20th-29th August 2014
My stay in Dusseldorf quickly settled into a routine and I loved my time at the firm, which had a friendly and collegiate atmosphere, not to mention the fantastic views of the River Rhine and the surrounding city. I spent my days working, attending law talks, touring the Landtag and visiting the courts. The events were all held in German but between my fellow interns kindly helping me to translate, the presentation slides and my basic knowledge of the language, I managed to get a general gist and my listening slowly improved- although I was still pretty happy to discover that one of the talks was going to be held in English. I had that one down.
In addition to the language crash-course, I also got some table football practice, since there happened to be a table in the office. Although I wasn’t able to have a game without fail everyday, on one day I couldn’t manage it, one of my new friends brought me a cup of vanilla milk from the coffee machine upstairs to make up for it- that helped. On the days I could play, table football descended into girls vs. boys within my office of four. The losers had to bring the winners coffee for the next 24 hours until the next game. My friend and I had A LOT of coffee fetched for us in those few days after the deal was introduced- it was the motivation we needed.
In the evenings, I either spent my time cuddled up in my hotel room with a book or taking part in the organised activities with the other interns. We toured the Medienhafen, looking at the architecture in the area, before settling down to dinner in the lovely Eigelstein restaurant- apparently the only place in Dusseldorf to sell beer from Cologne, Kolsch. It seems that the cities have a serious rivalry. I’m no beer expert so all I can say is that it complemented my currywurst dinner well.
On another night, we all went bowling, something I was looking forward to from the moment I discovered it was on the agenda. What I didn’t realise however is that, in Germany, playing with the side railings up is not an option. This led to me getting one of the lowest scores in the entire group as I got gutter ball after gutter ball. The first time I actually hit something, I got a cheer from my team. I received the same response for my fluke strike. Despite my poor performance, the night ended on a high with a few drinks and many laughs before bed.
During my two weeks, I gained a good working knowledge of the restaurants near to the office. Cafe D became the regular. It was designed as a canteen and had a couple of different dishes which changed everyday, a salad bar and a rooftop seating area. I often went for the pasta option, so much so that the woman behind the counter knew what I was going to ask for before I had actually asked. Bogart’s was another nearby choice which was more of a restaurant with a few more options. I had a great pizza from there. Julian’s was the third place and fell right between the two. It served two dishes which changed each day, and the food came quickly, but in a restaurant setting.
One day we decided to throw in a curveball, we went to Woyton’s salad bar. Sometimes salad can be disappointing and leave you hungry. Other times, there is nothing more satisfying and it is healthy, filling and tasty. Thankfully, this time fell into the latter category. My salad was huge and delicious. All in all, we were pretty well catered for.