April 14th, 2012
The 8 hour drive and two truck stops was worth the 6-month-long wait to see Lena again. We pulled into Trier, and the anticipation of not knowing enough German slowly sank in. I waited for Lena to come pick me up in front of her school, nerves running rampant through my mind, as I watched my peers greet their students, some who’d been suffering the same Angst I had.
I waited for 15 minutes or so before a woman approached me, and I didn’t know it then, but later on that woman, Lena’s mother, would come to remind me of my own. She smiled so brightly at me, and said “Mannyy?” My face of acknowledgement allowed her to continue, and in broken English ask, “Lena is coming from work. She comes now.” I looked where she pointed, and Lena rounded the corner carrying shopping bags. With all the Schmaltz of an old time movie, the two friends ran towards each other and hugged out 6 long awaited months.
Okay…maybe it wasn’t that kind of textbook awesome…but somewhere in there is the brilliant excitement of finding an old friend, a feeling I’m all too familiar with (if you’ve been keeping up with past posts 😉 )
Lena and her mother drove me through Trier, across the Mosel River, up a mountainside, to their home. I met Lena’s step father, and they acquainted me with the layout of the house.
My room was beautiful. Lime green walls, and a single bed outfitted with neon sheets reminded me of my room at home. There was a large closet on the side of the wall to hold my clothes.
Dinner was promptly at 7. Lena made it clear to both of her parents that mealtime would be for German-speaking only. She was very strict about that policy, and it was difficult for me to understand their Trier-ish German at first. Like trying to learn English in the center of Lynn, “pahkin yah cahs in Hahvahd yahd” might put into perspective for you what I was trying to tackle.
After that first dinner, Lena and I dressed up, and went into the city. I met some of her classmates, and got the nighttime tour of the city. Before Germany, I don’t think I’d ever seen anything as beautiful as the Porta Nigra lit up at night. But as I would come to find out, that was only one of many beautiful sights and experiences Germany had to offer.