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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Lounging in Leipzig

Side Note: As you may have read in my previous post, A “Love” Story…Spoiler Alert!, my budding romance did not turn out as I had hoped, in fact involved serious betrayal. However, the lies he spun still remain a central part of my travel story through Germany and so I shall not leave them out… however painful.

5th December 2011

Relaxation Day

Today was a day lounging and recovery after the crazy first few days exploring Hamburg and Berlin. I received a call at 8am from Buddha saying the power was out and he was unable to skype as planned, but would contact me as soon as he could. So sweet…not! (You may notice a few sarcastic comments when this topic comes up, I feel I have earned the right!).

Cathleen and I had a nice lazy morning with some fresh pastries for breakfast, I REALLY love German pastries. I could move here just for those. Cathleen studied and I worked on my blog and uploaded some photos.

Skyped

Around 11am I was “bleeped” on skype and he was on. I was really nervous because I felt I might have developed real feelings for this petite, cute man from Nepal (always knew there was a reason I preferred the strong strapping kind). Before when he had contacted me with numerous phone calls and texts after arriving in Germany it had almost annoyed me, it seemed too intense. Now I found myself like a jittery school girl. He talked about starting to apply for the US cruise ships to get a 5yr visa to work in the states (another lie apparently) and how much he missed me, he sang me the song “Beautiful” by James Blunt (An ironic choice considering it is the song I associated with another guy who strung me along for 2yrs while dating another girl, who he married, for 3yrs) and finally I had to ask for clarification. I am 34 and playing the game was just going to be too exhausting. So I asked where we stood, what we meant to each other. His reply was a heart stopping sentimental one “I feel pain, I feel pain that you are not here.” Well if that just didn’t take the old ovaries and twist them in a knot. In the end we decided to call ourselves a couple and see where it would go.

Par for the course, the “power” cut out at that moment and he texted me to say he missed me and would try skype later. (Of course months later I would discover he had already moved in with another girl the day after I left and the “power cuts” were a lie).

But oblivious to the web that was being spun, I ran to the kitchen and told Cathleen, basking in the glow of having a boyfriend. You might say I am a late bloomer, and considering I won the award for service to the school in highschool… you might understand why this seemed like such a big deal. I had been wearing an Irish Claddagh ring for years, it almost defined me, always pointing out that I was single and lonely. Turning it around felt fantastic.

The rest of the day was spent going to the store, and discovering that even the super cheap chocolate tasted amazing! Speaking of which the perfect movie for the evening was “Chocolat”.

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2012 in Germany, RTW, Travel

 

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A “Love” Story…. Spoiler Alert!

24th July 2012

The Start
For those of you who have been reading my blog you might have noticed that there appeared to be a relationship blooming with this amazing guy I met in Kathmandu. Buddha Lama is a bartender on a cruise ship and was home for his 3mth vacation. We met the first morning there when his friend offered him up to show me monkey temple.

The Blooming of Feelings
We spent the next few weeks hanging out together and were almost inseparable the last 2 weeks. He took me all around Kathmandu and surrounding areas on his bike. He would never let me pay for food or movies or anything we did together, a real gentleman! I started having feelings for him the more I watched him feeding the monkeys and stray dogs at the temples. Watching people with animals is a sure way to tell their true personality. He was kind and caring and would go out of his way to buy some cookies or something for the strays.

Starting the Distance
After I left we stayed in contact and soon realised we had stronger feelings for each other. During December, while I was in Germany, we skyped and discussed it, deciding to be a couple until we could meet again and see what the future might hold. It was a tough month as constant blackouts and bad connections meant we had a hard time communicating. I now wish to apologise to my friends in Germany as I was a bit of a wreck, end of a year long journey and about to go home and now a new boyfriend…

The two weeks before Christmas I heard nothing and on Christmas day I finally decided to screw it, men just make you miserable. I removed the Irish Claddagh ring I had worn for the last 10yrs and only finally reversed to show my heart was taken, and vowed to focus on the future. The very next morning the texts started, “Oh my love I am sorry so hard to communicate now, love your monkey boy”… It was amazing how the connection issues we had before were suddenly fixed, but I didn’t think of that, I was just happy to hear from him.

Mid January he left to embark his cruise ship and we started skyping almost every night. He was spending almost $100 each month for wifi. Around that time, we realised we truly cared for each other and both took the huge step of changing our status on facebook. He had somehow been blocked out of his previous facebook account, Mango Honey, and so while I was still in Kathmandu I helped him set up a new one, Mango Lama.

