August 29, 2014 by helenwaldron
In which our unlikely heroes enter the Hafen City.
Off to the Hafen City: new grey concrete, bright blue skies, a smell of fish and the glint of glass.
“Do you realize,” said Writewell, “That we could be in any port city in the world? Boston, Cape Town, even Liverpool?”
“Ah, it’ll be alright when they’ve put a bit of green down. They need a park and a couple of trees. It needs time,” answered Speakeasy confidently. “And anyway, any company with its offices in the Hafen City has well and truly arrived.”
“Not to mention those individuals with the money to buy an apartment here,” sniffed Writewell, enjoying the smell of the fish despite herself.
It was a beautiful day and Speakeasy happily breathed in the sweet smell of success: the heady fragrance of the rich Hafen City residents, the powerful odour of corporate Germany and a little whiff of their own too. After all, they had just landed a big contract with Acme International, one of Germany’s biggest multinationals.
“Here we are,” he stopped at a corner building which raged out at them like the Titanic on its maiden voyage.
When they got closer they saw that instead of the railings for Leonardo and Kate, the Titanic had a plexi-glass fence all around it. And set in the middle of this, like a single jewel in a modern necklace, there was a mini-Titanic, a small triangular gatehouse built in the same new brick. Inside a number of uniformed security men sat behind tinted glass.
“Guten Tag,” said Speakeasy. “We have an appointment for 3 o’clock with Herr Sakony.”
There was a pause as the security man looked slowly at his colleagues then pulled out a huge directory and started leafing through it.
“Do you know which department he works in?”
“Personnel. He’s the Head of Training!”
The security man turned to the section of the directory that was divided into the individual departments, pulling a finger down the columns of names as he read. Then he looked up at Speakeasy and Writewell, shook his head and said,
“There’s nobody of that name works here, I’m afraid.”
“But I spoke to him last week,” said Speakeasy. “I’m James Speakeasy and we are here to carry out English coaching in your company.”
It was unusual to see Speakeasy lost for words.
“Oh well, in that case I could put you through to our Frau Malden,” said the security guard, picking up the receiver of his phone. “She’s in charge of our Academy.”
And within minutes Speakeasy and Writewell were inside the shiny glass elevator, speeding their way up to Frau Malden on the seventh floor.