Blogging from Germany! Oh yeah!
Hamburg is a really, really nice city. It was the first European city I ever visited, and I think at the time (back in 2001), I didn't realize how nice it was because I had nothing to compare it to. Since then, every other European city I've visited has been ugly or run-down. Now I think maybe I was comparing them to Hamburg (and possibly Berlin) without knowing it. I had to come full circle and return to Hamburg to realize that I was spoiled with my first visit to Europe. Paris is alright, it has its nice spots. Amsterdam has a certain wealthy, Dutch charm. But Hamburg is absolutely beautiful. Almost every building is topped with copper. I asked Ingo why, and he said it was traditional to put copper on churches. "No," I said, "I mean, why is it on every building? Other cities don't have that." He couldn't answer. I remember thinking UW looked like Europe, because it was all red brick and (green) copper tops, but now I realize it just looks like Hamburg. If someone told me I had to live in Hamburg, I'd be okay with that.
For some reason, it drives me nuts that I don't speak German. I have this weird feeling that I should speak it. I think it's ugly and I can't get my mouth to produce the sounds necessary to form German words, yet I want to know it. I don't want to go through the process of learning it, I just want it to be downloaded directly into my brain. But as that isn't an option (yet), I think I will try to learn it. I don't feel that way about any other language. When I hear people speaking Russian or Arabic around me, I don't feel the same urge to be able to communicate with them. I guess I just like Germans. I certainly like Germany a lot. I've always said, I wish I could live in Germany with Germans, but speak French. And I wish there were only two seasons, spring and summer. But life is what it is.