Well, after almost 30 hours of travelling we have arrived in Hamburg. I've slept and now head out for some exploring. A couple of initial thoughts.
1. The Germans are a really fun, interesting people.
2. They ride bikes - lots of bikes.
3. The air is different - might sound weird, but every country has a different air. Don't judge me.
4. Hamburg is beautiful. It is really lush and green. Also old. The buildings we are in and the area (according to the locals) was preserved by the British post WWII because of it's beauty.
5. The entire travelling process is incredibly literacy heavy - from finding checking stations at the airport, to communicating in another language, to ordering food and working out tipping, and to buying hay-fever tablets when all text is in German.
5. The food is great and inexpensive - have realised that expensive houses and land are not the only thing in a bubble in NZ. We are being fleeced daily.
6. Having almost read all the conference papers I realise that doing a PhD in NZ in adult mathematics means you must engage with others in an international arena. Lots of smart people out there doing excellent interesting work. Not much going on in NZ.