David April. You almost gave me a coronary were life-changing.
We began the month innocently enough, with a weekend jaunt to the Alps.
It snowed for 12 hours and this was the result in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (otherwise known as a Hollywood set). Might as well have been January. Anyway, we walked around for about
23 minutes two hours, ate an incredibly weird meal while staring at a painting of a man cuddling a goat, and got back on the train. After devouring Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, I read Torch the whole way (loved both, pick them up now). (Or better yet, if you live in New York, get them here.) David read some crazy German thing about words.
The next weekend, we visited dear friends in Berlin, where I
drank way too much finally got to speak English to someone other than David! Berlin is like Williamsburg on steroids. The hipster factor made me gag realize I need some new (old) clothes; that said clothing needs to be brown, grey or beige; and that I need to wash my hair less frequently.
(Apparently I was too inebriated most of the time to take any more pictures.)
Then my adorable, darling parents came for a visit. They spent their early thirties in London and Paris, so they came over to recapture their youth. They were here for six days and already know more about Munich than I do. (I wish that could be crossed out, but it’s true.) Here they are eating and enjoying beers at an old Commie hangout called the Alter Simpl. Given that my mother is a Red Diaper Baby, she felt right at home. My dad just loved the schnitzel and Schwarzbier.
I also found out that I’m going to be on the Contributors Page of O: The Oprah Magazine! More on this later, but my parents and David took turns acting as photographer. (I’m pretty sure David’s pics won out.) I hated
every single picture about 95% of them, and the ones I did like — like the one below — were unusable because I was, as usual, blabbering and moving my arms around while the shot was being taken. On a related note, apparently I have a stripes problem.
And then the man proposed. Or rather, we proposed to each other (I did go to Oberlin after all). I mean, I sobbed. We had about 32 seconds to enjoy it before we left for Vienna. (FYI: In reading this over, even I’m starting to loathe myself — Berlin! Vienna! marriage! — so please know that April was a sort of unusual month. Usually we are
really boring at home watching Smash and talking about how it went from so good to so bad so quickly. Can someone please explain that random Bollywood number?)
Anyway, so Vienna, gorgeous Vienna, like Paris only in German, once the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, now just a very sweet, very civilized place to live. Also, it placed first (in a tie with Vancouver) for most livable city in the world.
So now it’s May 1 — the workers holiday here in Germany — and we are exhausted and I have about
$4 $44 in my bank account. David just spent the morning napping and I’m nursing a sore throat with cardamom tea. But we are so happy to be home. (Case in point on the boring factor: David is working on an article for some academic publication. He just turned to me and said, “How do you say ‘The big hairy dog saw her’ in French?” This is verbatim, people.)
And lastly: I’m not huge on cyber announcements, but I was blown away by the love we received after “announcing” our engagement on Facebook. When you write things like this, you’re never quite sure who is reading what and how they feel about any of it, so it was sort of overwhelming to hear back from so many, even in the form of a thumbs up. The world is both very big and very small, and for a girl living out across the ocean from so many people she adores and relies on, people who have been her community for decades now, the internet is sort of a miraculous thing.