Tuesday, July 01, 2008
In life, you meet many wonderful and amazing people. Some of them touch you deeply and others pass quietly in the morning. Regardless of the outcome, all of them together weave the tapestry that is your life experience.
I must have known something was coming deep down inside when I wasn't bothered that they cancelled our flight from Frankfurt to Dulles. While two hundred people were on the verge of panic, I sat around sipping a Coke in the Red Carpet Club while the staff dutifully took care of new flight arrangements and hotel accommodations.
I wasn't even that stressed when I boarded the "wrong" bus that took us to the hotel in Frankfurt's center city instead of the location by the airport.
Something was coming. I just wasn't conscious of its' impending arrival.
L. is the sort of girl that seems ultra-rare in my world. Multi-cultured, multi-lingual, intelligent, traveled, quick-witted with a razor-sharp tongue and wickedly dark and sensual mind. Imagine all that wrapped in a Hapa-Haole (half-Japanese, half-white, totally sexy), five-foot-two dynamo with long, flowing black hair, piercing eyes and knowing smirk that's ready to crush you at any given moment and you have some sense of what L. is all about.
From the moment we sat down and met each other, the game was on. Earn respect or be crushed. Kill or be killed.
Well-traveled, she had just come from Barcelona where they had partied all night long celebrating Spain's victory over Germany in the European Cup. Truth be told, she was a charlatan in the land of Franco - deep in the land of red and gold while her true loyalty remained to Germany.
Fluent in German (and God know what other languages), she barked out orders to our server between sessions schooling us on the finer points of German beers, their regional origins, favorites and other salient points of beer production in Deutschland.
From there, everything else flowed. Conversation, laughter, making fun of each other, the weird, off-beat and dark humor. Before you knew it, we were the center of the party. Everything and everyone flowed around us. The beers flowed freely and time flowed without care. Closer to midnight, most of our drinking companions decided to make their way back to the hotel to see if United had booked them onto new flights. Like me, L had called the airline earlier and booked a reservation on the same flight I was taking the next morning at 11am.
The night was still too young and we headed off to Sachsenhausen to seek out more beer and perhaps some apfelwein, encamping ourselves in front of a local pub discussing more inane and ridiculous subjects to pass the time.
That's when the Döner came up. A sort of schawarma of pork, cheese and more stuffed into a pita type bread. It's wildly popular in Germany and L insisted that I try one. Across the street was a hopeful looking place that worked me up an order.
It's good but I'm not well-versed in either schawarma or Döner so it's hard to me to tell whether this one was a great example or not. I loved the crispy toasted texture of the bread and it's juxtaposition with the feta type cheese and crisp cold veggies.
Maybe it was my inability to connect successfully with the Döner, or maybe it was just the wrong time in our lives, but we knew that this one night would be the only night and that tomorrow it would all be over and we would return to our normal lives. So many commonalities. So many things that "clicked". But still so many things in our lives that would get in the way. Ironic that we're only separated by sixty miles and yet the distance between us would be insurmountable.
In the end, I got to share some time with an amazing woman and learned a little bit about the Döner. Not a bad way to spend a night in Frankfurt.