I'm in the Dusseldorf airport waiting for the flight home from the annual StempelMekka show in Hagen, Germany, It's 3am, and I have about four hours to entertain myself till the flight to Heathrow.I'm hoping to get a T-Mobile connection to upload when I get there. Alas, no photos to document the weekend :-( My camera SD card decided to be a non-participant this trip, and my download cable has gone to that Black Hole in the Sky to join the endless parade of wayward car keys and glasses that are the bane of my existence. I borrowed a camera to take a pic of some of my dearest German friends, and will upload it when it is emailed. The evening has been an adventure that I'm quite proud of. I successfully purchased tickets at the automat machines, made two train and one bus transfer to get here, and took part in several German conversations in which I truly believe I did not have that Deer in the Headlights look when people start speaking German to me. One was a begger boy on some nasty pharmaceutical (he got my handful of German Euros), a drunk needing a match, and a lovely older couple on their way to Sweden. Hurray! You noticed that I'm at the right airport before my flight leaves? -- two very important factors in my well-being that contribute mightily to the current low level of bitching and whining. I'll go on about the show later, but first I want to tell what a wonderful evening I was lucky to experience with Judikins Judy and Rob, Judy's folks, Chuck and Ieky (I'm VERY sorry about the spelling), Steven and Carol (LINK) the Mekka host, Wolfgang and his girlfriend, Barbara, and two more people that I hold near and dear, Marion and mein schatzschen, Lu :-). Marion always brings me a huge bag of of sinful Lindt chocolates, and Lu makes me feel like the most special person in the world. We just went out to dinner, but most of the time we all scatter after a show, so the chance to spend a relaxed and happy evening with good friends is a rare treat. It's a memory that I'll hold close for a long time. Of course, there were a few comical moments, so now it's time for Linda's Stupid Trick. I had to take a train from Hagen to Dusseldorf, and as the plane didn't leave until 7am, I was in no big hurry to get on the road. Fortunately around 11pm, several of us decided that a bit of wine (and chocolate) would be nice -- after all, we hadn't eaten for at least two hours. I had a couple of bottles in my suitcase (generously gifted by Heidi (more about Heidi, Doris and Friedl later) and wanted to share one...but the suitcase was in the trunk of Marion's car, so she left me have her car keys. I know that several of you have a general of idea of where this is going, but no, I didn't lose the keys. This is a NEW Trick. I couldn't get the truck open with the key, so I tried to pull the trunk release lever located under the dash...but her car doesn't have a trunk release lever, and I pulled the cover off the fuse box. I had to climb in and under the dash to get it installed again, and it took quite a long time to get it back on...mostly because I'd pulled it out in the dark and kept trying to shove the poor thing back in upside down. Anyway, Marion came out and opened the trunk, and was quite surprised to learn 1. she had a fuse box, and 2. where it was, so I guess this was a valuable experience for us both. She still gave me a ride to the train station.
So now I'm on my way home. I'm eager to have clean clothes and sleep in my own bed, but this weekend has passed much too quickly. It really is a long and hard ride to get to Mekka --Anxiety over flights, hauling suitcases from train to train, dealing with a foreign language, driving in a strange land with unintelligible signage, the list could continue... but every time I leave here I am counting the time until I can return. I feel blessed to have been given the opportunity have experiences and share moments with such wonderful people, and they will be often in my thoughts until we can meet again. Oh dear, I'm getting weepy right here in the departure lounge. I miss you all so very much already :-(
I do want to talk specifically about Heidi, Doris and Friedl, but I think I'll save that part until I have the pic.