3 weeks. I’m 3 weeks into my ninth trip out here to Germany (I definitely had to count the stamps in my passport to come up with that), and I’m a little surprised. I’m surprised that I haven’t gone completely out of my mind yet, as are my parents, my co-workers, and even my boss. The longest I’ve ever been out here was a bit over 3 weeks, but one week of that was vacation time. I’ve been here since May 27th, and working since the 30th. And what’s more, there is no end in sight. At all.
I was sent out here to work on 7 lasery-measurey-thingies, and so far I’ve worked on all 7, but I still have outstanding work on 6 of the systems. Sometime next week I’ll be receiving a technician care package; a shitload of new parts and some more equipment I’ll need. Shit’s been breaking as fast as I can fix it, and I’ve found a ton of problems we didn’t plan for (hence the upcoming delivery). In short, nothing new. Just the standard kick-my-ass service call, only on more steroids than the 1988 East German Olympic team. My educated guess is that I’ll be out here for at least another 2 weeks.
There’s one notable difference, and there’s no doubt in my mind that it’s what’s keeping me going, and dare I say happy, during the current excursion. This chick:
This weekend was amazing. I worked a shitload this week. 6 days. 10 hours a day. In a foreign country. I should’ve been miserable. I should be writing one of my trademark pessimistic I-hate-my-life posts right now. But I’m not.
On Friday night, Ms. Müller met me at my hotel room right when I got home from work, and despite the coal-miner look I was rocking, she was still happy to see me, or at least pretended to be… I cleaned up and we headed out to Best where we sat at the bar and she was patient enough to let me do my work emails and shit for the evening. Then we played a few rounds of Schocken, some crazy German dice/drinking game, with her mother and her mother’s boyfriend before retiring to the room for some sleep… Nothing special, but a surprisingly enjoyable evening.
I worked again on Saturday, after cleaning up I headed over to Elsdorf, the little village just outside Bergheim that Ms. Müller calls home.
I found this waiting for me:
After dinner we curled up on the couch and watched Lost in Translation and drank a bottle of wine. An aside, if you ever find yourself in love with a girl from another country, probably not the best movie to watch, it got pretty depressing there at the end… But it was a positively delightful evening. It’s hard to put into words how happy in made me to be taken care of like this… This would have been an incredibly sweet gesture anywhere, but it was only amplified by the fact that I’m 5,000 miles from home.
Today we watched a couple more movies while I did 3 weeks worth of laundry, and now I’m sitting with her in her little bar (ok, her mother’s bar, sorry Diana) drinking a few beers, and in awe of the fact that this place is starting to feel a little bit like home. And, in awe of the fact that I’m pretty ok with that. And that’s some shit I promise you I never would have said a few short months ago.
So here’s to ya Ms. Müller. Ich liebe dich.