About one and a half years ago, Marion came to Indonesia and she stayed at my place for a few days. I was supposed to talk to her in German and she was supposed to talk to me in Indonesian, but a few sentences after ‘Ich heiße Dixie‘ and ‘Nama saya Marion‘, we gave up and talked in English. Win-win solution.
Before she left, she gave me a bunch of stuff, among them was a postcard with her handwriting on the backside. Between the lines, she wrote a German proverb, ‘Man sieht sich immer zweimal im Leben‘. Roughly translated: men will meet at least twice in their lives.
She’d invited me to her place ever since, and I thought, why not proving that proverb true? So I booked a ticket to Munich a couple of months ago. A week ago, after a sleepless night, I arrived in Munich.
To be honest, I was in some kind of a limbo on my way there. It wasn’t until the plane was flying low to get ready for landing when I saw the distinct shape of the houses, and I thought, ‘Oh God, I really am in Germany, once again.’
My second hello to Germany.
When I went out, Marion was already there, waving at me with a big grin. We hugged, and there goes my second hello to her. :)
Indonesia, September 2012
Germany, April 2014
We went to her place after a bit of sightseeing (more on that later), and she showed me my bed, on which I found the sweetest welcome message, in Indonesian.
It was truly heartwarming.
We talked a lot and I told her that although I wasn’t a big soccer fan, I’d always liked watching a soccer game in the pub in Germany since the Germans have this kind of contagious enthusiasm that never failed to cheer me up. Lucky for me, that night Bayern München played versus Manchester United, and we went to a pub, and I got that warm feeling that I’d been missing for two years.
The next day, I did a little shopping for toiletries since I didn’t bring anything (hello, cabin luggage!). I walked between the aisles, looking for some shampoo, soap, and lotion, and I had to turn to Marion for translation since everything is in German. That reminded me that two years ago, I never shopped without Google translate on my phone. I thought I’d forgotten all my German lessons, but to my surprise, a few hours in here and the words were coming back again. I guess they’d been sitting in the back of my mind for months, ready to be used again someday. But still, I wish my German would’ve been better. I can easily catch the words when the cashier tells me the amount I have to pay, and I can tell a waitress if I want to pay separately or not. But other than that, I feel helpless.
I told Marion that I was pretty heartbroken when I couldn’t apply for a master’s in Germany since I lost my high school certificate, and she said it had happened for a reason. Yesterday we went to Nuremberg and there was a fountain with a special ring on it. For the one who can find the ring, he/she can make a wish and it would come true. Marion found it for me, and I wished for another hello to Germany.
When I walked away, it occurred to me that I probably should’ve asked for good marks for my assignments since I’m completely ditching them for two weeks. But come to think again, I don’t regret making that wish. I know that I’ve always had a thing for Germany, and will always do. So I know that no matter how many times I find a fountain to throw a coin to, or how many rings I spin, or how many candles I light up in the churches, I will keep on wishing the same thing over and over again.
In my short stay here, I’ve had the chance to see another beauty of Germany. I tried Spätzle, Radler, Lebkuchen, Weisswurst, and a bunch of other things, and love them. I was made very welcome by Marion since the moment I saw her at the Munich airport, and later also by her parents over the weekend. In this holiday I went to nearby cities with her, walked slowly and stopped here and there to take pictures for the whole day, then came back to her apartment in the night and had a light talk before we went to bed. We talked about Indonesia, her experiences there, Germany, my experiences here, and many more. I thought I’d had enough experiences and love for Germany by now to start planning to travel to another places, but no. I keep wishing to stay here longer, and to come back again someday.
My second hello to Marion and Germany are better than the previous ones. Words can’t describe how grateful I am for her (and her parents) and Germany for giving me so many unforgettable experiences that I know I’ll hold onto for such a long time (if not forever). So by the time I leave, I’ll be bidding a heartfelt farewell, and also silently wishing for many more hellos to them.
Until then, bis später!