Monday, August 28, 2006

Yucky Huge

Forgive the lapse into the past, but a very dear friend of mine who nowadays lives in München, Germany, otherwise known as Munich to us lesser mortals, emailed me to thank me for reminding her about Play School. Mandy worked for a while at BASF in England, and was transferred to Mannheim, Germany where a BASF subsidiary operated. This is where I worked. Mandy worked a block away. A friend in England asked me to “keep an eye out for her”. As a lady less than half my age, who was very pretty (still is!), this was not a mean feat. Be that may, we would regularly meet, and dine in Pizzerias, and also eat at an English Pub called Number 9, and another place which I could never pronounce, but we called it Nick’s place. Nick was from Hastings, England, or somewhere equally revolting. The Pizzerias are where you get real Italian food, without garlic and such nonsense. We’d sometimes venture to France at weekends (a mere 70 miles), and buy groceries at the supermarket. The cheeses were to die for.
One day, Mandy was down, and I offered that perhaps we should have a vacation together – just a few days. I mentioned that I’d always wanted to go to Capri – an Italian island. However, I really didn’t care where we went. Mandy sent a fax to my company – of some 1,200 people, and addressed it to Mr. Yucky Huge. It duly arrived on my desk a few minutes later! A sure sign that the Germans have a sense of humor! She confirmed that we had a vacation booked.
We went to Frankfurt Airport early one morning, and flew into the resort. After checking into Fleapit Motel, we went to the beach. I did what any red-blooded male would do – I went to buy beer. When I came back, I commented that it was amazing how many people spoke Spanish at this resort. Mandy asked where did I think we were. Capri? Wrong, we were in the Canaries, which is about 1,000 miles away. In the Atlantic. Not even in the Med! Wrong country too. In retrospect, I'm embarrassed to admit that I was so far off! Had a good time though! I recall I rented an open topped vehicle, and drove around the island. Got horribly sunburnt too! Mandy eventually got married (a lot of guys cried), has two lovely kids, and still lives in München.