Gute Reisen


Too many internationals. I was cruising my regular ex-pat message board the other day, and found someone asking if freelancers/folks with time on their hands wanted to meet on a weekday morning for a coffee. I responded and a date was set, and it looked like there would be 4 or so of us. 

Come Thursday morning, I was there early, and my only coffee companion arrived quite late. Kath from England. Late 40s or early 50s, quite and nice enough. When it was clear that we were going to be the only two we dove straight into the small talk. After the usual “how long have you been here?”, “had you visited before?” I was feeling already antsy with small talk. So I said, “Kath, tell me your story.” I already knew she had only been in Munich for 6 months because she followed her boyfriend who has a good job.

So she launched in her story, and though I thought I was going where she was born, etc., I got a double barrel blast of drama. I think she was looking for someone to talk to. Her story started in July when she left her husband. She said she went to work one day, called a friend and asked if he could stay there that night, and never went home. Her husband reported her missing and mentally unstable, and she had to send her “Auntie and Uncle” to her house to collect the garbage bags of clothes he’d left outside. He’s kept all her jewellery, and “designer stuff,” frozen her out of bank account, emptied other accounts, and after 26 years of what she described as “isolating her from friends and family,” he’s turned fully cruel.

So here she lives, on her boyfriend’s dime for now. That’s good drama, huh? I advised her on fun places to go, and interesting things to try. Not sure she ever asked me anything about me, but I’m sure she was quite starved for conversation. I recommended she go to the ex-pat beer garden meet up, I’ve been a couple of times and it’s a good 30 to 40 and primarily UK expats, she didn’t seem that keen on integrating into the German culture. 

One more weird experience.