April 23rd, 2012
This morning I woke up with a sore throat, and had to accept that the cold I’d tried so hard to suppress had finally won over. So instead of waking up at 6, I stayed in bed until 11, and woke up to a nice plate of apple slices and pretzels laying on my bedside table (courtesy of Lena’s mom!)
I dragged my sick self downstairs to find a warm broth waiting for me for lunch. Could my day home sick get any better? Yes, yes it could.
Lena’s mother brought out a few DVDs she told me she’d bought recently, and our collective efforts put the movies on English, and I relaxed on the couch. Also: over the weeks, Lena’s family picked up on my affinity for ice cream. They had noticed my face light up at the mention of “Eis” several times. Mrs. Kraiker walked into the living room with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and a spoon. I’ll repeat: a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and a spoon. Just for me!!! I happily and lazily watched movies for the rest of the afternoon, curled up with my blanket and ice cream.
I think this may have been when I discovered just how much Mrs.Kraiker reminded me of my own mom. Aside from the chauffeuring us around, she was the main care giver of the family (like my own: a broken one.) And Mrs.Kraiker worked a full time job as an EMT and ambulance driver! The amount she gave to her family, her home, her job, and now her guest just proved her willingness to go the extra mile. Do you want to meet someone with true integrity? I remained close to her for the rest of my stay, for the pure interest in her genuine character.
When Lena got home from school, I was elated to catch up with her. Shortly after, however, I learned I had to meet Lena’s step-grandparents prior to dinner. Despite my illness, I put on a happy face and some make-up to cover the Rudolph look I was sporting, and we drove further into the mountains to meet the extended family.
As it turned out, the meeting was short and sweet. Here’s why: Lena’s step-grandmother is half-Scottish. Whatever those fractions work out to be, both of Lena’s step-grandparents spoke English, and conveniently so did their Scottish guests! I was in Heaven.
When their guests asked me what I knew about Scotland, I may have mumbled something dumbly about “Braveheart…I saw the Highland Games a few times…” When they asked me what I knew of modern day Scotland, I said something to the affect of “There’s a modern day Scotland?” Hehe…
After the visit and goodbyes, Lena, her parents, and I rode to an Italian restaurant called “Mossimo” or “Moggimo”, whichever you prefer. Dinner was lovely, as always, and table etiquette was followed as always.
Speaking of, I forgot to mention an important detail of the dinner proceedings. When I first came to Trier, Lena’s parents warned me that if I didn’t look everyone I *clinked* glasses with directly in the eyes, I would have “seven years bad sex.” The adults’ seriousness in the matter made me giggle, but every night since then I’d been SURE to stare wide-eyed at my hosts over “Cheers!”
Post dinner, we journeyed back home, and I caught up on more much-needed sleep to (hopefully!) kick my cold once and for all.