Sunday is the day of rest! Actually, it’s the day of YouTube. Especially during winter. The temperature dropped only a few degrees below zero and my hibernation instincts kicked in to full gear.
Thanks to some links sent to me, this day of YouTube went incredibly well, and as I can’t resist sharing, here goes with some short reviews.
Ever felt like this? Sure! While it’s not always advisable to rip up your notes and pull this approach during actual exam study time, keeping the seriousness of a situation within reasonable bounds isn’t a bad idea and this video helps along with the ride. It’s also just really funny and further confirmation of how Disney’s Frozen keeps blowing people’s minds. Oh, and there’s humorous and sarcastic rewriting of lyrics, which I do on a daily basis, yay, there are others out there!
Some more Frozen inspiration to laugh at and maybe laugh at yourself in the process, if you have memories from the past that might pop up after this video. For the record, knowing all the digits of pi is impressive. My favorite line among the laugh-out-loud rewritten lyrics: “Here’s a lock of my own hair/ Honestly, I think I’m made for you…”
Watching videos inspired by the release of the full-length movie trailer for Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast (God, I cannot wait to see it) led me to this adorable gem. This was the trigger for the pure tears I may have needed to shed today. No words, just feels, all of them.
Has this day of YouTube been somewhat Disney-centric? Nah, come on.
McDonald’s in Italy now has a Nutella burger on their menu. That was the first thing I saw in my Instagram feed when I scrolled through it on my phone as usual on Sunday mornings. I just want to ask, why go pay for something you can make just as easily at home, probably spend less money on and which simply seems…weird? I mean, a burger is not something I will always make myself, so I might go somewhere for it, but spreading Nutella on bread has not gone up astronomically in terms of levels of difficulty, I hope, unless I missed something. But hey, marketing, competition, whatever works and if it does make someone happy.
I spread some (non burger patty thick) Nutella on a warm, crisp bread bun myself today and it was deeply satisfying. Due to watching Crazy, Stupid, Love (and some of it was indeed stupid, though some was love because of Steve Carell and Julianne Moore) until late last night, getting up occured somewhat later and I did not have time for what I term as the breakfast before breakfast – eating a bite before getting to your late breakfast or brunch date so you won’t faint on the way. But then a glass of juice must be included and since the café wasn’t far away, I figured I’d manage. It is Sunday in Hamburg, and those who aren’t still asleep after a Saturday night out are most likely making their way to a brunch.
The cafébar Gloria is located in a beautiful street in Hamburg called Bellealliancestraße. Cosy, residential, inviting and with multicolored buildings following each other, it makes for a nice pre-brunch walk in these fresh winter temperatures. The Gloria is red, easy to find and hard to miss. With 20 years of existence behind it, it’s clearly a favorite neighborhood meeting point and I’m excited to try the brunch buffet with my friend. And what a buffet it is. Roughly 15 euro with a glass of champagne or orange juice included for all you can eat – fresh bread, small croissants, fruit, various cheese, butter, jam, potato salad, cooked red beets (Russian roots seal of approval), smoked salmon, just to name a few choices, and very prettily arranged. Almost floor-length windows let in the sunlight of this clear, cold morning, and the atmosphere is relaxed, welcoming, as I listen to the snippets of conversation around me in French, German and English and dig in to my food. The staff is quick, attentive and smiling without seeming stressed. As I lean back and sip my fresh peppermint tea, I think again about how much I enjoy being part of a morning crowd like this, and that I will have to come back, because there is no room for the homemade cheesecake that my friend warmly recommended.
One once again idyllic walk around the glistening Alster river later, and I make lunch for the next day at work, only to discover that I had forgotten to defrost the meat I needed for the dish. But the internet saved me with this trick that actually worked!
One could have made a Nutella burger, but I’ll leave that to the pros.
It’s logical that most of these will probably start with what I was thinking about after I woke up, since lying in bed on a Sunday morning is a luxury I like to enjoy when I have it. A bit of daydreaming, a bit of music, a bit of reading, getting the brain whirring if the spirit so moves you, before you can’t deny that you do have to get up and eat, for breakfast is also a beautiful and wonderful thing.
So I don’t grab, but normally, even gently reach for my phone (dropping it once was enough), that handy purveyor of things entertaining, and scroll a bit on YouTube. Grace Helbig’s review of this year’s celebrity Halloween costumes got me sniggering and put me in a slightly sarcastic state of mind, which lead to typing in some words in the YouTube search bar that had been simmering at the back of said mind. These words were benching dating. This new word for age-old behaviour has apparently been setting both the dating world and the internet ablaze for quite some time now, unfortunately, and we are never too old nor too uncreative to find a label that might take at least some of the sting off those “What the hell?” moments.
One of the first videos that popped up was this snippet from The View upoloaded in June of this year. “Well, it’s kind of poopy, but what are you gonna do,” host Whoopi Goldberg says matter-of-factly. “It’s poopy,” she continues, “Well, I think it’s just a ball of **** to do that to somebody.” I’m neither a fan nor an expert on this particular show, but as usual Whoopi confirmed my hope that as long as I came across this video, she would be the one to say what needed to be said.
