Although I will not be the first to acknowledge that Düsseldorf is one of the most uninteresting places I have visited in Germany, I still wanted to spend some time exploring it outside of the area where I was staying. On my last visit, Johannes was our tour guide, but this time I went out with a few other ones instead, to get different takes on the city.
After a leisurely morning, I went to the front entrance of the main hall of the HBF to meet with Björn. He and I saw one another last in May of 2009, as I was leaving to fly home, and so it was awesome to be meeting up now that I am speaking a bit of German and we had more time together. We walked from the station down to the Altstadt, wandering the streets. Finally we came upon Salon Des Amateurs, where we sat for a cup of coffee and conversation.
Eventually, he had to leave to meet his new landlord and get his keys, while I had to meet up with friends of my own, so we caught a train back to the main station, and he walked me to the inside Starbucks, where I found Meike and Jerome. Meike is the Fulbright assistant at my university and comes from Düsseldorf, so it was awesome to meet up with her in Germany, and she gave me a unique take on the city. Her boyfriend, Jerome, is an American and is doing what I want to do: teaching English at a German university.
We walked through the streets of the Altstadt and she told me about Düsseldorf myths, pointed out the places that she used to spend time at in her youth, and then took me to Et Kabüffke Killepitschstube, where we all had shots of Killepitsch, which was a liquor very much in the vein of Jägermeister. When I was done, I also secured this glass for myself, since that seems to be the thing to do around these parts…
We continued our journey through the city, down to the Rheinturm and by the Gehry buildings, ending it by taking a bus back to the station. They walked me inside and we said our goodbyes, although it will only be a month before we see one another again. Then I made my way back to HQ, aka Johannes’ home, where we hung out for a couple hours. He took music from my harddrive while I caught up on the phone with Brian, and then around 8 p.m., we got ready to head out.
At this time, we walked a bit and made our way to Mengwasser, where we had dinner and drinks and I got to meet Johannes’ new girlfriend, Stefani. She also invited a friend of hers (also from the hospital) who hung out with us for a short while. After dinner (I had a delicious spinach salad) the three of us walked back to Johannes’ place, where we enjoyed music, conversation, wine and beer and chocolate. When it began to near 2 a.m., they had to leave to catch their train, and I went to bed not long after, as I had to wake up early the following morning to make my way to Berlin.