Stuttgart – I got an offer of a job in Stuttgart.
Writing computer programs to switch the signals on the railway sounded interesting. It appealed to the little boy with a model train set in me. And I could use the German that I had learnt.
The work was very boring – no fun at all. But it paid well, very well indeed, and I became an expat.
What do expats do? They meet together, complain about the locals and drink themselves silly. This is easy because they cannot understand the language, they do not understand the local culture and the alcohol is cheap.
Many expats never get beyond this stage. Perhaps I was learning and would move past this stage but then...
She was everything a German girl isn't.
She was everything that my ideal girl wasn't.
Her name was Jalaika and she was black.
I was sitting drinking with the other expats in some drinking hole when I noticed her on the next table. Without looking at me she stood up and walked away, not to the toilets but outside to the car park.
She walked to the flashiest car, bent down, and rubbed her black cheek on the black rubber of the tyre. She stood up and rubbed her black cheek on my white cheek.
She knew what she wanted. I knew what I wanted. It happened.