Travel Inspiration

Francois: 1 year Hamburg and Singapore


Summertime is the best time to enjoy the city a lot of people from Hamburg but also from abroad use to say if they're talking about must-see-cities in Germany. Maybe one of the reasons for this opinion is an event which is very unusual for the german stereotype: the so called “Schlagermove”. To cut a long story short: it is a big festival on the streets of Hamburg St.Pauli which is similar to the first years of the Love Parade in Berlin – but: the music which is played here is german folk.
The Dimension of this happening is very big: about 25.000 people (nearly everyone wears a costume), good party mood and a lot of fun. It is very easy to get in contact with strangers, drink some beers and sing together. I happen to meet Francois there for the first time but i didn't know that we will meet again…

Somehow Francois and me exchanged our contactdetails and the next months we were partying in Hamburg and discovered the city together – a great time with a great french guy. French? Yes, Francois grew up in Rennes – a small city in Brittany – and spend the first 20 years of his live there before he started out to study and discover the world. Francois is now 23 and lives currently in Singapore since mid January until mid July, he is doing an internship in civil engineering there – like he did the 6 months before in Hamburg.

I selected Singapore first for the interest of the job here and then for the challenge : it is the first time I am really out of Europe and it was the occasion for discovering new cultures and way of life. I also chose Singapore because I had a friend in the place during six months, and she told me it was a great place to be, for all the cultures being in the same area, and for the travel possibilities too.
Previously I choose Germany because I am honnestly in love with the german language (I then felt in love for Hamburg, the people there and the german beer…) and I wanted to master at least the language!

Hamburg Harbour
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Hamburg: Party, Friends, St. Pauli

In his time in Germany Francois told me a lot of times how much he likes this city, so I asked him about his main highs but also lows:

…it is so difficult to chose one, I had so great six months there! I will try to pick 3 things: first, the Schlagermove, it is a giant party in the streets of Sankt Pauli, a very nice area in Hamburg. It is a giant love parade, with weird music (honnestly, who is liking Schlager musik? :p ), and people wearing very colourful clothes and drinking beers with everyone crossing the street! the atmosphere was really good, and I met nice people there; and the party on Repperbahn was then really good too!. the second one (sorry steve for that), it is the atmosphere surrounded the Millerntor Stadion at each beginning of Sankt Pauli football team game. It maked me thrill to hear “Hells Bells” from AC/DC and then all fans singing together, it was really really impressive.the last one is probably the christmas party we had with my all my wonderful flatmates (8 of them) in our shared flat. It was really quiet, but so nice to eat with them and to speak with all these guys, I almost felt me real german!
I recommend it, it is probably the best city I have ever visited (maybe even before Berlin). go there, and you will be sure to have fun and to meet nice people. I miss Hamburg.

Low light for Hamburg was my job, really boring, and leaving this fanastic city.

typical for Hamburg: the port with big containerships
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Singapore: an impressive and modern melting pot

The highlight of my life here in Singapore is probably just a 5km walk within the city : in 5 km, you are first in the Little India area, with the spices and fresh flowers smells, and indian food restaurants everywhere; then come Orchard Road, with the biggest concentration of shopping malls I have ever seen, with two Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Prada or Hermès shops in 300m along the road; and at the end of your small 5km walk, you end in Chinatown with everywhere Chinese restaurants, Chinese healing medecine, …


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Why do you travel and how?

For me, travelling during my studies is important to be more open minded in the future and in my job. I really enjoy meeting people from everywhere, to become aware of what happen on the other side of the earth. and you become more and more cognizant about how lucky you are to travel like that, and a lot of other things… 

What I try is that I most of the time avoid being surrounded by a lot a french people, because it isn't the purpose of a travel for me. Learn the language if possible, but first try to understand what you have in common or what are the differences between cultures. I like to sleep in Guesthouse/youth hostels more than hotels because people are there more eager speaking with you.

With CouchSurfing, I just hosted twice two persons, the first time it was two guys from Freiburg in Hamburg, second time also in Hamburg, a girl from Denmark and a guy from Mexico City. both were two amazing experience, and I think I will use this great website for my coming travels (Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia).


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Finally: Which music is actually played in Singapore and what do you prefer to listen to?

the top of the charts are the same here as in Europe or in the US. My big big band at the moment is named The Black Keys, it is awesome!!! I enjoy rock'n roll, especially The Rolling Stones, The Who, Mando Diao, …

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