January 17, 2015 by helenwaldron
A return to Happlon
“We’re just popping out to get some food!” shouted Speakeasy.
“I’ll come with you.”
“No, don’t stop playing. It’s great!” lied Writewell. “We’ll be right back. We’re going for a takeaway.”
They ran down the winding stairwell of the art nouveau building, through the huge wooden doors and out onto the pavement.
“Underground?” asked Writewell.
“Metro,” nodded Speakeasy.
The Happlon Group offices were in the centre of Hamburg, between the Town Hall and the River Elbe, and, having bought their tickets from the slow automat, they ran up the stairs and jumped on the first train that approached. Only then did Speakeasy and Writewell sit back and relax. They had escaped their visitor and his tuneless singing.
The U3 was slower but more picturesque than the U1 and a lot of it was overland. It gave them views into canal-sided gardens (there was a large farmers’ market right below them under the railway arches at one point), before it dived under the St Pauli area with the famous Reeperbahn, and emerged again to run parallel to the river.
“Do you think it’s going to be a hard year for us?” asked Writewell, as they stared down at cutter ships and fireboats and in the background the marquee where musicals were staged.
Business had always been healthy up till now. Everybody needs English lessons.
“Something will turn up,” said Speakeasy. “It always does.”