“Attention everyone, the pilot is speaking…Unfortunately I’ll have to give you some bad news. We are experiencing some problems with the brakes and we will have to attempt an emergency landing in Gatwick Airport… I will try to stop the plane with the inverted engines. Please remain seated and maintain the calm, the fire brigade is already at the airport…”
Panic on the plane… Ricky and I could not believe it was happening to us. “Are we going to die?” I asked my friend. “I don’t know…” The passengers were terrified, some were crying, some were throwing up and other praying. 40 never ending minutes later we landed, the pilot managed somehow to stop the plane at the very end of the runway and no one got hurt. A bus took us to the terminal, where we waited two hours to get our luggage. “It was horrible!” I told Olaf as soon as I got home “I don’t want to fly again” I added.
In the evening I called my Spanish friend Ernesto, who told me that he was going to move to Berlin after the summer. “Berlin? That’s just where I want to live… How are you going to learn German, Ernesto?”
In August my company moved to Cairo and I lost my job. As I realized that there was nothing left to keep me in London, I put my house for sale and I bought myself the book: “Work and Study in Germany”.
TRICK, TREAT, OR PRISON
Berlin < > Barcelona, June 2007, February 2008
I was happy and enjoying the sweet beginning of a love story with Sjors, when I realized that it was almost July and as every year in July, I had to spend three weeks with my parents in the summerhouse in Rosas. “Why don’t you come to Barcelona for a long weekend? I could book an hotel for two nights and we could celebrate your birthday there.” I suggested. On Friday the 13th of July 2007, five days before his 32nd birthday, Sjors landed in Barcelona for the first time. That day I woke up early, my mother gave me a ride to Figueres’ station, where I took a train to Barcelona Sants, changed there for the Airport express train and at 11am I was at the airport waiting for my boyfriend. Three days in Barcelona are not enough to visit every must-see, but they are sufficient to fall in love with the city of Gaudí. We walked through the middle-aged streets of the Barri Gotic to the elegant Plaça Sant Jaume, we crossed Via Laietana and followed Carrer de la Princesa that led us to the Arc de Trionf. In the late afternoon we rested at the beach of the Olympic Village and from the pier we watched the sun setting behind the dark silhouettes of the boats’ masts and of Montjuic. During a romantic dinner at a Paraguayan restaurant in Carrer Oller I asked Sjors: “How would you like to live here?”