Traveling with too much baggage renewed my faith in human kindness.
I did my best with my luggage. It was just as difficult as I had anticipated, trying to carry all of that stuff at the same time by myself. (I am quite sore today!) But I met lots of nice people who saw my struggles and helped me lift luggage to the racks or down off the trains, or up onto the trains as well. Two men even helped me bring my suitcases all the way down the platform to the last car of my second train transfer.
There were a lot of fellow Americans traveling from France to Germany. I met a group of very kind Texan ladies who were meeting up with a tour group in Frankfurt and were curious about my travels as well. They were so amazed when I told them I was moving to Hamburg, and what I was doing this year in France. I found it quite relaxing to be able to chat to these ladies before we got off the train. I love that about Americans – often so friendly and talkative even to complete strangers. That reminds me of my mom a lot, and it’s something that I do a lot more now that I’m older.
After two transfers, I was finally on the way to Hamburg. On the last train from Hannover to Hamburg-Altona, I wasn’t able to get on the right car to my reserved seat. There wasn’t enough time on the platform before the train pulled away, so I just climbed into the nearest car and dragged my luggage through it to the next one. But instead of moving down two more cars to find my seat, I decided to stick my luggage near the door and stand there with it. I was just too tired and sore to deal with it anymore. So I was listening to MIKA on my iPod, and looking out the window as we approached Hamburg Hbf (Hamburg central station). We stopped at Hbf and then continued on to Hamburg-Altona, which is the stop nearest Tobi’s apartment. I was getting very excited at that point, and all of a sudden someone touched my hand. Boy was I surprised to see Tobias! I expected to meet him at Altona, not on the actual train! That was such a nice surprise…really sweet, fun and exciting!
Then we went home to his apartment. Now…our apartment! And he had beautiful red roses for me and a welcome sign on the table. We had salad with shrimp for dinner, and a friend came over for a little beer out on the balcony. It was nice. I’m so very glad to be here.
Tomorrow we leave for the States, and we won’t be back in Hamburg until August. I’m really excited about these travels and getting to see my family and friends again. But I’m also very glad to know that I am coming back here to Hamburg after that, to start a new life here. Exciting things are happening!