Love Grows
Buddha was super sweet and considerate and would do his utmost to get skype no matter what time he finished work and I would be there waiting every night at 5.30pm my time. Around this time he started saying how well we were suited and how we should just get married and have kids. I laughed it off at first but he kept talking about it and was very sincere. He even told me how much he loved me and missed me. “I love you more than you love me!” was his favorite line. I didn’t say I loved him back till mid February and it took some effort. However, the more we said it to each other the more natural it became and soon I realised I was in love with this sweet man from the other side of the world. I constantly doubted myself and the idea of being in love with someone from such a different culture, but knew if we could get through the distance it would work out.

Italy Bound
He had been telling me for ages that I had to come on the cruise with him and that he would sort everything out. We started trying to figure out a date and how to book it through him using his crew discount end of February. Talk about complicated as he told me he had to go through the bar manager, who would contact the hotel manager, who would contact the crew purser, who would send the request to the office in Italy. After 4 weeks we still had no progress and the stress was showing on both of us. Finally they told him he could pay any way he liked…as long as it was with a credit card. He didn’t have one. So it was up to me to book the cruise and pay for it and then he would pay me back in cash on the ship. Finally we had a date for our reunion, April 21st in Naples, Italy! I couldn’t wait. I got my shifts with the mobile vet clinic covered, my mom let me use some miles to cover half my ticket to get to Rome and I contacted friends who I could stay with when I first arrived. Everything was set and I started shopping for some fancy clothes for the Formal night on the ship.

It seemed to take ages and we were so excited about seeing each other again. Finally the day came to leave, I flew into Rome and was met by friends. Rome was amazing (but that blog will follow later). The Wednesday before the cruise I took the train to Naples. I wanted to have some time there as I could visit Pompeii, a place I had always dreamed of going (another blog still to come).

Reunion After 5 Months
Finally the day arrived, Saturday the 21st of April at 9am. I was so excited, I got myself looking good and went to go wait at the dock. We gave each other a huge hug when we saw each other. He was with his friend and so wasn’t very touchy feely at the beginning. We walked around a bit and then they had to go back to the ship and I had to wait to board. During that week it was great, he had planned to get more time off but said they were short staffed. we spent every minute together that we could on his breaks and about 4 days in we were talking about marriage again. After so much talk I looked at him and said “Are you actually going to ask me?”… He got a naughty smile on his face, took a breath and said “Wanna marry me?”. Of course I said yes, I was so excited. As lame as it was it was still a proposal and his hug and kiss made it all the more sincere. He didn’t have a ring but explained that in Nepal you don’t need an engagement ring. In his words “I am already designing the wedding rings, I will have them made in Kathmandu, they will have flowers on the outside and our names inside”. So sweet.

One night I asked him why he had fallen in love with me, why he had chosen me, his reply was priceless and yet so sweet. “No Words, I have no words”.

Communication Tremors
I returned to the states with a fiance and a head full of hopes and plans. Communication began to be spotty again, he apologised profusely saying they had training every break time, and the ship was very busy, and they were short staffed, and he was so tired he would fall asleep in his uniform when he went to get his computer. I felt so bad and didn’t want to be that nagging fiance. During May I really battled with the distance and lack of communication. In my brain he had either Fallen of the ship or Didn’t love me anymore. In my lovesick girl brain there was no inbetween and I wish to thank my friends on the other side of the phone for putting up with me. Finally end of May I took some time to really think why I was so stressed and realised that it was me. That I didn’t think I was good enough to be loved by such a great guy and no man would spend so much money on a girl he didn’t love.

Our last skype chat was June 21st, a week before his birthday. He said how much he loved me and how we only had 2mths left to wait and about getting a visa to come to the States. And then nothing for 3weeks. I was worried sick, I knew he had had pneumonia before and was worried he was in hospital somewhere. I called the ship, emailed, wrote letters. I didn’t know what to do.

And then….
…the bomb dropped. He came onto his skype but it turned out to be a coworker and we chatted. I told him were engaged and he acted very surprised. Finally he told me that Buddha had a girlfriend and that this was she. I was sitting on the bed with my mom and she said that I went white as a sheet. I couldn’t believe it, I wouldn’t believe it. I was beside myself. It took me 4 days before I could eat something. She chatted to me on his skype a few times, once pretending to be him. I just didn’t know what to do or believe.

I tried to email him, but it seemed that she had control of his hotmail.

I tried to fax him through the bar manager. But she said that he was disappointed in me even though he knew he was wrong.

I waited on skype every night.

