I forgot my birthday once.
It was 2009, and I had just recently arrived in Europe for my first stint as a Foreign Language Assistant. Before heading off to Germany I was visiting my friend Thomas, who lived in Arnhem at the time. He was attending university there, and because he was busy at that time I decided, after sleeping off the jet lag and spending a couple of days with him, to strike off to Amsterdam on my own for a few.
I wrote a bit about Amsterdam last time I made a crack at the blog, so I won’t really expand on that experience here. I’ll only say that I was alone for the two or three days, hardly talking to anyone except the American Marine who shared my room for one night, on a furlough from Iraq (he slept the entire time, as far as I can tell).
As I returned to Arnhem to Thomas’ I distinctly remember the path from Arnhem Velperpoort station to his apartment. I was just supposed to meet him at his place again; I had no cell phone at this point, and no way to contact him to let him know I was coming. But we had pre-arranged it.
I walked up to the door and buzzed his suite. While waiting for him to come down, I couldn’t help shake the feeling that I was forgetting something. Then it hit me.
It was my birthday. I had totally forgot, being alone the previous few days, in an exciting (and weird) new country. How’s that for a sad story, eh?
Today I didn’t forget my birthday. My Year 11 class even sang me Happy Birthday, which was a nice gesture of them. They’re quite sweet, though not as adorable as my Year 7s last time begging me to let them sing Stompin’ Tom Connors.
It was however quite warm today in Trier; I’ve been told that, back in Trier’s heyday as an Archbishopric and Elector State of the Holy Roman Empire, pilgrims and clergy would come to stay in the city in the summer before traveling to Africa or the Holy Land. The heat of the summer here was thought to prepare these individuals for the heat abroad.
Thanks for the birthday wishes!