My First Abroad Romance, Part 2
The days after I met Christian were hard. I missed having someone to hold me. We exchanged emails and I booked tickets to visit him soon thereafter in Bremen, Germany. This was my first time in Germany and I remember that it was very clean and orderly. The weekend with Christian was very special. I will always remember it for two veyr different reasons. First, it was the end of fall/beginning of winter and the winter market had just opened in Bremen. Winter markets in Germany are a sight – Christmas decorations, games and rides, hot potato pancakes and sausage everywhere and the best treat of all – gluhwein – which most people refer to as mulled wine. We held hands throughout the market and drank gluhwein until we were both happily drunk. It was my first glimpse into knowing what it felt like to be in love with someone else. My other memory of that trip was waking up in Christian's arms on Sunday and we spent the morning laying together in bed and I had him read Le Petit Prince to me in French while I leaned against him. To this day I don't think I've ever had a more romantic moment with a man. Parting ways with Christian was very difficult because it was unclear if or when we would ever see each other. I cried the entire 3 hour train ride to Berlin.
When I arrive to Berlin it was a very different Berlin than the one we know today. This was 2002 Berlin and the East side was just beginning gentrification. I pulled into the train station in the East at night and remember thinking Wtf did I do to myself? It was dark and dirty and isolated. I held onto my suitcase for dear life and made my way to my hostel, which I remember had a hippy theme theme to it. I went into my dorm room and kept crying over leaving Christian. I had never experienced feelings like this for anyone and I didn't know quite how to handle it. My Swedish roommates walked into the dorm and saw me distraught and I told them the entire story of Christian and they said stop crying, get dressed, we're going to a party called Flower Power at a bar in the neighborhood.
The rest of the night was surreal! The Swedish girls were so much fun and they spoke perfect english. Flower Power turned out to be a party for heavy metal junkies and I had never been around people like that in my entire life. I met a Croatian metal head with very long hair who wore skull rings and kept saying to me "Harley Davidson" and showed off his Playboy lighter. When mant foreigners meet me they love to show off their adoration for American culture. I went outside with him on one of his smoke breaks and we made out. The kisses weren't memorable at all but what a change of events within matter of a few hours!
The next day I made the classic mistake of immature girls in the dating world and decided to call Christian and tell him about my great night so he would kmow that I was doing well. Of course I mentioned the Croatian guy because I wanted to make Christian jealous - wonderful plan! Rather than get jealous the plan completely backfired - he quickly hung up on me and never spoke to me again - didn't pick up the phone when I tried again or respond to my apology email. The saddest part is that I didn't learn my lesson until deep in my 20s that it's not a good idea to bring up other guys when you're talking with someone you really like. Lesson learned now.