Wednesday, November 21, 2012

First weeks in Germany

So two weeks in Hamburg already, huh? Actually three. But let's tell the story from the beginning...

Hamburg's night skyline
When I wrote my mission announcing post, it was not actually my first time in Hamburg. Three weeks ago, I left for Hamburg for the first time, spent one whole week looking for a flat. I did not succeed and then I found out I cannot access my saving account at ČSOB bank from Germany. So, I returned home. One battle lost, but that does not mean a lost war.

On 3rd of November, I returned in the second attempt. In the meantine, I sent from home some 30 mails as replies for IT positions announcements. Success, I got an invitation for an interview! I set off for Hamburg for the second time.

This guy was just walking in the street, begging for food.
Definitely the prettiest beggar in Hamburg though.
And also this time it was horribly hard to find a flat or room in Hamburg. All in all, I sent around 40 replies to the shared accomodation offers at (one of the largest shared flat finder), but I got only 2 responses. I have no idea why the demand for accomodation here is so much higher than the supply.

Eventually, I rented a room in Elmshorn, a city some 45 km to the north of Hamburg. 300 €/month. Trains go every hour, so it's not that bad. The only thing that I miss here is a good internet
connection. And even this place I got thanks to the fact that I met an owner of the flat in the hostel.

The job interview was successfull, now I work as a PHP programmer for a company that deals with financial products. I am working on a kind of a comparator for insurance agents. PHP + MySql + MVC framework CodeIgniter. CodeIgniter looks pretty, but the project would need serious refactoring. I got a nice senior colleague though, who knows that and he is willing to do something about it.

The second floor. There I turn coffe into code.
So I am slowly getting used to being a "Hambuger". The sky is dark most of the times, people do not smile much, but when you talk to them, they start smiling and are really nice. Also at work, they have been very helpful. I live alone in this flat and sometimes I feel lonely, but I know it is worth it. I know I am growing. I know I am getting better at something. I bought Donald Duck comix and Harry Potter 7, both, of course, in German. No spoilers please! :)

Bundesliga fan, Hamburg played a match that day.
Hamburger DOM. I always wanted to buy this sugar
coated apple.

One of the couchsurging meeting is regularly held in a bar
with moravian beer. Good price, good taste, I must admit.

One of the pretty ships in the Hamburg port
This little thingie is Karina, with whom I had really nice time
exploring the city. She was from Rio de Janeiro, so she was
freezing her ass out even in my cap and gloves.
So, do we set off to seek the Fountain of Youth
or the Treasure Island?

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