Late September into October. After the heady months of spring & summer when things can get out of control, when you feel more pressure to have that great holiday, this seemed the best time to take risks. Well, calculated risks rather than reckless ones. Anyway…
Extract from Sin Cities:
….Well, I had planned it for the second night. A night after a long day I tried to fill with a walk along the canal. The weather was good – about 18°C with hazy sun. That part of Hamburg is not the best place for sight-seeing, but the river walk is well-pedestrianized for more miles/kilometres than most could cover in a day. In the daytime the town centre was packed with tourists and had a sense of urgency, like most urban areas, but there’s something particular about Germany. Crossing roads can be chaotic and risky if you don’t keep strictly to the pedestrian crossings. One thing noticeably different to the UK: people there take more care crossing roads. Not that I’m claiming German drivers are more reckless, I guess they’re better at optimizing their journey times. One thing that can be unnerving is how some drivers regard the requirement to stop at a green crossing as discretionary; if they think there is no one crossing in their immediate path then why waste time waiting? Go figure! Not that Hamburg is by any stretch the worst for that; the dense network of roads in Düsseldorf can really test your nerves.
A daytime jaunt felt like justification before the second objective: buying the booze. Well, that was a no-brainer. Vodka is the best for maximum intoxication with minimum consequences (in relative alcohol terms). It all seemed fairly straightforward. You start out with a fixed plan. But things often get complicated when the drink is involved even though, initially, back at the hotel, it seemed simple: get drunk, shower, go out on the town. The town contains The Reeperbahn – a notorious district for prostitution. But also – I didn’t realise in my naivete – for crime. Or maybe, in fairness, I just got unlucky. I certainly got careless.