Monday, July 11, 2016

Week 27: Blurred Lines | Hanging Out

I was in Hamburg for about half of last week. My relationship with this city is mostly linked to my current job. More than 9(!) years ago, I had job interviews there and remember finding it very fancy and "grown-up" that I was flown in for them on company money. Since then, I have been back many times for internal meetings and trainings and over the years, I have made many friends among colleagues here. Whenever I am in Hamburg, I have no problem finding dates for dinner and drinks among my pool of work-mates past and present. Just how unusual it is to get on really well with your colleagues (the Turkish word for them is actually literally"work friends") and not make a distinction between people I know from work/school/parties, you name it I realised when chatting with one of my Hamburg evening dates, a former colleague from the Firm. He replied to my chat regarding a possible dinner venue - I had suggested a restaurant recommended by the colleague I had the drink pictured above with - "but this is actually very close to your office, you might bump into people from work there, so let's perhaps go to this Chinese place I told you about". I read his message and since its message was such an alien concept for me, I actually misread it as "my" instead of "your" colleagues (it's easier in German to confuse meine und deine than in EN) and thought "Wow, obviously he is planning to rant about work tomorrow night, must be really bad". It was only later that I re-read his chat that I was struck by his assumption that I would prefer a place in an area where chances were slim that I would bump into anyone from work. True, I might not want to hang out with just any person from the Firm (oh, no, trust me on that!), but overall, making friends with awesome people is by far the greatest and most underrated perk of all.

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