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Entries about shopping

Raging heat

sunny 33 °C

Today I spent the morning at primarkt. Woohoo! Finally got to go shopping. And I'm not sure, but since it's in Germany it might be cheaper than in London? At any rate, I overshot my budget so no more shopping for a while for me. And I'm gonna have to scrimp for the next few days already. No moneyyyy.

Dropped off my shopping at the hostel and then went off to darmstadt for the afternoon! Ended up paying for a tageskarte (day ticket) which was expensive but turned out to be really useful, because it was hot and I got to take the trams and buses around. Lifesaver. Otherwise I really would have walked most of it and then ended up with heatstroke. I'm not whining here, it's that bad. But because when you travel you pretty much spend most of the day walking in the sun. So yeah.

First I took a bus up north to see the waldspiral, it's a residential area with an interesting architecture? Kind of like a successful Parc Guel but not quite so... Gaudi hahaha. Then I attempted to get a bus that would bring me South east, but I got a bit lost in a school compound so I asked someone to help. And somehow his sense of direction was a bit off and he ended leading me in the opposite direction, so I was pretty much back at the waldspiral lol. And he was very apologetic about it, rather annoyed at himself too, but okay la I had a nice conversation.

Then at the bus stop I got some help from 2 old people and one young black dude on how to get to Mathildenhohe. They were so nice about it!

Finally got there, had no idea what I should be looking for, but went into a museumish place with 'Mathildenhohe' on it, decided not to pay for entry fee, and used the toilet (it was so much cooler there than anywhere else, what relief), then asked the receptionist about where to walk. She showed me and then I roughly set out to see the houses.

Mathildenhohe, from what I gathered, is an art nouveau area that managed to survive ww2 bombing. I just managed to see some cool architecture, that was nice?

Then bus back to the Markt Platz to meet E. I went into a grocery store and bought carrot juice. Then sat on a bench inside the store for close to 45min because I was early haha. And also for the blessed air con!!!

I waited for the longest time. Her seminar supposedly ended at 6, we were to meet at 7, but she didn't reply til 8. I thought she'd stood me up lol. But apparently archi lecturers are crazy and are pretty terrible sometimes, and it only ended at 9. She rushed over and we met at 930, it was really cool seeing her again!

Went for a beer at a local Biergarten. Was very cool cos so far I've only been to one Biergarten and that was in München but like, before dinner time haha. We had Apfelwein because I asked for a local bier, and it was like only slightly gassy cider. Which is why I managed to drink 400ml no problem. But I really think I'm a lightweight by the way. So good conversation, also when her friend T arrived. That was a lot of fun!

Left to get my 1130 train back to Frankfurt. Then mad rush to pack. I didn't even shower that night which was really gross because I was so madly sticky. But I didn't care because it was so very late already and it wasn't my own bed anyway. But it really took me a while to fall asleep.

Posted by seaskimmer 15:48 Archived in Germany Tagged shopping germany frankfurt darmstadt Comments (0)

New Things

Unfamiliarity breeds patriotism

semi-overcast 8 °C

Friday, 2 May

Today I went with S and MJ to Neumuenster. It's a designer outlet mall about 2 hours of train and bus from Hamburg. I kind of regret going, because I really have no money for that kind of place. I only agreed yesterday night because I thought it might be fun and I thought I might be able to get a few good deals. But by the time lunchtime rolled around… I began to remember past experiences and the current state of my accounts! Then I decided to go along with the plan so that S wouldn't go alone (or so I thought) and so that I could be a bit more social lol. By the time we got to Neumuenster and I'd paid 11eur for a two-way train, and 2eur for the bus there, I was wishing I'd stayed in Hamburg and paid 5eur for Nordwandhalle instead. In the end I did manage to buy a pair of slippers, which was of an acceptable price and which I kind of needed anyway. But the whole time I was thinking, this would be so much cheaper in Primart…

According to the countdown on my phone, I've spent 62 days overseas and have 94 days left. I'm 40% through the 156 days : ( Even in this relatively short time, I think I've already learnt a lot.

I've learnt from keeping track of my money and deciding that I don't want to completely drain my accounts that money is hard to come by. I've never been so conscious of my spending before. In this respect I'm grateful to various really thrifty friends (ahem… E) who've shown me that living cheaply is a matter of perspective and priorities. Not to say that my parents haven't taught me to be careful with my money, but it's so different when my peers do so too.

I've also learnt more about accepting harder times. We've got all these sayings, no pain no gain, stretch yourself, blood sweat and chalk… but it's hard to keep the end in sight when you're actually going through that tougher time. The concept of strengthening through applying greater stress applies to pretty much every situation in life. I need to not be so soft, to stop complaining, to look ahead, and to shoulder on.

I've met many many people in the past two months and have had opportunity to observe. In some aspects I think I'm less naïve than some. For example in the money thing, I have one or two friends who really don’t realise that they spend a lot, because they're pretty rich. Also in terms of being open to new cultures, some display ignorance and others, prejudice. Seeing these things in them also made me consider my own deep-set, subconscious ignorance and prejudice. I think this is a lesson in lifelong learning as well as humility.

Another people thing: Europeans have a very different travel style from Asians. Asians tend to want to visit many places and take photos of all the famous places. Europeans will stay in a single country for a longer time, are more willing to chill and explore and talk to people. I think Asian style travel gets exhausting and meaningless after a while. And European style travel can be boring and doesn't let you see enough of the world. As always, moderation is key, so maybe I'll mix in a little of both.

Hamburg is gloriously sunny on some days but otherwise cold and windy. I miss my Singapore sunshine. Recently watched a few videos and read a few articles related to Singapore. Nostalgic and patriotic. I'm totally gonna follow the next election properly and read up on local politics, which I've never cared about before. Doing my best for my country! Anyway I'm having fun here, eager to see more of Europe, excited to hear what my profs have to say (maybe). I watch the counter on my phone with both trepidation and yearning. In the end I'll just try to make the most of my time here! What that means I'm not too sure. We shall see.

Posted by seaskimmer 08:54 Archived in Germany Tagged singapore shopping germany reflection hamburg daytrip Comments (0)

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