Reflection of subway window
Kai, Mark and I got out of the house with astonishingly little fuss by 8:30 (Kai is getting quite good at gauging the time correctly and being ready on time!), and were on the train to Hamburg by 9:23, and in Hamburg by 11:15 or so. Always an amazingly fast trip, especially after all these longer rides we’ve had. We got ourselves a 3-day “Hamburg Card” for free transportation and museum discounts at the train station, and then got ourselves out to our friends Andrea and Peter’s house, where we’ve been many times. We had a lovely lunch at home and chatted on their balcony, since summer has finally come and it was actually warm! Then we left to go downtown. The other four went to an exhibit on Japanese pop culture at the Hamburg Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe, and walked around a bit in the area near the harbor–and I went to the neighborhood where the university is. I walked around a little bit, marveling at some of the changes around the subway station that I used to use on the way to famous, and then met up with my (now emeritus) professor from Hamburg with whom I’ve stayed in touch over the years–he was the one who got me into narrative theory and we immediately got to talking about the Amsterdam conference etc. We talked over coffee for 2 1/2 hours and it was great fun–academics, politics, traveling, family history, German history…–but also hard to tear myself away to catch up with the others again; I even missed the museum exhibit completely. They even got a little anxious because it took me so long–but eventually, they joined me in the subway back home and we were back at the apartment by about 7 pm. Andrea and I chatted about our lives while fixing dinner, with the guys talking video games, virtual reality, science fiction and philosophy on the balcony. Kai had a great time; he always knows that when he is around Peter, there is an adult who is totally copacetic, and that’s fun for both. And the conversation flows better when I’m not there, because that always makes Kai go into argumentative rather than just disputation mode, so it was fun to stay out of this conversation and let him and Peter (and Mark, a little) run with it. After dinner, Andrea showed us some of her photos and her work in photoshop–fascinating partly because her way to create images really mostly in post-production is so different from Mark’s method. I like her plant photography best, I think. We wrapped up the day around 11–I was tired!