Tuesday/Wednesday – Day 33/34
Posted on 26th August 2012
Unfortunately there are no photos from the next few days so bear with till this blog becomes all colourful again!
Having reserved a seat on the six hour train from Mannheim to Hamburg, I was fairly confident that this time I would receive a seat. Littkle did I know that my train would be almost empty and thus I had an entire private cabin to myself. For the next six hours I drifted in and out of sleep, waking as the conductor came to check my ticket a few times.
Finally, at 1:37AM I arrived at Hamburg Hbf, an almost deserted station at that hour, with many shady types hanging around. My next task was to find the bus stop to the airport, which after about twenty minutes of walking round trying to keep safe I eventually found albeit, populated by a few drunks and some other individuals which to save on the description, I’ll just say I wouldn’t wish to meet on a regular basis.
After a half hour wait, the bus arrived and I nervously boarded with all my bags, arriving after a further twenty minutes to a shuttered Hamburg International Airport. I waited in a small area the security guard opened inside the arrival lounge and cleaned myself up a bit, taking all my bags into the bathroom with me for a shave and a semi-shower with the tap water. I read through “The Litigators”, the new John Grisham book, and spent time observing the other sorry souls surrounding me. No doubt they, unlike me, were catching the first plane of the morning, Airberlin to Berlin. Despite the moaning tone of this post, I quite enjoyed watching the airport go from silent, to bustling and full, as security guards opened up areas, activated escalators and the other staff wandered in, bleary eyed to greet each other in the morn.
I was first in line for my IcelandAir flight, on which no food was served. The flight itself was fine, but nothing special. However, the airplane itself was replete with Icelandic words covering it, and the interior was themed in much the same way. The music during boarding was Sigur Ros, a well known Icelandic band and though I am generally against bottled water, the water from the fjords provided tasted fresh and delicious.
My time after landing in Iceland was all too short! Unfortunately due to my extended stay in Europe and Israel, I had only the time for a transfer. Though I did not see the Fjords, I can comment on the airport shopping: fish and ice-gear. I sampled some of the wild Icelandic smoked salmon and can say that it was top notch. Adding Iceland on the todo list for later.
The flight to the USA was just about the same as the flight from Hamburg, and passed without event. Passport control and customs in the US were not at all a fuss and too, are not worthy of being described in print.
Exiting into the arrivals hall I saw one Samuel ‘Gus’ Ruchman waiting for me with open arms. A very close friend from ISSI who due to his volunteer efforts in Africa and busy school schedule I had found it hard to keep in contact with. This however was no barrier to our friendship and the next few days with him proved that though friends may not see each other for years at a time, it is possible to retain a strong relationship. His parents generously took me in, and after a lovely home cooked meal and a walk around the local nature reserve (I saw a racoon!), jet-lag took me and I was fast asleep.
The next day was spent hanging out and having a good dose of guy time, something I had been sorely lacking in a while, and though our choice of movie for Wednesday evening (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), isn’t exactly known to be the favorite of most guys, we enjoyed it thoroughly. Other hours were spent discussing musical composition and I had the opportunity to play on his grand piano, a beautiful specimen. I felt like a missing part of me had been filled, as though I have many dear and close friends at home, Gus fills a different part as he and I connect on a number of levels, from our involvement in Jewish life, to our love for musicals and political discussion. I was sorry to leave him on Thursday to give him time to prepare for his return to Harvard.