Over the next few days, I spent time with Nugget and caught up. He and Adriana had met in New Zealand almost right after I left and had hit it off from the beginning. So a few months later he decided to move to Germany with her. They were both on the lease for the apartment in Bramfeld even though Nugget didn’t even have a job yet. But clearly he was looking to stay for the long term. They seemed happy together, and I hope that things work out for them.
We walked into the city on the first morning and went to the harbor area. A new, modern, “Harbor City” is being built in the old port area, complete with apartments, schools, shopping districts and restaurants. In 10 years I imagine it will be one of the busiest parts of the city. Already it attracts clubbers and bar hoppers at night, and the hordes of tourists who get off the massive cruise ships that dock nearby.
After a beer at a cafe along one of the waterways, we went to a trendy part of town known as Schanzeviertel and had lunch at an Italian restaurant. On the way back to Nugget’s we picked up some wine and a bottle of the cheapest schnappes the Penny Market stocked. Though at 38% a.b.v., I’m not sure it can be called schnappes anymore.
To my surprise and horror, Nugget pulled out a couple shot glasses; I was planning on sipping it, or at least mixing it with something. After the first shot, however, I realized that there was going to be no sipping or mixing. The stuff was so awful, so incredibly horrible, you wanted it out of your the range of your tastebuds as quickly as possible, whether it went down your throat or out through your lips. It was the worst-tasting alcohol I’ve ever had. Nevertheless, we put a serious dent in it by the time we were ready to head out.
We poured the rest of that vile substance in an orange juice bottle that, to its credit, did quite a bit to mask the taste. Then we jumped on the bus to the Reeperbahn.
We had a drink at a few places, but as you can imagine, Monday night isn’t the best night to go clubbing. Most of the popular spots, including the Thomas Reid Pub we went to the previous night, were closed.
By the end of the night, we were mostly walking up and down the Reeperbahn, stopping for a drink or two here and there. Or we’d be running around trying to find a quite place to piss outside, where it didn’t look like we had ducked into a dark alley with a hooker. As Nugs was later fond of saying, “We were the only ones in the Reeperbahn with our d**ks out and not nailing a prostitute!”
At the end of the night, after I scored a kebab from the most unfriendly kebab shop owner ever, I went searching for Nugget and found him engrossed in a conversation with a couple homeless people. This can’t be good …
Nugget was trying to practice his very limited German while the two equally drunk homeless men were just trying to get money out of him. I told him that we should get going. Then I heard him say, “Yeah, OK, I can give you guys 50 cents,” and then pulled out his wallet. “OK!,” I said, “time to go.” I grabbed his arm and started leading him away as he dropped a couple coins in their hands.
We still had a little left of the mixed drink from hell, and as I was walking down the street, it slipped from my swinging arms, rolled under a diagonally parked car and wedged itself under the rear driver-side wheel. When I bent down to pick it up, I suddenly noticed that the car it was under was a police car. Then I saw that the car next to it was a police car too. And the guy getting out of that car was a policeman. We made eye contact as I picked up my drink. I nodded, said hello, and then walked away, leaving him rather confused. This time Nugget grabbed my arm and led me away from the front of the police station.