The taming of D

Munich Travel Blog

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First encounters.

The day my cupid called.

January, 2008.

I need a flight to Germany... yes... I know its peak...  I don’t care about that, just get me a ticket on the next flight... 

As the airline staff rebooked my flights, I didn’t even pause to consider the destination.  It was not on my itinerary.  It probably never would have been.  Not that I had any reason to avoid Germany.  It was simply a destination that slipped under my radar.  After all, there were places like the Middle East, Africa and Asia to contend with - raw and full of the promise of misadventure.

Our night in Hoffbrau - a contest of wills with unknown beer beasts.
  But life’s cards change quickly, especially when on the road.  Circumstance and a sick friend had conspired to take me from elsewhere.  I received his call early that morning.  The rasping rattle in his throat told me he was in trouble, the kind that would not wait for convenience.   So I decided to play cavalry and ride to the rescue.  The next thing I knew, I was sitting on another plane with a boarding pass in my hand, cursing the concept of chivalry.

Munich.  I recall looking at the flight ticket without much enthusiasm.  Truth be said, I rarely look at any flight ticket with enthusiasm.  As my list of destinations grows, the novelty shrinks.  The last few months before Munich had brought me from Melbourne to Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Italy and France.

He makes his move.
  I was simply on my way to repay a favour.  My intentions were to appear, get my friend out of trouble and then disappear.  Just like I always did.

As the days passed, my visit was going according to expectation.  I was blind to my surroundings.  I just focused on the task at hand.  Slowly, my friend improved.  When he had regained enough strength to travel, I had organised two tickets for us to the other end of the world, scheduled to leave the very next day.  Everything was confirmed.  I had every intention of leaving as quickly as I arrived.

And then I met you.

At first, I recall how we exchanged nothing more than a few sentences.

He forgot he made the move, so he makes his move again.
  My words were apologetic.  I had plans, so I said my goodbyes first.  As I always do.  And you spoke only a few words to me then... and the last words were definitely yours...

Nonetheless, I remember returning to my hotel room and packing my bags.  I arranged a car to transport my friend and I to the airport in the morning.  I was making good my word and my intention.  When everything was in place, I lay down and closed my eyes.

But your words returned to me as I slept.  And then I became sleepless.  There was something in what you said.  A seed had begun to take form in my mind...  and by the time morning came, it had become a tree.

The next morning, the car arrived on time.

...and three times is the magic number. D is laughing...
  The suitcases were loaded.  As the car pulled away from the hotel, I recall my friend looking out of the back window, watching the distance unfolding.  His features were etched with disbelief.  Probably because the scene he was watching centered around me.  Despite all my plans, all the arrangements and the risks, I did something I have never done before.  I remained behind.  He watched me shrinking into the horizon as the car moved on.  I didn’t give a strong reason to him for my refusal to get into the car.  There wasn’t much to say to him, he could not have understood.  After all, I had nothing more than a few of your words... and a forest growing in my mind.

As crazy as I thought I was in that moment, there was never a fraction of doubt in my decision.  I knew from the moment I opened my eyes that morning that I would not leave.

Until T manages to put D's watch in his hands. Problem solved. :oP
  Everything told me to stay.

Hours later, as the plane left without me, I met you at a train station in Munich.  I remember you as you were, almost two years later, so vividly I can almost touch that moment.  When I saw you from across the road, I stopped and smiled.  When our eyes met, I felt an instant connection to you that words cannot describe.  And as we began to walk together, you turned to me and said with a smile:  You stayed”.  I simply returned the smile and nodded in reply.  The thought on my lips remained unspoken until much later.  I had the feeling that you already knew.

Every man has a moment in life which separates everything before and after.  For me, this will forever be the moment I met you in Munich.

Break my watch, and I'll break you. Alpha male bs... lol
  From then, everything changed.

Those days we spent together felt both like an instant and an eternity.  Even today, I can recall every moment we shared with perfect clarity.  The caution we had which almost instantaneously melted into easy companionship as we walked to our first destination, two like minds in an unknown city.  The way we tested each other in different scenes, however they were presented to us.  From high tea at a historical landmark to fending off drunken suitors at Hoffbrau (after taking a seat at their table uninvited, I might add).  I may have had the luxury of setting the plans, but I soon discovered that guaranteed me no upper hand, for you adapted without forethought.  And so often I found the tables turned without warning. 

I can’t help but laugh when I think of how well you handled your new German friend in between litre glasses of beer.

Aaaah, whatever. Lets just drink to a new beginning!
  How gracefully you accepted his suggestively inappropriate invitations and disarmed him, not once, but thrice.  How you accepted his business cards just as many times and laughed at the same story he repetitively told.  So efficiently polite.  So adaptable.  A chameleon after my own heart.  And I still scratch my head about how you managed to eventually deflect all of his unwanted attention onto me.  The cheeky smile you flashed in my direction as he pulled the watch from my wrist and the look on my face as I watched him trying to disassemble it in an effort to prove he was the better man (with the better watch).  Checkmate.  I was so impressed.  (Well, impressed with you that is, not so much with the disassembly of my watch... :oP).

There was a contest of wills here, and never had I felt so evenly matched.  As day turned into night, we did not sleep.  Time felt too precious to do anything else than remain awake.  Beyond the small games we played, I found myself becoming increasingly lost in you.  No matter how many masks I wore that night, I felt as if you could see me.  As I was, as I am.  It seemed natural to let go and for the smallest of moments, we let our masks fall and it was then that I truly saw you for the first time.  The midnight hours we spent together unconsciously revealed parts of ourselves that otherwise remained hidden. 

In that unmasked moment, I found you to be so completely different to me, and yet, so completely the same.  My thoughts, while beginning in a place so different to yours, always seemed to end up in a simultaneously shared conclusion.  And in one pinnacle of absolute clarity, when we shared a mutual dream, I realised a truth I could not deny. 

I was no longer alone.

As dawn broke over Munich, our time together grew short.  I knew I had to catch a train to Zurich and beyond.  My responsibilities could no longer wait.  When you turned to me and our eyes met for what could have been the last time, I felt an unspoken question in the silence between us.  And for the first time, I found new words falling from my lips:  It is a new beginning.  We don’t say goodbye”.   

And I meant it.  Irrespective of distance or circumstance.  I would be by your side.

(Thy's edit: Who told you to tell the story twice? You're boring our readers! Who's got the time to read things over and over? You?:P)

** Dion's reply:  Every story has two sides - I'm sure some of our readers will hazard the chance to see my side of the story.  Because in these re-tales, I'll get to have the final word... :oP  ...and at times, that will be something well worth a read... ;o) **

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First encounters.
First encounters.
Our night in Hoffbrau - a contest …
Our night in Hoffbrau - a contest…
He makes his move.
He makes his move.
He forgot he made the move, so he …
He forgot he made the move, so he…
...and three times is the magic nu…
...and three times is the magic n…
Until T manages to put Ds watch i…
Until T manages to put D's watch …
Break my watch, and Ill break you…
Break my watch, and I'll break yo…
Aaaah, whatever.  Lets just drink …
Aaaah, whatever. Lets just drink…
9,060 km (5,630 miles) traveled
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photo by: AleksandraEa