As soon as Darryl arrived in Copenhagen, we went exploring. It was 10 AM in Denmark, so roughly 3 AM his time. We both were running on very little sleep so when it started to downpour during our walking tour, we justified going back to my dorm for a bit so he could nap. While he was passed out, I secured a spot for him at my program’s social event for the evening: Danish folk dancing with a live band. The event took place at one of the business school buildings, and everyone from my program was there, so it was a great way for him to meet the gang. Plus we all know Darryl loves dancing, and is damn good at it. The evening progressed quickly and the last thing I really remember is drinking world’s most delicious Mojito at some bar that everyone was smoking inside of.
Six hours later we were on a train to Germany. We planned a trip to see Deutschland, stopping in Lübeck first. Lübeck is a tiny town in northern Germany that was relatively well preserved during WW2 (minus some big fires) so everything is very old, very German, and very cute. I spent most of the train ride sleeping, but Weezy was as giddy as a school boy being on a high speed train for the first time. I think he spent the whole trip staring out the window looking for deer. The coolest part of the journey was the ferry ride across the Baltic Sea. Literally the entire train just scoots on a boat and 45 minutes later you are in another country. The ferry is not like any other ferry you would see in the states (certainly nothing like the Merrimac ferry we visited the day before I left for Copenhagen). This ferry was an all out cruise ship, complete with shops, four cafes, and of course – a Duty Free. Apparently all the cool kids buy their alcohol tax free while in international waters.
Lübeck was just as we had imagined: adorbs. There is a main city center gate that literally looks like a Disney Castle, and then the town is littered with old gothic churches and tiny cobblestone streets. We went into three churches and got some awesome views of the city that way. Rather than sit at a cute European café for lunch, Weezy and I did what a professional eating team would do: snack our way through the city. First stop was Nord Sea, which is definitely a glorified fast food chain that sells any type of fish imaginable. Naturally Darryl ordered the herring. Not more than 4 minutes after we left Nord Sea, we saw a sign for one Euro pizza sticks. I didn’t know what a pizza stick was but I sure as hell wanted one for one Euro. I now know that the abrev “stk” is not for stick, but rather German for “piece.” Regardless of the shape the pizza came in, it was a Euro, and it was good.
Last stop on the eating team tour was Der Ratskeller. Which barely had any beer on tap and was not located in a basement like it should have been. And our waitress most definitely did not speak English. I’ll take UW’s Ratskeller any day compared to this place, but sitting outside in the middle of Germany drinking a cold beer with my boyfriend was pretty idyllic and perfect regardless.
At about 5 PM we hopped a regional train to Hamburg to meet Darryl’s friend Robert. Robert had graciously offered to host us for the weekend and I had just assumed he was someone Darryl had met in lab or something. On the train there I learned for the first time that Robert was actually Darryl’s childhood roommate. When baby Weezy was 13, his parents hosted Robert (who was born and raised in Hamburg) on an exchange program for one year and him and Darryl shared a room. Robert was a senior in high school and Darryl was a prepubescent punk with a bowl cut. I was delighted with the opportunity to meet Robert after hearing that because I knew there had to be some great stories from that year. Luckily, I got more than stories. I got pictures, too. And that made the whole trip entirely worth it. I am shocked that Robert even recognized Darryl so fast when we arrived at the main station in Hamburg, because that kid has grown 15 inches and lost all his blonde locks since the last time Robert saw him. Thank god for Facebook photos right?
Robert and his girlfriend Andrea picked us up at the station and drove us back to their AMAZING apartment just outside the city center. The housing market in Hamburg is an absolute nightmare from everything that we have heard, and unless you know someone who knows someone who knows someone who has a lot of money, you live with your parents until you are 35. Robert and Andrea had really lucked out and had been in their new place since December, and it was freaking adorable. Having a place to stay there that wasn’t a hostel and was free of charge was incredible. And they had a Keurig…hehe.
That night we went to Robert’s parents house to have dinner and Darryl got the chance to see where Robert grew up. His parents were waiting at the window for us when we arrived, with a beautiful meal prepared. They were such gracious hosts and you could tell they were so pleased to have Darryl in their home. We took tons of photos that will make a great scrapbook for Weezy’s parents, Carmen and Jerome. Hopefully they will even see it in person some day, because it really was a special experience and I was so glad I got to be a part the reunion.
Post dinner, Robert had big plans to show us Hamburg night life. We told him that we were more of pub people, as opposed to clubs and raves, so he suggested the St. Pauli district, where there were lots of bars and pubs that were fun to just go chill at. However, Robert failed to mention that St. Pauli was the heart of the red light district. St. Pauli makes Las Vegas looks like a monastery in comparison. I didn’t know what I expected from Hamburg night life, but it CERTAINLY wasn’t that. Within 10 minutes of being on the street, we spotted six prostitutes, all wearing fanny packs. At one point, Robert asked me to wait outside while him and Darryl disappeared down a street that was blocked by a wooden fence that was not friendly to females. To quote Robert: “If Darryl and I aren’t back in three minutes, you know what happened.” Lucky for me, they came back.
The only way to describe how I felt in St. Pauli is OVER STIMULATED. There was too much to look at, too much to stare at, too many reasons to watch your back, and I frankly was pretty terrified. We spent the majority of our night at the Draft House where a live band played everything from Linkin Park to Nirvana, to Oasis. The Germans sure know how to head bang.
Despite a lovely traditional Southern German dinner at Robert’s parent’s house, the Eating Team was ready for battle again after the bars. We asked Robert to find us the best drunk food in town, and it was outside the subway that Weezy and I tasted a Donor Kebab for the first time. Neither of our lives will ever be the same. In upcoming blog posts you will notice a theme: every event begins or ends with a Donor Kebab…sometimes both.
So stay tuned for Weezy and Melissa Adventures Part 2: A Day in Hamburg.