Stories of this Canadian girl's adventures exploring Europe...join me!

Monday, June 11, 2012

rock'n roller and the geologist

For the first time, I am sitting outside, at the big wooden table, under the trees, beside the river and writing.  This may seem shocking to those of you who have actually been here and have experienced the place I am trying pathetically to describe, because it is a dreamy, perfect place.  Why am I here only now doing this?

I feel finally alone.  Everyone has left the building for the evening.  Great guy is out resurrecting his fitness program (and I am proud of him), the haus folks are…who knows where, and right now I don’t really care.  I just want calm and quiet and a little alone time. 

A turtle dove is softly hooting (is that a hooting sound?) in the tree above me and the air still faintly holds the wood-burned smell of last night’s grilling and bonfire.  The small, weird-looking cat, who I’ve given up on winning over, wanders by with a big-ass mouse in her mouth (how the heck?  Yesterday, she was trying to catch a duck…maybe she will yet).  And, of course, the crazy, chirping birds are still here, as always, keeping me company…and that’s good.

The Canadians have been here.  And, can I just say, I love me some Canadians.  Not because they are any different from Germans or anyone else, but just because they know me…and I know them.  Do you get what I’m putting down (to quote, amongst others, my brother)?  It is a wonderfully familiar, comforting feeling to be with friends who know you; the friends who you have fun history with…good stories and adventures to recall, but also those friends who have seen you cry and fall apart and who have helped you when you have really needed help. 

I mean, I am absolutely certain, that the friends I am making here, great guy’s circle of friends, would totally help me out if I called them, because they are really nice and warm and lovely people, and I am a girlfriend of a man who is a good friend to them (I think).  But, this is a different feeling.  And , I know that just as I developed strong, lasting friendships with people in Calgary and Saskatchewan, this too will surely, hopefully happen here in Germany.  But for now, I am just so thankful for a few nights of my friends.  I was goofy and stupid (dancing no, jumping, around to George Michael, impersonating my bro’s awesome dance moves), I talked and talked and talked and talked (sorry Gail, but THANK YOU!), we irritated a very patient, Birkenstocks sales man, and just hung out.  And, I felt like my brother and my other very close friends were here a little bit, or at least closer, and then I cried when they all left.  But, a good cry.

So, here’s a rock’n roller story to go with that:  Once upon a time…no, I’m kidding.  A couple of weeks ago, as one group of Canadians came through and stayed with us…a great old friend (although he’s quite a bit younger than me, less noticeable now than once upon a time), his fiancĂ©e and his son…we came upon rock’n roller in the back garden as I was touring them around.

Rock’n roller was sitting at the garden table with his glass of red wine (box of red wine standing close by…I thought you could only buy those at Target, but no, they are also available here and quite price-worthy as you might imagine).  I was in the process of showing the Canadians the dilapidated, stone stable, which is still standing at the back of great guy’s property and is so cool.  We stopped and said hi and I introduced my friends to my newer friend.  We did a little bit of small-talk, chit-chatting, when it hit me.  Hey, he loves rocks (cause he’s a meister kletterer, aka master climber, as I may have mentioned) and Canadian-fiancee is a geologist!  A match made in heaven!  So, I said…almost exactly that. 

At that same instance, as I noticed rock’n roller’s expression faintly change, I remembered something great guy had recently said.  Unfortunately, it was already too late (my problem has always been that I am either way too early or way too late).  Rock’n roller is currently in a ‘I hate geologists faze’.  Ooopsy.

You see, climbing is rock’n roller’s great passion, along with music…well, it’s also his livelihood.  Recently his beloved cliffs, where he has climbed for a lot of his life, were closed.  Climbing at this place, where he says many great climbers learned to climb, was his joy, his stress-relief, and now he is stuck at home, sitting here.  It was, he thinks, geologists who said it has to be closed.  He told great guy that he hates geologists because they sit 100’s of metres away (‘they don’t love rocks, like I love rocks’), using binoculars, to determine if rocks or safe or not.  They have no clue. 

Well, he said something to that affect (I might be paraphrasing) to the geologist standing next to me, who I actually know has often been very close to rocks in her lifetime,  and I think likes them a lot. I saw her back stiffen and straighten a bit, and her voice got a teensy bit punchier (is that a word?).  Now, it all turned out to be perfectly cordial and polite…most of the people in the group were Canadians afterall…but the rock lovefest which I had briefly imagined failed to materialize.  Such a shame.  Okay, I guess that was my fault, since I quickly moved the group on to the stables.  Yeah, stables!

Having the Canadians visit made me see great guy in a little bit of a greater light (oh, is that possible?).  He was generous and giving, he took time and energy, drove to the airport at 7 am to pick up one said Canadian because I had to work (and it was his idea!).  He toured them around, made lunches, all in his relaxed, no-big-deal way and I love that.  We watched insane numbers of Harley bikers, we cheered Germany on to a soccer win along with seemingly 1000 others in a biergarten, we hung out at a winefest and numerous times at our fave spot on the Rhein, and countless great hours here at home, just hanging…with our Canadians.  It was relaxed and fun and familiar…as if it happens all the time.  I sincerely hope it does!
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