Day 11 - Berlin or God takes, God gives
I don’t know if you realized but as the writing of these memoirs progresses I keep on changing one thing or two, about the style, about the content. As for one thing, the last two posts were very big, I guess I am getting more wordy as I relive more details, as I use more adjectives and all this stuff. Also, they were pretty intense days, many things (not) happening. And I also started to put titles to the posts, in an old-fashioned way of commenting on what is going to come. Let’s see what else changes as the writing goes on. There is still so much I lived and I want to share. But let’s cut the crap and the self-commentaries and let’s get down to what you are really here for.
We had a breakfast similar to the one we had had the day before. It would be the first day we were there and they would serve dinner. Carol asked me to eat there as she was very curious to taste whatever they were serving. The menu was hung on the wall. Then, we went upstairs and finished packing. The plan was to get to the airport by lunch time. The guy for the reception was kind enough to call us a taxi. But we waited and waited and the taxi would never arrive. The sidewalks were full of snow, probably it had snowed a lot during the night. As the taxi arrived we put the bags in the trunk and we headed for the airport. The taxi driver was a Lebanese and he was very friendly. We talked about Brazil, about Germany and Lebanon. He told us he was considering coming to Brazil during World Cup.
At the airport, I put Carol near the place we thought they would be having the checking-in but I walked around the airport, first looking for a cheaper drink than the ones in the vending machines (there was some in the hot dog guy). We talked, we cried a bit more, we said goodbye. She was embarking and they told her she would have a special service for going from one gate to the other, so I felt a bit more released. We met a Brazilian family who was coming back with her, in the same flight. But nothing special.
So, Carol officially gone. What should I do? There was sunshine and by my surprise, it had been days and days I hadn’t seen any sunlight in those gray days of winter. I was leaving the airport and it was so funny to see the afternoon sun, unsuccessfully trying to warm my face, fighting the wind. I could not but remember some scenes in literature where nature would interact with one’s state of mind. It was as if the environment was trying to cheer me up.
But I couldn’t think about any museum, no tours. I just wanted to sit down, look inside and see what I was going to do. Rarely had I felt so lonely. But I was less scared I thought I would be.
As I got back from the airport, I wanted to take a shower, but the key to the locker we had inside the room was not working. I tried for about 15 minutes to open the locker and nothing seemed to work. Then I went downstairs, hoping one of the cute blond guys who worked there could give me a hand. None of them were there at that shift so one lady who I had never sen there followed me in order to check what was wrong. I guess she must have thought I was up to something or was just stupid because her key just opened it in 5 seconds. Murphy working its way to demoralize me.
Finally, it was dinnertime and I had a promise to fulfill. I got there, paid the 8 euros and checked out what the dishes looked like. It was a delicious self-service dinner, with about 6 dishes to choose from, plus the salad and juice. I sat there eating very slowly. A family was there as well and a guy, near the window. Suddenly, the guy who had greeted me the day before and who I had developed a kind of crush on appeared. He got his food and sat some tables far from mine. I kept looking at him, trying to establish some eye contact, maybe exchange smiles, but he wouldn’t look around. I started feeling I should go there and talk to him, but I was not so used to approaching people and there was no Carol there to encourage me. In fact, at this thought I imagined she would be very proud of me if I acted instead of drowning on self-pity. I stood and approached the guy, asking him if it was okay if I sat with him. He was a bit puzzled but consented. I told him my friend had got hurt and had gone back to Brazil. He had a book so I asked him if he liked to read. I was shaking and sweating, although he was making some effort not to hostilize me. His questions seemed sincere, and I would feel more confortable as we talked about many things. His name was Phil and he was from York, UK. He was a biologist and was in an adventure through some eastern Europe countries, to study some of their wildlife. We kept on talking till we realized people wanted to close the room. We went to the sofas at the reception and the talked more and more. Suddenly, he asked me if I wanted to go out and have a drink. My nastier readers will think he might have second intentions, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think so then. We changed and started walking. As the invitation had come from him, I was expecting him to take me somewhere he knew. After walking some blocks, I got curious and asked him where we were going. He was surprised and told me he thought I was leading the way. He asked if we couldn’t go to the bar I had been the day before. I hadn’t mentioned till then it was a gay bar, so I thought it important to let him know. He said he didn’t mind. (ok, another hint I might be getting real lucky that night). The conversation was perfect, he was intelligent, a writer, had a lot of interesting adventures to talk about his trip, his life back in Scotland, where he lives and works. We had some drinks and more conversation. I had so much fun. I was very curious about my chances, but he was straight. Unfortunately. I even told him we were in a different city, a different context, didn’t he want to give it a chance and try something new? He didn’t. But he was so nice it didn’t care. While in the bar, something funny happened. The barman who had become my friend the night before recognized me but was less friendly than the night before. At a certain moment, we were using a system they have there that the customers choose the songs which will play in the background. We were trying to find something by The Smiths (?) (suggestion of Phil) but there was none. I told him to choose something by Shakira then. We chose “Estoy aqui” and we waited. Phil went to the toilet and the song started, I sang along and the guy in the bar was surprised: he asked me in Spanish where I was from. I told him Brazil. He went to the screen to choose one song and made some signal I should wait and see. some songs later a samba school song started and he asked me to go to the middle of the bar to dance the samba. He was shocked. “Are you sure you are Brazilian?”, he asked. But how could I tell him I was a Brazilian who sucked both in samba and soccer. He would never believe it. Anyway, a lot of people laughed and so did I. As I was leaving, he asked me when I was leaving and I told him, next morning. He felt disappointed but gave me his facebook and an unexepected peck. So funny.
And as we arrived at the hostel, full of snow, the chubby guy who worked there and was the most acid of them all said, “oooh you two look so romantic covered in snow”. If only he had known better.... =)