First Impressions of Hannover

It’s a weird time to be in Hannover. As nice as it has been here so far, there is no doubt at all that I’d rather be back home in the arms of new (and really quite ill) fiancé. Unfortunately, financial needs (no lessons in Dublin) and my own bad timing mean that isn’t to be, so I’ll just have to make sure I get the best out of being here and hang on until Christmas for time with my girl.

I flew into Bremen airport – which is about an hour north of Hannover – early afternoon, and took a tram into the city centre. Bremen has dubbed itself, ‘city of the trams’ which is no doubt true, but also serves as a great highlight of how little else they have to brag about (you’d think their relatively distinguished football team would be more notable than the trams?). It didn’t seem a bad place, but when you have that as a tourism slogan you can be pretty sure it’s nothing special. I spent half an hour in the Christmas market – which was small but suitably festive and beautiful – before hopping on the train to Hannover.

My instructions on arriving in Hannover were to find Mareile – my host for my three weeks in Hannover – outside the Burger King in the main station. There are always a few seconds in this kind of situation that pass with me wondering if I’m going to end up standing in a train station in a strange country in the early evening without anyone turn up, though fortunately it hasn’t happened yet.

Mareile arrived complete with husband Oliver and children Annika and Justus, and we headed back to their house in the suburbs of Hannover by train. Mareile and Oliver both speak great English, and have made me feel fantastically at home in their house. I couldn’t ask for a nicer family to stay with.

Every morning for the next three weeks I will be taking the train into Hannover to work. I wake up early – about half six – and eat breakfast with the family whilst watching the children open their advent calendars. Evenings involve a beautiful open fire and long discussions about the merits of various countries and making the best out of life. Very uplifting. My first day today was good. Berlitz is very similar all over the world, and it’s amazing how even in an unfamiliar city being in the classroom feels like second nature. The other teachers seem friendly; a lot of Aussies and Kiwis, presumably because they are far more excited about the prospect of working in Europe that the Brits, and get visas more easily than the Americans.

I’ll be working intensive courses for the rest of the week, so probably wont have much time to see the city until the weekend, but I’ll no doubt take in the odd evening (hopefully with Gluhwein) at the Hannover Christmas market and make the most of Annika and Justus bringing me pictures every night until then (so sweet!).  In a way it’s good to be working hard again, on the professional front I’ve been finding it hard to get in the swing of things since Korea (especially when it comes to writing), and this might be just the kick up the rear end I need. Silver lining to every cloud and all that…

James x

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