Mit freundlichen Grüßen

This weekend my aunt visited. One night at dinner, she asked me about my experiences growing up in Heidelberg, Germany as a teenager (I was there from 1989 – when the Berlin Wall came down! – to 1993). I hadn’t thought about it in quite some time and started talking about how beautiful it was and all the advantages that came with living in Europe (not only did I learn to ski in the Alps, but I visited every country – Italy, Brussels, Swizterland, Spain, France, England, Holland – you can imagine!)

But one of the best parts was that we didn’t actually live on the American base (my dad was a helicopter pilot for the ARMY), but that we lived in a small German town amongst both German and American families. I met two German sisters – Sonja and Sabine. They spoke English and we became fast friends. Sonja was closer to my age and we went to the movies, got ice cream, rode our bikes, and did the normal things teenagers do. Her family was so welcoming that I learned a lot of the language and a lot about the German culture just by being around them.

In 1993 I moved back with my family to “the States” and finished high school in Maryland in 1995. Sonja and I tried to keep in touch, but it took about two weeks to receive a letter from Europe at that time (I have no idea how long it takes now). Eventually, we lost touch.

Talking about Sonja brought back so many memories and I was glad my aunt asked about it. It had been about 15 years since we spoke.

So, to say that I was a little surprised on the following Monday when I received an e-mail from Sonja with a subject line titled “Heidelberg” would be like saying the move “Titanic” was a little successful at the box office.

Her e-mail asked, “Did you live in Heidelberg in the early 90s? Do ,you remember your German friend? Mit freundlichen Grüßen, Sonja.” What a wonderful surprise!!! She must have sensed that I was talking about her. Since then, we have been catching up via e-mail and sharing some funny stories. She now lives in Munich with her boyfriend, Christian.

Anyway, I tried to look for some pictures of us circa 1989 to include on this post. But unfortunately – or maybe fortunately! – I can’t find any. Maybe they are all at my parents’ house.

It’s so funny how these things happen, and I just wanted to share…Now the real question is, does anyone know of any new business leads with Munich-based companies so I can go and visit Sonja to catch up?!


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