On a sunny August day back in 2000,I moved into Einhorn Hall at UMUC-SG. It was my third day in Germany, and my first day in Schwaebisch Gmuend. I was a little disoriented, but above all things I was excited. From the very first moment I knew that the place that I would call home for the following year was a place where I would definitely belong.
I had no trouble making friends. I met people everywhere and within hours, most of the people who would later become my best friends had been identified. I particularly remember meeting Olga- she who is he reason why everyone calls me Annush.
I was sitting under a tree in front of my building with some people soaking up some sun when a cab parked in front of our building. Out from it came this little girl with huge breasts who looked like she had stepped out of a fashion magazine. The cab driver pulled out like 6 pieces of luggage that were bigger than her and she paid him. It was then that she said:
“Where is check in?”
“In the SUB. It’s that building across the lawn” I said.
“Watch my luggage. I’ll be right back” she said.
The girl left her luggage on the side of the road and in her ridiculously high heels, she proceeded to walk across the lawn and into the SUB. I remember thinking to myself “American snobbery at its best. I doubt I’ll ever be friends with that girl”.
I didn’t see her again until that night at the Portuguese Bar. It was then that over a number of Hefe-weissen Bier that I met Olga, the Russian girl who lived in Warsaw. The girl who taught me how to love a culture even more than I love my own. The girl who became my best friend.
Olgush, as I lovingly started calling her after she decided that Annush (short for Annuska which is short for Ana in Polish) was my new name, was my drinking buddy, the reason why I had to lock my door at night (she kept eating my food in the middle of the night!), my teacher, and my friend. The night before graduation she partied with me, the day I graduated she held my hand, and the day we said good bye we cried together.
But as it happens, fate brought us together again. This time I was already living in NY and she had transferred to Penn State. We caught up with each other for Halloween weekend 2004 in State College, PA. I can not thank Gaby enough for making it easy for that to happen!
The last time we saw each other was here in New York. For three days we did typical Annush-Olgush stuff although our partying ways had to be put on hold because it was a weekday visit and we each had other things to worry about plus I was flying to Maryland that Friday. But it was great.
Some things simply never change! That Friday we went to LGA together as she was flying back to Erie, PA at about the same time as I was flying to Maryland. In the freezing cold we walked each other to our respective terminals and we hugged and kissed each other good bye though we only said “see you later”.
My little Olgush is moving back to Warsaw today and I feel like a piece of my heart is going with her. I know that I’ll see her again soon because we always manage to find the way back to each other, but I’m saddened to know that she will no longer be an 8 hour drive away. I love her and I know that I’ll start missing her all over again.
But who knows, the world is smaller than most people think and I know that soon enough we’ll be together drinking Wodka mit Orangensaft oder Mineral Wasser mit Zitronen. Hell! Depending on where life brings us together, we might even share a Hefe-weissen Bier!
One month and nine days and I’ll be on my way to Europe and that much closer to her again.
Gute Reise девушка! я люблю вас