Monday, May 22, 2006

A Nice Memory

Have you ever had one of those days where you just cannot get your motor running? I got up about 3 hours ago and just want to go back to bed. It is not because I did not sleep last night. I returned to Cloppenburg at 6:00pm last night. After sleeping on the couch from 7:30pm to 9:00pm, I went to bed and slept soundly from 11:45 to 7:45am. I do not know what it is. I am not in a bad mood and do not feel too stressed out. I am just very tired. No, mom, I am not pregnant.

On to other information . . . I had a wonderful time meeting the girls! Lisa (happy birthday, dude!), Christina (move over Martha, here comes Mausi!) and Jen (she is the scheisse!) are some truly beautiful women. They were kind and funny. We talked and drank and had pillow fights and Jaaames was at our beck and call. Fortunately, the weekend was not a ruse to lure me to Darmstadt and sell me into the sex slave trade. However, there was a rather odd conversation about sex toys.

I have to admit that I was a bit intimidated, and did not know what to say when I first got there. But after an hour I felt like I was chatting with old girlfriends. I just wish I could have spent more time in Darmstadt (I missed lunch with J!), however, I felt bad leaving the German two weekends in a row.

I am sure that the three of them thought I was with the CIA or something, because I was full of questions. I cannot help myself, I am curious. One of the things that most interests me, is how we (i.e. expats) all got here. I thought I would post my story.

The German and I met in early October 2002. I had been in Oldenburg for about a month. I was just beginning my field research for my dissertation and was using the University of Oldenburg as my "home base" in Germany. As part of my visa and stipend requirements I had to enroll at the university, which was a pain in the arsch. However, I found a really great professor, Dr. N, to sponsor me.

One of the worst things about the university, is that you have to wait to get your student id. In the U.S. they usually make you one on your first day, but not in Oldenburg. They send it by post. Until you get that piece of paper, you do not exist at the university. This was especially difficult for me because I needed a computer id / login to use the computers (at that time I did not have a laptop). When I finally got my student id in the mail, I immediately went to the IT office to get my login. Long story short, the women would not help me, and left me almost in tears.

I stomped off to Dr. N's office to complain. Dr. N was not there, but Doris (a newly minted PhD and adjunct) was. Doris was very sympathetic and said that she would help me. We walked out of the office. I noticed a guy sitting in a chair near the door as we left. 20 minutes later after visiting several uni bureaucracies and getting no where, we returned to the office. I noticed the same guy still sitting in the hall. I proceed to complain some more and was just about to leave when the guy from the hall walked in.

German: Excuse me, but I overheard your conversation. I can help.

I turned around and there was the German. I will never forget that first look into his blue eyes. He was / is very cute.

Claire: Um. Thanks, but I will be okay.

German: No. You could use my log-in. I never use it.

Claire: (with wide eyes) No. That is okay.

German: Sure, why not.

Claire: I don't know who you are!

Doris: Oh, that is Mr. S. He is one of my students and very smart. You should take his help. Wait, Mr. S., why are you here?

German: We had an appointment an hour ago.

DUDE! He sat in that hallway for an hour and was afraid to interrupt us. I decided to take his help and waited for him to finish his business with Doris, and then he showed me how to use the computer system at the uni. All I could think about was how cute he is.

Some other stuff happened, but that is not important. We became a couple at the end of November 2002. He proposed in April 2003. We were married in July 2004. Things moved quickly between us, because we always knew that my time was short in Germany. We did not want one of those long, drawn out long-distance relationships, and we knew that we wanted to be together. Some people ask me how I knew that he is "the one." I am not sure, but I just did. I have not regretted it since. Well, except maybe the snoring . . .


Belinda said...

I've said it before: I Love The German. LOVE him. You are both quite lucky, in my estimation.

Mike B said...

What a nice story ... doesn't it always seem like you meet the nicest people when you aren't looking?

christina said...

Well, if CIA stand for "Cuteness in Action" then you are IT, Claire! :-) It was SO nice meeting you and I wish you could have stayed a bit longer, but I'm sure there will be other get togethers.

Your "How we Met" story is really amazing.

Lisa said...

Thanks dude! Good to meet you too. :)

Sounds like you and the German were destiny. He reminds me so much of Viggo Mortenson in that pic.

Expat Traveler said...

Claire - sounds like you had a great meet up and you make the right choice to go - yeah!!!! I'm happy you did! Your story is so cute on how you met. We've never really told ours and it was short too, but mostly also because of the time factor too. Oh and I was still in Switzerland when you met and was all the way in NA by the time you got married.

Claire said...

B: How could you not love him? And you are right, we are lucky.

Mike: Not only not looking, but not expecting it.

Christina: Man, I just read that you made cake! I am sorry I missed it. Next time we have to do a recipe swap. Actually it would be you giving recipes and me bringing maggi mix.

Lisa: Hope you enjoyed your birthday! Viggo Mortenson? Hmm. I like to think a grown up Jake Gyllenhall.

ET: When you know, you know right? So you will fly over for the next girl's night, right ;-)

christina said...

Ahem - actually, Betty Crocker made the cake with a little help from Jen and me. :-)

EuroTrippen said...

Aww, sounds like you have a sweet hubby!

angrylilazngrl said...

haaaaaaaa! you take pictures of food from the grocery. hilarious!