When my friend Cynthia, whom I have know since freshmen year, told me that she was studying for a year abroad in Bremen, Germany, a bit of confusion set in. I was not questioning her decision to go to Germany, or to be gone for a year, instead I thought, 'What is Bremen?' Similar to when I visited Bilbao, Spain, I was eager to visit the less known city in order to both see my friend and get a good feel for the country's culture. Yet, just like when I went to Rome, I am sad to say that a weekend was not enough time to get a good feel for the richness in culture that my friend was fully enthralled in. Despite being there for such a good time, you're damn sure I still had a good time in Germany!
Getting to Germany was one of my easier trips, and this is because I finally have learned how to properly get to London. The night before I flew, it was Thanksgiving and my friend Fatima's birthday. Of course, I went out and lived it up. But, because I remember how terrible I felt when I left to Spain, I reigned in the party and got home by 2 AM. Everything was packed, and I was simply waiting for 9 AM to hit and grab my bus.
I'll skip over the part where I was bored in the airport.
When I landed in Bremen, I was greeted by a 5 foot tall blonde haired ball of sunshine. Cynthia had taken the train from her house to meet me at the airport. We easily got back to the house she is staying at and in that time we caught up and laughed as we thought it was so funny to think that yesterday we were freshmen running around in JPR, and now we are juniors running around Europe. I was not feeling as depleted as I imagined, and so I told Cynthia that I was interested in going out for the night. She told me that she was all for it.
Our night began with Cynthia taking me to a cute bar, whose name I cannot remember, but it was fully decorated like a living room. There were couches, and even a bunk bed in the back, for people to sit on. Cynthia had told me that this places speciality were cocktails by the fist full. She settled for a mojito and I tried something that I could not even pronounce. While she was ordering, I was approached by some people who tried chatting me up. I quickly asked, "Do you speak English?" before the ship sank more than it already did. The people did, but only a lick of it. This is when I whispered under my breath, "Oh sh*t." A German friend of mine had told me that in most parts of the country people could speak English, but he didn't expect Bremen to be like that.
After a nice drink and catching up, Cynthia and I went to a nearby club where her friends were. Friday night was student night, and that meant we got in for free! I cannot stress the point enough at how shook I was by the music section in this club! A lot, and I mean every song for almost an hour straight, was in Spanish. I literally knew every single song that was queued, and most of the people there just bobbed to the rhythm in the back. If someone can find out why this is, please let me know. We got a cute picture, and before it got too late we got kebabs!
For my full day in Bremen, Cynthia had planned ahead and got us tickets to tour the Beck's brewery. I am not at all a beer person, but it was interesting learning about the history of the first major international German beer. It was also fun as Cynthia and I compared this tour to our experiences at the Heineken and Guinness factories. One thing that surprised us both was the value in the ticket. For only 13 euros, we got both the local and Beck's beer, the 4 speciality brews, and we still had another beer of our choosing! Needless to say, we left pretty pissed. The consequence of this was a mini shopping spree at H&M that went very well. Cynthia had also offered to make dinner for the night, and she was so excited about it too. When we got back to her place, it was adorable seeing her landlady set up her Christmas decorations! Cynthia's housemate was also very nice and we spoke about our experiences also being abroad.
After a nice dinner of chicken and ciabatta bread, Cynthia and I decided to have a nice drink before it got too late. We ended up at this trendy little bar that gave me cabin vibes. The night was bitter cold and so going home was not a bad idea. From there, we both prepared for my early leave at 4 AM.
Cynthia was more than helpful in aiding me find my way around Bremen, and in also giving me a sense of familiarity in a brand new place. From laughing at our freshmen year memories, to sharing a few hours together, it was a great mix of the old and new. Thus, while I leave the U.K. in 2 weeks, Cynthia still has a year left. But, it's a year I know she'll make the most of.
Author William Samayoa
Marketer by profession and storyteller by passion. L.A. raised, proud Latino, and pop culture enthusiast.