Sonata for a Good Man

… or in my case, a Good Woman. Thursday night I hung around the world’s third busiest airport, London Heathrow, waiting for my connecting flight to Dublin. Anyone who’s been there knows it’s huge and involes a lot of walking. I was pretty hot and knowing that Aerlingus doesn’t serve free drinks, I went about and looked for a little shoppe to buy me some H2O. Naturally I didn’t have any Sterling on me but you can normally pay in Euro or with credit card. Well, turned out you had to pay with Euro bills and then got pound coins back (and this was in Terminal 1’s Ireland and UK departures area). I can totally understand that they want bills to exchange them back to Pounds but I’m sure they’d be fine accepting coins with all these people travelling to and fro’ Ireland. I obviously didn’t want to break one of my bills and get back a handful of British coins especially since they always seem to screw you over with the exchange rate. So I was standing at the till a bit gobsmacked after not being able to pay him the exact amount in Euro coins when this lady who had been in front of me was just like “Ah come here I’m sure I have it” and she just handed the cashier 1.60pounds. I was pretty amazed by that! You know how people are normally kind of stressed out at airports and seem to be ruder than normal. Well, this complete stranger just bought me a bottle of water just like that. How nice was that?! I’m totally meaning to pass on this kindness and be really kind to some random stranger.

The flight thereafter was really nice, I had this cute Italian investment banker Piedro sitting next to me, which was cool because I got to practice my Italian and got to listen to il suo accento italiano – sexy! I also had a really nice cab driver from the airport to my apartment (yeah I’m not waiting for a bus that late at night and then walk 15 minutes with high-heels). He lives an hour away from Dublin and just comes to the city every day to drive his cab – and that’s his main (and only) job! Wow!

But anyways, the title of this entry is of course from the movie The Lives of Others. My co-worker Andreína had invited me to come along with a couple of friends of hers and of course I wanted to see this one! I was honestly quite surprised that it was showing here, in German even. Definitely an excellent movie!! I really like most of the recent movies about East Germany (think Good-bye Lenin, Sonnenallee) as obvisouly I don’t really remember a lot from back then (I was 7 when the wall fell) but I studied in the East and am fascinated by what people say about life back then. Almost always sounds like a bad joke (to quote my friend Doreen: “I was only allowed to buy 4 bananas because we were only 4 in the family” etc.).
I remember once visiting relatives in Thuringia for a wedding. I was maybe 5 or so and I helped getting the empty glasses from the tables and to the bar at this big pre-wedding party and everyone gave me little coins. I had a HUGE pile of GDR coins but they weighed nothing! I also remember that we had to wait ages at the border control and that they searched the whole car oh and! I broke a glass when I set my teeth to hard on it. Argh! 🙂 So I obviously don’t remember much, just bits and pieces and I guess it didn’t seem so different to me than home then but I was oh so little. Even better that there are all these movies out now and that I know there’s a happy ending to the GDR (even though a lot of people probably don’t find it a happy ending but that might just be the German’s love for complaining about everything).

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4 Comments

  1. Oh dear, I exactly know how airports work ( being working in Bagel Street Terminal 3 ! ). They actually accept coins, only 1 and 2 euros coin, but don’t accept the little ones. You were very lucky that gal wanted to help you out because, as you mentioned, airports are very stressed and when we saw that HUGE queues we just wanted to die ( especially with flights from japan! oh my god…. )

    lol! good at the guys! I had a taxi experience too last Wednesday 😉

    Have a good sunday 🙂

  2. oh i loved that movie. we watched it here in german! it was so great. i miss eastgermany so many times, i know it sounds weird, but i miss waiting in line for things, everything was so much more appreciated back then. i think americans really should have gone through this experience. you are quite young dear, i was almost 13 when the wall came down. hehe. well, i guess i am just old. 😉 love ya

  3. You and your Italians :).

    That movie is so emotional that I really really want to see it, especially after your credible stamp of approval.

    Bank of America has a no-fees agreement with the Bank of England, in case that helps your getting GBP. That arrangement is how I’ll be getting mine!

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