“Hamburg is a family friendly city” – Andre from Jakarta

Andre Sasongko is a freelance database developer from Jakarta, Indonesia. He is an entrepreneur, freelance database developer, and father of two. I met up with Andre at Shhared coworking space in Altona, where he told me what brought him to Hamburg.

I first met Andre at a Hamburg Startups mixer event and was curious to hear his story. After leaving his native Indonesia, he studied in Wisconsin, USA, and worked there for several years. The world was his oyster. He chose Germany, then Hamburg, and hasn’t looked back since. His positive outlook on Hamburg and life generally make him an inspiring conversation partner.

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2nd coworking open day at Shhared

Shhared is a recently-opened coworking space in Bahrenfeld with a distinctively international atmosphere. Alex (whom you can read about here) has announced a second coworking open day on Thursday 23rd April.

The date was chosen to coincide with St. George’s Day, which is the English counterpart to St. Patrick’s Day – albeit not as well known internationally.

Shhared is open Monday – Friday from 8am to 6pm and the open day is no exception. For those who haven’t been before: there is an open area for flexible coworking, a quieter area where you can rent a fixed desk, some offices for rent (one or two are still available) and meeting rooms.

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Paul Watmough’s ongoing creative journey

I know from my own experience that life can be hard for a Brit in Hamburg. Whilst we are admired for our teapots, phone boxes, red buses and royals, we are laughed out of the kitchen, played off the football field, and on the Autobahn we were overtaken a long time ago and hitched a ride with the Germans instead.

So it was a pleasant surprise to find that one of the people shaping the brand identity of leading German car manufacturers – almost an Ersatz for the flag that Germans are very reluctant to fly – is my compatriot Paul Watmough, from Bradford, UK. He had a lot to say that cheered me up.

My first meeting with Paul is exactly what you would expect of two Brits: we meet in a pub (or at least a café that serves beer). Paul orders a Rotbier (a dark beer that at least optically resembles an ale). Neither of us thinks twice before ordering half a litre (only sixty-eight millilitres short of a pint). We exchange the short versions of why we are in Hamburg whilst beating about a bush as rich and voluminous as Paul’s luscious beard.

At our second meeting we get the the point, namely: Why Hamburg?

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Coworking in Copenhagen

As many of you will already know, some of us are planning a coworking trip to Copenhagen. The idea is to keep it simple: book transport, accommodation (e.g. Airbnb) and get over there. Then we will spend the time in a coworking space, where we can get some work done and hopefully get to know some of the locals.

When we’ve confirmed travel and accommodation arrangements, as well as numbers, then we can organise a programme for the evening and during the day. The idea being that we don’t just turn up in Copenhagen and feel like a bunch of strangers but have some kind of greeting when we’re there.

For more information and to confirm attendance, see the Facebook event. Stay tuned!