Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Kindness of Germans (Flutes and Wine)





We arrive around 8pm and there’s already wine and French onion soup waiting for us. Bob works with Dan, and his wife Bekka is German. We’ve had dinner with them before- mostly during the summer and hadn’t seen them in awhile.

“Sit down, sit down, start eating!” Bekka insists.

We dig in and the soup is phenomenal. I’m not a huge fan of onions, so a dish with that as the main ingredient has never appealed to me. But this one is flavorful, not overwhelming and cheesy!

We eat our soup, drink our wine and chat with Bob as Bekka finishes dinner in the kitchen. I offer to help, but she says she doesn’t need any.

She’s a woman of the kitchen. She’s a great cook, and loves to do it. She’s told me this before. She loves summertime because then they can host large patio BBQ’s where I swear half their village shows up. Wintertime isn’t as popular for dinner parties, but we hadn’t seen them since before Christmastime, so they make an exception :)

The boys and I finish our soup and I bring the dishes into the kitchen. She’s finishing up and asks me to help bring everything to the table. It looks delicious. Sauerbraten, bratwurst, knodel, and a few other unpronounceable German goodies.

We eat, chat, laugh, and story tell. It’s nice having friends to talk to. As we all clear the table, Bekka brings out dessert, a bottle of champagne and 4 champagne flutes. I comment a few times at how much I like the glasses. They have beautiful frosted etchings of flowers on each of them.

We finish the champagne and dessert, and notice its getting late. We start to gather our things and put on our coats. Bekka tells us to wait just a minute. She goes into the kitchen and comes back out with the champagne glasses; washed and packaged for us to take home.

“No, no. We cannot take these from you!” I insist.

“Yes! You like them, and we rarely use them, so here you go.”

It was such a sweet gesture. Something so selfless and …just NICE. I nearly forgot what it was like to be around such genuine people. (For the record, my friends back home are all amazing, thoughtful people. I guess what I mean, is that I was missing that caliber of people in my life here in Germany.)

**

A week later, Dan and I met up with Bekka and Bob at a restaurant called The Chicken Ranch. They have been raving about it since we met them, so it was an exciting treat to finally go. At the restaurant, Bekka drank sweet white wine, Bob a beer and Dan and I shared a bottle of local red wine. It was really, really tasty; a dry red- our favorite. As we were leaving, Bekka stopped by the to-go counter to get a meal for her babysitter. When she came outside to meet us, she handed Dan and I the same bottle of wine we drank during our meal. (A full, unopened bottle if that isn’t clear.)

Its just things like that. Things that may be small, but are so thoughtful and completely without self-interest. I feel super lucky to have found a friend like her out here. 

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