I contacted all his friends we had in common. All the guys said it wasn’t true and that he loved me.

Finally in desperation I contacted a girl from Australia I had met the same day as him. I hadn’t spent much time with her but knew she had been around after I left and if nothing else could give me a girls point of view.

The True Buddha Emerges
It turns out they had lived together for a month in December in Kathmandu. She told me that the times he said there were blackouts and no connections he was with her and was lying. He even put a call on speaker once when 2 of the guys I had contacted were over for dinner and they all laughed at me as he told me how he missed me. She told me he wanted to marry her and the 2 weeks I had not heard from him was when she convinced him to stop stringing me along.

When I told her the day he started texting me again, her response was “That was the day I left Nepal”. He really is a piece of work.

To date he has not contacted me, he refuses to face me. I have discovered 4 girls he has cheated on me and I am sure there are more. I have discovered 4 facebook accounts and it appears multiple skype and email accounts. I have made contact with 3 of them and have contacted another girl from the past.

What Doesn’t Kill You…
I always liked that song and almost felt bad that I did. Now I know it was my subconscious preparing me. So in the end I am stronger, it will still hurt for a long time, but I will move on. Having quit my job in preparation to be with him means my future is open to something new. I am thinking Thailand for scuba diving….and heck it made a good blog entry 🙂

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Loping to Leipzig

4th December 2011

Exhausted from our long walk yesterday and since our rideshare to Cathleen’s home town was only that evening we had a good sleep in. Breakfast was 5 euros all you can eat and it was amazing, with hot and cold options. We also made up some sandwiches for later. The 3 Pigs Hostel in Berlin really knew how to put on a good spread:
Tea/Coffee/Juice (2 kinds)
Cereal (3 kinds)
yoghurt (2 kinds)
Jam (2 kinds)
Chocolate spread
Bread and rolls
Cheese
Cold meat (3 kinds)
Scrambled eggs (very popular)

Walking Tour Part 2

Walking past The Wall again we headed for Checkpoint Charlie. Originally termed Checkpoint C, it was nicknamed Charlie by the Western Allied forces, it is the most famous, or perhaps infamous, of the crossing points between East and West Berlin during the Cold War.

Taking full advantage of the tourist spot it has become, there were guys dressed in original WWII uniforms offering visa stamps (1 euro for 1) and in true entrepreneurial fashion one guy was offering 1st class Facebook pictures, just 2 Euros each. It was rather amusing to watch.

Visa Stamp Soldier


Since I didn’t get an entry stamp into Germany, this one will count


Facebook Photo Soldier

We wandered all over and looked into a few museums but most of them were outrageously expensive. However we did find a cool tourist shop with a great photo op.

Famous style of German car during the Cald War Era


Stunning Architecture

It might not be stunning but it comes with Gluwein!

We walked across a park and held hands with Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

Karl and Friedrich

Then headed into the Nikolai Quarter, Nikolaiviertal, where Berlin was founded in the 13th Century. It has beautiful cobbled lanes and old shops and a a stunning old gothic church (also with an entry fee), but we at least got a glance. I would have loved to sit and have a cuppa and watch the world go by but it was so cold we decided to get going.

Our final exploration was in and around the Scheunviertal (Berlin’s Historic Jewish Quarter). Here is where I found some of the most poignant reminders and memorials to those who lost their lives to the Nazis hysteria that swept the country. Outside apartment buildings you would find at the entry, “Tripping Stones”. Their purpose was to do just that to make you stop and notice, to read and remember. The stones showed the names of the Jews who had disappeared from that building, the dates and when known, what had happened to them. It was heartbreaking on occasion.


Please Take A Moment to Remember…

Moving on and still tripping over the stones hear and there, we found the Hackesche Hofe, a series of beautifully restored courtyards, filled with shops and cafes and apartments and a maze that requires a GPS to find your way out. Eventually finding our way out we continued our search for a Synagogue that Cathleen had visited a few years ago. Just as the the rain started again we found it, and the entry fee. So sad how things cost so much money these days. I think if we had gone into everywhere we had hoped for we could have easily spent over 100 euros each.

After 4hrs of walking and with the rain and cold creeping in we caught a train back to the hostel where we enjoyed some coffee and dry clothes. Cathleen was certainly making sure I was walking off the bratwurst I was eating. Finally it was time to head to our rideshare and less that 2hrs later we had arrived in Cathleen’s hometown of Leipzig. Another train ride, 10minute walk and 3 flights of stairs, we both collapsed into a pile.

Tomorrow we shall begin domination of Leipzig… but right now sleep is in order!

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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