The view from the ivory tower

Towering above the city at 52 meters (170 ft), the Philosophy Tower is the tallest building on the University of Hamburg campus.

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The view from the 14th floor of the Philosophy Tower overlooking Hamburg. As you can see pictured, Hamburg has a TV Tower as well, though it’s not as famous as the one in Berlin.

Officially called the Philosophenturm, it is colloquially known as the Phil-Turm. The building houses a cafeteria, no fewer than three libraries, a handful of auditoriums, and dozens of classrooms and offices.

And it’s my new place of work. Continue reading “The view from the ivory tower”

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At a Wendepunkt … turning point

As the weather in Hamburg slowly shifts and is now firmly entrenched in fall, so, too, is my life changing, and instead of a supermarket warehouse worker, I’m starting to feel like a student again.

I grew up in Washington, the Evergreen State, so living somewhere with dramatic fall colors never ceases to awe me. If you like my photos, follow me on Instagram: https://instagram.com/alison_haywood/
I grew up in Washington, the Evergreen State, so living somewhere with dramatic fall colors never ceases to awe me. If you like my photos, follow me on Instagram: https://instagram.com/alison_haywood/

I quit my job at the supermarket, which had been bringing me down and taking up a lot of time for a while now, and now have three new jobs – the most exciting of which is definitely teaching German to refugee children.

Continue reading “At a Wendepunkt … turning point”

What I am learning about German culture from working in a supermarket

To celebrate my new income, a few days later I got a haircut - badly needed, as you can see in this picture.
To celebrate my new income, a few days later I got a haircut – badly needed, as you can see in this picture.

After a month and a half of tangling with bureaucracy, bellyaching over budgets and nearly driving myself crazy with the amount of free time I had on my hands, I finally got a job.

I work at a supermarket chain collecting items for customers’ online orders and packing them neatly into boxes. I get to carry around a neat little scanner and push around a large shopping cart and learn the location of even the most obscure supermarket products, from Studentenfütter (which literally translates to student food and turns out to be a type of trail mix) to mango-flavored buttermilk (yes, Germans drink plain buttermilk, how gross) to Hüttenkäse (which literally translates to “little hut cheese,” which, as you may have guessed, is cottage cheese in English). Continue reading “What I am learning about German culture from working in a supermarket”

Rude awakening: An encounter with Danish tax law

Thus far in my journey I’ve been enjoying many of the benefits of the social welfare state of Denmark without having to pay much in return: (mostly) free health care, affordable  public transport, steep student subsidies, etc. But after a paid gig tutoring undergraduates, the Danish powers that be decided it was time for me to pay up.

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Continue reading “Rude awakening: An encounter with Danish tax law”