Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hamburg Rundfahrt

Our German class went for a walking tour around Hamburg on Friday. Each of us was given a landmark few days ago and we must give a short introduction on it when we reached the place. I got the Hamburger Rathaus (Cityhall). I did't know whether I was lucky or not. Since the Rathaus is a popular landmark in Hamburg and everybody should had been there before and knows about it, maybe I don't have to explain too much. On the other side, since the Rathaus is one of the most important landmark here, so there is also a lot to tell about it. I prepared a short note and hoped for the best.

The weather was perfect on Friday, we embarked from the Central Railway Station. After hearing others presentations, I started to feel scared as they were so well prepared. I was so tensed before we reached the Rathaus but I tried to enjoy all the places we had been to, some of them were unknown to me. At the Rathaus, I struggled through my presentations and read out what I prepared. I think I did quite good but anyway, I was so glad that it was over. Now in Hamburg, there is a celebration going on called "China Time Hamburg". It is held once every two years and during these two weeks, there are a lot of events going on all around Hamburg which emphasis on the long-time Chinese presence in Hamburg which traces back to the chinese traders in Hamburg some centuries ago. There are a lot of Chinese stalls in front of the Rathaus selling souvenirs and food on Friday. We had lunch there. Before we wanted to leave, we sighted a martial arts show and it was really nice even to me and some of my Chinese friends. We stood on the front row and we could snap some nice shots.

We went to almost 20 landmarks in Hamburg and dismissed after 6 hours walk. I was really tired and still enjoyed the day.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Celebration at home

I went home to Oldenburg last weekend to celebrate mooncake festival. After two weeks here in Hamburg, I miss Oldenburg so much although I start to enjoy the studying life in Hamburg also. Actually, it is not so bad after I made some new friends and most of them are quite nice. We had a class party last friday night where each of us had to prepare some foods and snacks. I made some spring rolls with a chinese friend at her place. We finished the food that we all brought and danced until midnight. I drank a small glass of red wine the whole night while others had drunk maybe a bottle plus two biers. It was funny but I really enjoyed it.

Saturday morning in Oldenburg, we went to the town and coincidently there was a wine fair. We tried some and decided to go home early since HK said my face had turned red like an apple. On Sunday, we celebrated Mooncake Festival. I cooked Nasi Lemak. Although quite compicated but I enjoyed it so much after not cooking for a week. Pei Wei brought back some Mooncakes for us from Malaysia and we had some together. Happy Mooncake Festival to all my friends, hope you guys enjoyed it as I did.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Back in Oldenburg

After the class on Friday, we went home to Oldenburg. Pei Wei also arrived the same day at Hamburg. I was so delighted to be here at home again, home sweet home. Today, we went again for shopping, especially for those things I need, which we could not find in Hamburg. Besides, I also found some nice boxes here at a shop. At the beginning, I was thinking to buy only one but bought three at the end. There are all in a series including a candle. The motive is a rats family. I am bringing them all back to Hamburg. Tomorrow, I am going back to Hamburg again, must work hard during the week to prepare for my exam. HK is coming to visit me again on Saturday and he took two weeks holiday this time. Hihi...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My first few days in Hamburg

I arrived yesterday here in Hamburg. Not so easy to me moving to a big town like Hamburg. I rented a guest room temporarily in a domitory, costs around 270€ per month, very expensive indeed. A domitory room in Oldenburg, like the one HK stayed last time costed only around 150€. We calculated and found that the rooms here cost around 50% more than in Oldenburg. No wonder in such a big city like Hamburg. It should be a well furnished guest room, however I just got a room in a normal apartment which is just free for one month. Peak season now since semester is starting, must accept. The room is on the 9th floor, condition? Terrible! Untidy, dirty and old. I have heard that the domitories in Hamburg are not maintain properly and I couldn't imagine that it is this bad. We both cleaned the room and went out for shopping. We bought a water kettle, food and daily needs. It is a nice little water kettle that changes colour depending on the temperature of the water. At the beginning, it is still blue but turns red when the water is boiled. Funny. The night, we went out for shopping and walked through the city center. Didn't know what to have for dinner and decided for fast food at the central station, KFC, finger lick'in good. We called it a day as we were so tired and directly went back to my room for rest. Couldn't really sleep the whole night as I was ancious of the first German class the next morning.

View from my window

My funny kettle

Today, we woked up early for breakfast and then headed to the university. Fortunately, the classmates are all ok and friendly and I felt comfortable. They come from every corner of the world, four asians including me, two from China and one from south Korea. Others from America, Africa and some from the rest of Europe. We had a test today to check our German level, Einstufungstest. The test was indeed not that hard and luckily I made a small revision the night before, result is coming out tomorrow and I am very excited. The German teachers are also very nice, hope that they stay so for the rest of the course. In fact, it is not plain languange course as they integrated some cultural activities into it, like get together party this weekend (I would not be able to join as I am going back to Oldenburg with HK and Pei Wei), museum visit, theater night and daily excursion in Hamburg and nearby cities. I think I will enjoy the course.

The course today ended quite early and we both went for a short sight-seeing in Hamburg city center. Took some photos and spent some time in a shopping mall. The city is really big and I think I need more time to explore. Hope that I could settle down as soon as possible. Before we went home, we stopped by at Ikea to grab a table lamp, rubbish bin, two pillows. Hope that I could find a better room in October.

Hamburg City Hall Building at the background

Europa Passage shopping mall

Monday, September 1, 2008

Sweet and Sour Crabs

Craving for crabs these few day and cooked my favourite crab dish, the sweet and sour crabs. We bough a packet of frozen crabs from the Asian supermarket here. Cost around 9€, quite expensive but these are very huge pieces. The crabs were ready cleaned and cut into pieces so it is really convenient. My dear cooked this, he learned this from his mother, I followed the steps and there are instead very simple.
For the sweet and sour crabs, you need:
  • crabs of course, smash the shell of the clamps slightly so that they are easier to eat later
  • garlic
  • dried chilies
  • ketchup
  • chili sauce
  • sugar, salt and pepper
  • water
  • 1 egg
Fried the garlic with chilies until fragrant and add in the crabs. Stir fry 1 minute and pour in ketchup and chili sauce. How much to add depends on how much sauce you want. Add water and stimmered until the crabs are cooked. Would not take too long, around 5-8 minutes would do. Add in seasoning at the end and pour one beaten egg to the sauce. The sauce is really good with white bread or Man Tou.

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