We are in a different place now, an environment not so German, a place that smells of youth, not decay. A place certainly more European. In the last week we have had authentic Thai food, and authentic Indian food. There are boutique shops and Hawthorne/NW 23rd style area in Hamburg. We found Bierland, a store full of rare German beers, but even better, a small stock of Belgian beers that I miss very much. There is a world famous redlight district (the Reeperbahn) that gives the city some grit, that we like. We have obtained a video membership (yes, even this can be a challenge), and we hear many languages, including English, spoken everywhere. The small station near our house even announces the stops in English. We met our neighbor downstairs, who's wife is from Wyoming. I bought a soda in the shop yesterday and I motioned for another guy in line to go ahead of me, but he said "no, thankyou, you were here first." He must have heard me speaking to Mayzie. We relaxed on a beach while Mayzie frollicked in the Elbe river. We rented a canoe and paddled around the canals near our apartment.
This is a strange place--still Germany, but not the Germany we know. We have much to learn.
See the link for the latest pictures.