Scrolling through a few other videos and remembering the numerous articles I had read on the subject in the past few days, it was both strange to seemingly re-identify a known problem, narrowing down the more general “not calling/ texting/ writing/ dating back” actions somewhat to a description that fit a repeating MO, and saddening to see just how easy it is to set someone on the path of emotional turmoil. Was there a little bit of relief involved at finding some kind of words that seemed to box in what so many were going through? I’m not sure. Whichever way you spin it and however you try to categorize it, it still boils down to mistreatment and disappointment. Both facts of life.
But that was enough for now of letting benching occupy my thoughts on a day as precious as Sunday, so well-scrambled eggs on sliced tomato and bell pepper, with a bit of cheese, as well as toast with jam, followed my musings, nourishing ideas for a possible future blog post.
It’s very easy to give in to staying at home on a Sunday that is a bit grey and automatically makes you think it must be cold out there, but my determination to combat these yearnings today won over. The world is your oyster if you have the right shoes on and cover yourself where you can get cold. Or, in this case, my trusty Alster river walk was once again my oyster. A not new, but re-confirmed piece of wisdom: going outside, moving, breathing, looking, thinking, listening to music, observing, taking pictures and feeling what must only be creative adrenaline of your very own is most often the right decision. I was pleasantly surprised to see that there were still plenty of autumn colors to snap and fill my Instagram with, and no matter how many times I have been here, the area just keeps surprising me. Venturing in to the side streets you see along the way is a good way to branch out, and I think how much there is still left of this city to discover. It’s a comforting thought. Damp, dark, sometimes moss-covered tree trunks frame turn-of-the-century villas and yellow leaves flutter against the almost white sky.
This local blend of urban, historic and nature provides a lot of joy for kindred souls I spot along the way, silently strolling along with headphones on, like me, giving each other a glance sometimes and what I like to think is a small, secret smile of acknowledgement. Walking to the soundtrack of your choosing is a film-esque experience right there, especially for a person with a quickly romantic imagination, and spotting a house that immediately makes you think of Pemberley (even if it does look different, but I can’t travel to England right this second, so let’s make the best of the already wonderful things we have) makes you tingle.
Bumping in to a friend out on her jog was a pleasant surprise. After some chatting I watch her run on with light, energetic movements, and feel suddenly happy, hopeful that we, or at least those I know, are all doing something today that is making us content, peaceful and just what we want to be in this moment.
And why would anyone want to know or read all of this, you might ask? Well, isn’t that the reason why we blog?
“If someone falls overboard, please be sure to actively bring our attention to it,” our captain says. He’s not what I pictured he would look like – sunglasses, somewhat weatherbeaten, of course, a brick red woolen hat covering his head, no obvious uniform, both relaxed and business-like. We’re addressed with “Ihr” – the informal collective German “you”. The safety instructions relating to a possible sinking situation are new to me. “That thing with grabbing the life jacket collar before hitting the water so it won’t knock you out sounded a little complicated,” I remark to my friend. “We won’t need it,” she assures me. I need another sip of my sparkling wine.
Welcome to the Mare Frisium. The day turns gorgeous as we sail away from the Sandtorhöft dock, minutes away from Hamburg’s historical Speicherstadt (warehouse district) and the Elbphilharmonie concert house towering nearby. We all feel the shifting of the three-masted schooner underneath our feet as it glides along the Elbe river, and the floor actually still seems to be tilting underneath me as I type this. The Mare Frisium includes sleeping cabins and is used for events in Hamburg, as well as making appearances at annual events like the Hafengeburtstag (harbour birthday).
The vessel is beautiful and comfortable, with plenty of room for all those on board. The Elbe glittered in the spring sunshine, reflecting the blue of the sky above – a welcome break from April’s repeated icy rain showers and pellets of hail. Our route partly follows that of the traditional harbour boat trip, or even just that of the Hamburg transportation department’s ferry, so familiar sights popped up: Landungsbrücken, the harbour station and area; Elbstrand, the Elbe beach; Blankenese district and its own beach further along the river.
While the joys of contemplation and observation were part of the trip, the smell of fried bacon and scrambled eggs carried to us upon the fresh breeze did lead us to abandon them for a while in favour of the breakfast room on the lower deck. I immediately noticed cupcakes topped with swirly frosting I resolved to come back for later. Fresh bread, pain au chocolat, croissants, cheese, ham, various fried vegetables, smoked salmon, small boiled potatos, sausages, fried mushrooms in a creamy sauce, the aforementioned scrambled eggs and bacon – need I say more? I love a good buffet, but I love a good breakfast or brunch buffet even more.
Even though low-heeled, my ankle boots required slightly more careful navigation along the Mare Frisium, especially with a plate in my hand or on stairs. Sneakers next time. We ate outside, with attentive staff regularly passing by, fresh air being the best stimulant for a good appetite. I love brunch. Being a city person I do tend to sleep in during the weekend when I can, and then when I get up, I feel like eating a larger first meal than a typical breakfast, but still not in the direction of lunch, so brunch is the perfect solution, because it’s hearty enough to set you up for the rest of the day, but still lighter than a lunch might be. And I love breakfast food.
After the first food rush guests dispersed along the schooner, finding places to sit or lean against comfortably while watching green Hamburg shores pass by. Speed would occasionally pick up and we’d be roused from our slightly sleepy selves. The four hours of the trip felt like a week-long vacation.
The floor is still tilting, but in general I think I’ve got rather good sea legs. At least for a river ride. And if I get fed. Prost!
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