substance. I quickly read the description, and showed him that it needed to be scratched at, in order to show the numbers beneath, instead of peeled away. He was a really nice man, and although we couldn't talk on the ride, it was really nice.
I have had lots of refugees (or just random strangers) come up to me for help on the streets or in the train before, and it always makes me happy. It makes me happy that I can help them, especially since they are all such nice people. It also brightens my day to know that they view me as a nice and trustworthy person who can and will help them.
On the Sunday evening, I was feeling really tired. Because of the tiredness, I felt really tempted to just do absolutely nothing - to just skip my plans to go to the Harbor for the final celebrations and just stay home in bed. But I realized that I only had things to lose or regret if I did not go, so I went. When I got there it was getting later in the evening, so things were starting to close up, but there was still stuff to see and do. I wandered through the street, which was set up a bit like a small carnival, minus the amusement rides. Then I retraced my steps, heading to the Elbtunnel (which I had already visited once back in October or November). Right before the entrance heading down to the tunnel, there was a radio concert in full blast, for free. I hung out there for a bit, and then when it was seeming to be beginning to wrap up, and was on a song I didn't care about too too much, I headed down into the Tunnel. It was just as beautiful as the first time! It seems to never cease to amaze, I love it. It feels ancient, and you can see the age in the Tunnel in a really nice way. A great way to end the day before heading back home, to bed.
I apologize again about the large gap between posts. I intend on starting on my next post about this last weekend fairly soon though (within the day). I have this week off of school, which is really nice. I am hoping to make the most of it, see lots of places and things, but today is a day of rest (in the middle of the week), since I have been doing quite a bit.
I hope that all is still well with you guys since the last time I posted. And I will talk to you soon!