Saturday, June 03, 2006


The lush, vibrant, green German countryside flies by my window at lightning fast speeds, and the electric hum of the train is ubiquitous around me as a tenor sings a Handel aria in my ipod. I’ve been lonely in Frankfurt---I am not sure how to go out and meet new people in a foreign country. I guess I could try my luck at one of the bars in town, and grab a drink by myself and hope that someone talks to me---I’ve never had much luck with that before, though. That whole fear of people that I have kind of gets in the way.

I am on my way to visit my friend Nadine. Nadine moved here five years ago to continue her studies after we graduated from college. She started at the musikhochschule in Cologne, and took her time as she got situated in the community here. She is a small woman of wild, passionate, impulsive, upbeat energy, with an incredibly inquisitive and sharp mind full of strong opinions. Her hair is very curly and brown and has a mind of its own, much like Nadine herself. She speaks excellent German. She laughs loudly. She is one of my favorite people.

This last March was the first time I had seen Nadine in two years. I hadn’t seen her since I was in Berlin to study German a couple summers ago. She was singing with an opera company up in Rheinsberg, a small town 2 hours away from Berlin for the summer, and I went to visit her. We had a fun time, despite some crazy, insecure people who tried to ruin our fun with gossip and intrigue. I was there only 48 hours…I’m not sure how or about what they managed to find something to create gossip about, but they did. I don’t get to see Nadine much, because she lives so far away, but whenever I see Nadine, it’s guaranteed to be a good time.

It’s hard to be away from people I know well. Perhaps one of the blessings of being on the road so much is that I get to visit some of those people once in a while, even though we are scattered across the planet. Maybe, in the end, I am not as alone as I have been feeling recently.

As the train pulls into the station in Cologne, I see Nadine waiting for me on the track, wrapped in a shawl and hugging herself to keep warm in the chilly, wet spring weather. Nina Simone begins to croon through my ipod that the sun is coming, and that it’s all right. Thanks, Nina.

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