Yesterday evening, I decided to go to another Hamburg.pm meeting, partly to see Catrin again, since she said she'd be there, too. Coincidentally, I met her just outside the underground station and we walked to the pub together.
Because it was still fairly warm, we decided it would be nice to sit outside, but we went inside first to see whether anyone was there yet.
There was no one sitting at the table were we were last time I went (three months ago?), but there were three in the other wing of the pub. Not so hard to find, thanks to Sandra's fairly distinctive hair colour (the Perl 6 Essentials book on the table helped, too). However, we couldn't persuade them to go outside; one said they had already ordered a drink and another said it was too windy outside and that a storm might come up.
So we sat down with them. Fortunately for me, the atmosphere was pretty good; Sandra was smoking a cigarette when we came in but was nearly finished and didn't start another the whole time I was there, and the couple at the table next to us only smoked two; there was no-one else in the wing of the pub we were in. This meant it wasn't crowded, loud, or smoky—quite a difference to my last meeting. (The music was a bit loud at times, though, despite one of us asking them to turn it down a bit.)
The conversation was pleasant, too, I found; we talked about YAPC::Europe (only Sandra, Catrin, and I had gone) and Sandra showed some pictures she had taken.
These included pictures of her and Tina at the Eiffel tower, karaoke singing with Greg and hfb until they were kicked out and subsequently congregating with 17 people in Greg's one-bed hotel room. Must have been an interesting evening.
There were seven people there at the end, I believe: Kay Roepke, Sandra, and Ingo were the first ones to come; then Catrin and I; then Felix; and finally Ulf. I think I had met Ulf and Sandra and Felix before at the last meeting.
Kay asked me whether I had signed up for the Hamburg Perl Meetup and I said yes. So we're the two people in Hamburg who did so :p—apparently, we've been consistently short of three people to meet the minimum number of five for a Meetup, so we're the only two in Hamburg. It's not really worth finding more people, since there are "Perl meetups" in Hamburg: Hamburg.pm meetings.
Ingo was new to Hamburg.pm; he had seen an announcement about Stuttgart.pm and decided to have a look whether there was a Hamburg.pm as well, and then decided to come to a meeting. He uses Perl only as a hobby. Catrin and Kay both work for mobile.de, who (apparently) supply a fair share of Hamburg.pm members. Sandra works for a small seven-person company but hopes that it will soon be eight as she's trying to get Tina to come to Hamburg as well. Felix is (if I understood correctly) in a design company and is currently working with PHP. He had brough along German translations of Damian's OO book (published by Addison-Wesley in German, rather than Manning, which I found strange) and Learning Perl/Tk (or something like that) as well as the proceedings of the latest German Perl Workshop, which were interesting to read through.
We talked a little about how to get more people aware of Hamburg.pm and also considered venues for technical meetings.
A bit later, Felix and Catrin and I started talking about old computers such as C64 and Amstrad/Schneider CPCs; I found that particularly fun. I had had a CPC 464, while Felix had had a CPC 6128 which twice as much memory and a 3" diskette drive built in! Catrin said she still had, at home, a C64, a C128, an Atari 2600, and a Mac Classic ;)
I asked her whether she lived alone with her gear; she said no, she lived together with her boyfriend (they've been together for about three years) and I asked her what she thought about all that stuff. She replied that he was the admin and didn't mind, and that he's got enough gear himself ;) Lots of cabling and a router "with stupid Linux on it". I asked her what was the difference between the "stupid Linux" on the router and the Linux she uses every day on her computer and she said that the router runs Red Hat and she's a die-hard Debian fan; she added that installing Red Hat just about counts as a reason for divorce ;).
We also talked about music in this connection; Catrin said she really liked C64 music and she had recently gone to a meeting of like enthusiasts. She also listens to German punk and to classical music o.O
The first person to leave was Kay at around quarter to nine; I found this a welcome opportunity as I didn't want to leave too late, either, though I felt I was holding up remarkably well for the hour. I decided to stay at least until nine, though.
Shortly afterwards, Catrin looked as if she was leaving and I asked her whether she was, and she said yes and asked whether I was leaving, too. I said yes and asked her whether she'd mind accompanying me a bit. (I also added a little German joke: "Wollen wir dann zusammen gehen?" "OK." "Willst du mit mir gehen?" *sie lacht*)
She said she could do so but only as far as the underground station since she wouldn't be taking the underground home but would rather walk, since it isn't that far.
While I was paying and getting my change back, I realised that I hadn't paid for a ticket to come there. I keep forgetting that I need to buy a supplement when I travel outside of Harburg, since I do that so seldomly, and resolved to buy two tickets on the way home instead.
On the way to the station, she told me that she had smoked for many years but had decided to quit about three years ago and now was also glad that the pub hadn't been so smoke-filled since she doesn't tolerate smoke any more. I also asked her for her birthday since she had said she was born in 1977 but hadn't had her birthday yet this year.
She replied "16.11.", which stopped me in my tracks and evoked a "You're kidding." Bizarre: we share the same birthday, so we're exactly three years apart.
On the whole, it was a very enjoyable evening, certainly more so than the first time I went. Both the conversation at the table, the atmosphere inside the room, and talking with Catrin were pleasant. Maybe I'll go again next month.