At midnight, the border between Thursday and Friday, we say our goodbyes.
Thursday and before: We gather like graven knaves at Oly, forgoing a packed-to-the-brim Bierstube for a pizzeria nearby. We were fifteen, all in all, and the waiter was a total dickhead. Sorry, the last one just crept in. Let’s just say I was not impressed with his service and he paid for his impertinence with a huge hole in what would have normally be a generous tip.
Maggie seemed a bit down, especially since she was leaving the next day for Poland, leaving Munich for good. See, I basically went like this the whole night, so it didn’t help her much. But it should have. I mean, face up to the fact that you’re leaving and celebrate instead of mourning!
OK, so sue me for trying.
(Actually, reviewing the following night’s events, they were more trying to kill me…)
But good conversations all around. I particularly enjoyed mine with Michele about Florence and Italy in general. Almost completely in German, though he tried out some sentences in English, which were perfect and a complete surprise cos he normally sticks to Italian and German, both of which he is excellent in. This was a good day for me and my German, what with Claudia and her Munich friend from earlier in the day.
Little tricks of the trade, or travel as it were. Won’t find anyone boshing this kid around. Unless Michele’s telling me tall tales, in which case, I’m dead in Italy. But whatever. I die happy in Toscana.
Then came Thursday evening. Went for dinner first in Stusta. Met two of my Hong Kong friends, Alex and Anthony, who were moving from Oly to Stusta (is it just me, or do our lives seem to revolve around these two places?). I helped them with their things (I will not, I swear and promise to myself, accumulate that much material possessions here) and then found Mikey and Marco.
After dinner, we headed to Oly (hehe) and met up with Dona, Fabio and Maggie for one last vigil before the Polish lass headed home. J-Dawg turned up soon enough, fresh from foresty and wonderful Stuttgart, where he and his parents spent time with his old German partner and family.
He seemed happy enough, especially after the tiring past couple of days before. The incomplete set of Eva DVDs his mom brought over the Atlantic had him crying. Mike, trust me, we’ll find the second DVD somewhere. Even if we have to use Marco’s breadknife and wave it wildly at some poor German anime collector.
Maggie was to leave with some guys from BMW who was heading home after work. I passed my Hong Kong buddies again and helped them get their stuff on a bus to Stusta and nearly got stuck on board.
We had some fun in the parking lot, dancing weird synchronised jigs, climbing trees (everyone knows who did this), speaking Polish (this weirdly enough, was me, though it was just some bloke’s name I was calling out for Mags), and generally just doing any foolish thing that would keep us warm in the cold night.
When the time came to see Maggie off, everyone was feeling rather maudlin themselves. Hugs and kisses and square dancing (this was Mikey, no big surprise). With a loud vrooommmm, the girl was away and we were left to ponder on the next day’s farewells.
Friday and after: Evening saw me heading to Stusta again. Met, for the third time, Alex and Anthony. I began to doubt that they were ever gonna finish moving. Knocked on Mikey/Manuel’s door. He was preparing dinner, a final supper as it were. I answered many of my dear readers’ emails (that’s you, folks!).
Marco came, with an angelic look of bliss on his face after attending a, in his words, “superb”, “perfect”, “incredible” (and other such superlatives) performance of Bach’s Matthäuspassion. Then Dona, with an ear to her mobile and a smile on her face.
Mikey made a playlist for her, with songs like Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue’s Where The Wild Roses Grow, which was sure to please this fan of “Dark Music”, though his inclusion of the Techno Remix of the Cranberries’ Zombie may be stretching things to far.
As far as I can tell, we’ll be sitting down to dinner soon, and J-Dawg will join us later. I will not write more on this nor of tomorrow morning when Dona and Marco drives home to Italy. I have had enough of goodbyes. That can come later.
Now we are together, and this is not more than enough, this feels right.
Copyright © 2002 Kenny Mah Ying Fye.