From Föhr To Lübeck

I wake up late and get up to see that Luca’s Oma has made us breakfast. Luca’s already had three cups of coffee. We eat and both feel like we really need to digest our breakfast quickly as we know she is coming home with lunch as well. Luca’s grandmother, I will note, does not actually look like the shower in our room at the strand hotel. She looks actually, a lot like my grandmother, or that she reminds me a lot of her. She is about the same height, same hair and same demeanor as my grandmother. Though she doesn’t know any english she is friendly and Luca translates a bit for us. Luca and I finish breakfast and he takes me next door to his uncle’s house.  

His uncle’s house had been rebuilt recently and has a traditional grass roof. I absolutely love how it has been re-done. We tour through the house and his niece and nephew are both nervous of me, as all the german-speaking kids I have met are. I think it is hard for them to imagine someone who doesn’t understand them when they speak and is unable to communicate with them. Whereas they hide behind their parents or shyly pretend I am not there. I most definitely cannot do the same, though often times I completely understand the feeling of wanting to hide behind something or to pretend someone isn’t there. It can be just as frustrating for me at times but being the adult I can’t do much about it other than faintly smile and nod. I am able to pick up on small words in german, small phrases. When I get back to Canada I picture covering everything in the cabin in post-it notes with the german word and pronunciation. I am wondering if B can help me with my german without wanting to kill me on how slowly I learn these kinds of things.  

After lunch Luca and I borrow a car and drive around Föhr. We pass by farms and fields and small island towns. One town has a bylaw that all of the roofing must be done with the traditional grass, even the bank has a grass roof. We listen to the radio and it seems to play the top twenty songs. Every now and then a song comes on that I remember hearing be overplayed on cbc radio 2. “This song is Canadian!” I am able to say now and again. We drive in an easy silence and something about the island and the music playing gives me the feeling of being on summer vacation from school. We drive quickly down narrow roads and the sun shines happily over us. We stop at another beach and there is a small shop. We watch people wind-surf while soaking up the sun. I drink a beer while Luca sips another coffee down. The sun doesn’t have the dry heaviness it does at the cabin. There is a breeze coming in off the sea and it feels so good. A person could get happily lost here and stay forever.   

 We decide to take the last ferry of the day and Luca’s uncle drives us there. On boarding the ferry I don’t feel nervous at all this time and we decide to this time sit on the top of the ferry and enjoy the sun and wind. We buy two beers from the little shop inside and nurse them while people watching. German people are so readable. Often I know what people are saying by just picking up on their mannerisms or feelings. We point people out to each other and comment. I see a man who has the same energy as my Dad, exactly. I point him out and Luca tells me that is the typical cocaine addict. Ah. The four women sitting across from us ask Luca to take their picture. We imagine they are on vacation together as friends and yet they seem so uncomfortable around one another. As if they should pretend to be enjoying this but can’t seem to enjoy themselves. The captain comes on and says because the water is too low that we cannot port and have to wait a bit. A wave of panic openly breaks loose as this most clearly disrupts everyone’s plans. We sit and smile while we share a second beer. An older man and woman walk comfortably arm in arm slowly and contentedly around the deck. His arm at the small of her back, and then dips down and grabs her ass. I can’t help but smile.  

We are finally able to get off the ferry and we walk by the Strand Hotel and by the diner with the suggestive server. We walk by the sheep and the sea wall. We both feel as if we are still lost on Föhr. We find the van and Luca decides to take the more scenic route this time back to Lübeck. We don’t say much to each other on the drive back and both of us get lost in our own thoughts. I am enjoying the music and the scenery. More than that I am so enjoying Luca’s company. I like being around him and I like seeing his world with him. I like (and to be honest sometimes dislike) how well he is able to read and understand me. Most of the time I feel so misunderstood by people, especially men. I think of the first night we spent time together in Canada and how I felt then that I involuntarily trusted him. As if it weren’t even a choice for me, that everything in me just did, that it was easy, and that I enjoyed it. 

We arrive back in Lübeck late and dream of Berlin.



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