Take Me Down To Hamburg City: A Couchsurfing Invasion
To enjoy this story as it is intended, please click the big orange play button below, and enjoy some familiar sounds from SoundCloud while you read some thoughts from a few days at the Hamburg Couchsurfing Invasion 2013. And try not to read it too fast. Thank you.
Take Me Down To Hamburg City
I’m on a bus between Hamburg and Berlin. It’s about 7pm, and my smartphone is delivering me the same old happy-go-lucky tunes I’ve travelled with for the last 5 years (no exaggeration). I’ve just had the best weekend and I’m basking in the aftermath of a great few days. Long nights, somewhat productive days, and an overload of alcoholic socialising, interspersed with talking shop.
I think to myself, quite vividly, ‘I love this shit’. My second voice tells me that what I just uttered is a terrible use of the English language, and that Stephen Fry will be spinning in his four-poster bed. But it can’t be helped. I’m still enjoying the weekend buzz too much to suffocate it. I really, LOVE, this, shit.
The bus has wi-fi and power so I can write or research and bend my thoughts into tools to keep this new-age lifestyle on the road. The four-hour plus journey, with no distractions from pen, paper and laptop, also satisfies my inner child. The one that craves solitude as much as love or sunlight.
New ideas are streaming past my eyeballs too fast for me to capture them all. I don’t know where they come from, but it must have something to do with bingeing for days on alcohol, sugary drinks, additives and late night junk food. It’s like having a head-full of oompah loompahs, normally happy to potter about tending my intra-cranial shrubbery, until I shock them into noisy hyperactivity with 1000s of calories an hour and no comfort breaks.
Think bizarro midget-party, filmed in slow motion, with strobe lights and dancing-girls, rainbows of sweets floating through the air, all set on a giant trampoline. That’s what it’s like inside my head. Run-DMC – ‘Walk This Way’ drops into my ears.
I’m in heaven. A middle-class, university educated, English-speaking 30-something Caucasian male. The world is so easy for me. I don’t need archaic fairy stories to teach me about the world. I’m in the midst of it all, seeing for myself. I’m free and it’s all so very easy.
Hamburg itself was a real revelation too. A clean modern city with lots of green spaces, waterways and bike lanes in every direction. Lovely cityscapes set against open skies, with a variety of architectural styles. And plenty of nightlife, in case you somehow missed that point.
Thanks to all the crew that organised the event! The Hamburg Couchsurfing Invasion 2013 was a winner, and amazing value for money; with organised parties, tours and BBQs all included. If you haven’t explored Hamburg yet, I recommend getting next years’ CS Invasion in your diary pronto. A few more pics below, and lots on the way from other aspects of the city too.
I wasn’t going to post this little chronicle, but listening to this graduation speech by David Foster Wallace yesterday, the 5th anniversary of his death, encouraged me to publish it after all. Feel free to add your thoughts on the speech or my post below!