More upheaval has occurred than I care to admit but things are falling into place. In the next two posts, I’ll (finally) tell you about that whirlwind tour last month of north Germany and Stockholm.
It was spendid beyond words to see my high school friend Yiling again after 8 or 9 years. (Yes, we shouldn’t wait so long to visit again!) It must have been 9 or 12 months ago when I heard of her nuptials Thorben and it hardly seemed real that I would attend them, that I would see my high school friend until Lil’ Sis and I were winging our way from Heathrow (London) to Hamburg!
There’s something magical about multi-day wedding affairs that leave you missing an intangible something when you leave – but now I’m getting ahead of myself!
We arrived on Wednesday evening in time for the “Come one, come all!” blowout where there was hearty food and lots of tall people speaking German fluently milling about the community hall in sleepy Nortorf (about 25km from Kiel). We were roused by the merry sound of smashing porcelain that occurred throughout the evening – supposedly wards off bad/evil spirits who would otherwise join the couple. We missed the midnight ritual of the couple displaying cooperation by cleaning up porcelain shards while revelers ran through it and other saucy and symbolic German customs.
Thursday, I was happy to see Yiling very chill and with time to hang out with us despite the pending Big Day the next day. Lil’ Sis and I started to explore Kiel and amass a large photoset of that charming city. I couldn’t think of a better setting for my dear friend to have spent several years and to have met her future husband, too.
Friday was Yiling’s big day and we were along for the entire ride from the civil ceremony to chillin’ at her in-laws before the church ceremony, the “actual” ceremony, and the canal-side reception that went late into the night.
I had heard of some of the people in the wedding party for years through email and it was a pleasure to finally meet them in person. While Lil’ Sis and I were a bit shy and awkward (language preventing us from seamlessly slotting in), everyone was so friendly making a point of introducing themselves and taking time to learn who we are and dispel any pre-conception we might be Yiling’s long-lost cousins coming all the way from Canada. =P I’m so happy to see that separately and as a couple so many people love them and I couldn’t think of more deserving people.
The day was chockful of (German?) customs that I wanted to share here for anyone else who gets mushy over these things… I know I do!
* Following the civil ceremony, the couple snipped a linen heart out of cloth and stepped through the cut-out together.
* We prepared notes to be sealed in a box with a bottle of wine for the couple to enjoy at a future date – say, their one-year anniversary.
* We prepared Luftballon with Wish Cards attached and released them near the canal. Should the card be found and returned to the couple, I’m obliged to fulfill my small promise/treat for them!
At the end of the evening it really hit that after three sparkly days of having my oldest friend right there, we are parting again.
Though we say it won’t be another ten years before we see each other again, you never know where life will take you. Until the next time, good thing we have plenty of communication options! =D