englishman abroad

New beginnings

Last week my family and I went to a wedding in Bad Waldliesborn, Andrea’s home town.

We were attending the wedding of Sandra, one of Andrea’s childhood friends, and Steffen, an East Berliner who I’ve had great conversations with (usually about socialism in theory versus practice).

The weather was fine and we arrived early at the abbey in which they were wed, the service was lovely too, and then we all went outside for photos and sparkling wine.

I had not had my breakfast. This detail will become important soon. Ramsis, a charming Caribbean Dutchman in a blue suit who I only ever meet when our respective partners drag bring us to one of these events, was also in attendance and we had fun catching up. After two large glasses of sparkling wine and, I cannot stress this enough, no breakfast, I had a wonderful idea: we, Ramsis and I, should sign the guest book.

So I marched Ramsis over there with my arm around his shoulder, both of us gabbling away in English, clearly good friends, and signed it ‘Dear Sandra and Steffen, thank you for inviting us to your lovely wedding, you’re such a cute couple etc. etc. all our love, Russell and Ramsis x x x’

I also turned the ‘i’ in Ramsis name so that it had a love heart over it. And why not? I had had two glasses of sparkling wine and no breakfast!

Two of the photographers took our picture and printed it there and then, and stuck it in the guest book. We made a good couple, Ramsis and me.

Admittedly, there were some very confused looks from the photographers when we later went back to our respective women. They probably thought that we were a very modern couple.

On the way back, we went to one of the very many asparagus and strawberry huts that spring up at this time of year. It’s a phenomenon that I’ve only ever seen here in Germany. The spring time comes and suddenly there are huts and little stalls at the sides of roads, in town centres, even on motorways, all selling white asparagus. I had never seen white asparagus until I came to Germany, we generally prefer the green version back in the UK. This particular hut was at a farm which grew the stuff, so I went in and found mounds of asparagus that was absolutely fresh. Some of it, called krumm , was slightly crooked but a lot cheaper than the others.

                ‘What’s wrong with this asparagus?’ I asked

                ‘Nothing, it just grew up a bit wonky’

                ‘Haven’t we all?’

I bought a kilo, needless to say.

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