Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Let's Pretend (Also Known as Day 1)

Let's pretend that it's early March and I just returned from my trip to Germany. This post is our pretended "yesterday post" and I'm happy, tired, jet-lagged and so delighted to be with my children while simultaneously missing the good German food and far away friends...

I'm back!! It was such a wonderful trip that I will have to post a zillion posts just to tell you every that happened on my trip to Germany.

Day 1: As I'm flying into Munich, I realize that, although Inga told me that some family member or friend would pick me up, I had no idea who that would be. After landing and getting my luggage, I picked the door "nothing to declare" even though I had no idea what people have to declare when they do have "something to declare."

I had an amusing interchange with some guards who spoke about 55% English. It went like this...
M: If I had to declare something what would it be?
G: You have something to declare?
M: No. I don't think so... I...
G: You have nothing to declare.
M: Well, I just don't know. I mean, if you have to declare something, what is it?
G: You have something to declare?
M: I guess not.
G: You have nothing to declare.
M: (walking away slowly) OK. Bye. Thanks. (muttering under my breath)...I think.

(Note: I have since learned that having "something to declare" means you're bringing large quantities of cash, items to sell, fire arms, chemicals and the like. Most "regular" people will never have anything to declare.)

After the above hilarity, I walked slowly with my luggage scanning the crowd for someone holding a sign with my name on it. Although I'd only ever seen him in pictures, I recognized him right away. Inga had sent Emil, her fiance, to pick me up.

(Note: Emil wasn't wearing a tux or holding a bouquet at the airport. All that came later...)

Emil recognized me, too, even though we'd never met, and he was just putting the sign down and coming to help me with my luggage when I spotted him.

You always hope, when you meet a friend's future spouse, that you're going to like that person. I instantly fell in love with Emil. (Not like that. In the I'm-happy-that-he's-going-to-be-my-friend's-husband kinda way.) He's charming, smart, funny, tall, cute. I kept thinking, Inga, you lucky girl! Every moment I was with Emil made me happy for Inga. Plus, he just seems like the kind of guy that you'd be friends with.

I know that you don't want to hear every minor detail so, I'll sum up.
*As Emil loaded my luggage into the car, I broke my sunglasses.
*Emil drove me straight to Inga's work so I could see her for a moment. She looked fabulous and happy and we made dinner plans for later.
*Emil drove me to the hotel where I was happy to see Inga's parents.
*Hannalore, Inga's mom, kept patting her face and saying, "You look so, so...." I filled in the blank for her, "Old." We laughed and laughed.
*We went to a Starbuck's Coffee place where I got to visit with Udo, Hannalore, Inga's grandma and her grand aunt. I drank water without carbonation. It was perfect.
*Udo and Hannalore, took me back to the hotel and let me sleep.

It was a sight for tired eyes. And aren't German beds just cool?

OK. So I didn't get through Day 1. But the dinner needs it's own (shorter) post.

PS My sister thinks Inga's mom's name is spelled Hannelore. She's probably right. But I don't know. Inga, if you read this will you tell me how to spell your mom's name?

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