instant rapport - just add sangria
Well, what can I say that everyone else hasn't already said? I had a lovely, lovely weekend seeing old friends again and meeting new ones.
Wikipedia tells us: Rapport is one of the most important features or characteristics of unconscious human interaction. It is commonality of perspective, being in "sync", being on the same wavelength as the person you are talking to.
I think the rapport between us all was phenomenal. I mean, you don't want to sit around in your pajamas with no make-up on with just anybody, right? It was like we all already knew each other and could talk about anything and everything. And believe me, we did. In fact I could have gone on talking for days.
My train arrived a mere 10 minutes late and Sparky was there to meet me. Only Sparky was at the front of the train station where he was supposed to be, and I, due to having zero sense of direction, landed out back. A quick phone call remedied that situation and I was whisked off to Jen and Sparky's wonderful home.
That place is awesome. Beautifully designed and decorated and on a gorgeous piece of property. They obviously made the right choice in moving there.
Lisa had arrived before me and was already talking up a storm with Jen and I just joined right in. I was so glad to finally meet her after reading her great writing day after day. She's just as wise and warm and unpretentious in person and it was incredibly easy to spend time with her.
I think Claire totally blew us away. All that life and youthful energy even after hours and hours on the train! Lisa compared Claire to sunshine, and she was right. When Claire walks into a room, a little ray of sunshine follows her. A certain German is a very lucky guy.
Jen, our beautiful hostess with mostest, is just pulling your leg when she claims she can't cook. She prepared four delicious meals, with drinks and snacks in between without batting any eyelid. That girl makes a wicked sangria, I tell you. I rarely drink, but I had to try some and I was impressed. I believe Jen is also available for private and group relationship counseling and psychotherapy sessions. She sure got my head straightened out. I feel like a new woman. In addition, she is also the source of many interesting and intriguing words and concepts that I swear I had never heard of before. I won't go into detail but if you visit Darmstadt, both your mind and your vocabulary will be expanded tenfold.
I only got to see J for about an hour before I had to head on home. He came bearing gifts and kept us well entertained. I look forward to meeting up with him again in a few weeks and taking the grand tour of Hannover because I know how much he likes to see those sights. There may be nachos involved.
And last but not least - Sparky, our Master of Ceremonies. What a great guy. I think all the girls will agree that he is now our Virtual Boyfriend, 'cause he's just about as close to perfect as you're going to get in the virtual boyfriend department. He took such good care of us and catered to our every whim. No, not what you think, but he makes a great cup of coffee and everything was very, very shiny at all times. Sparky, you did good, real good, and we all appreciate your kindness.
You know, every time I meet an expat blogger, I find a little bit of myself that I thought I had lost. As Jen said when we were talking on the weekend, meeting up like this gives you the chance to be yourself again in a world where you're constantly being pushed and pulled to fit in and be someone else. Meeting and talking in depth with other people in your situation gives you a renewed sense of hope and makes you able to go on, even if the going gets tough sometimes.
You guys are fabulous. Thank you.