Okay, I was just 21. Just turned over the legal age to drink. And most importantly I was young.
So excuse me if I listened to music like this:
It was my summer anthem of 2004 (the one that is less suicidal actually. I also listened to several bunch of other depressing songs, like Hoobastank’s The Reason, Air’s Cherry Blossom Girl, Rosenstolz’s Liebe ist Alles, The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony, Evanescence’s Bring Me To Life).
I listened to that (okay, super cheesy and J later on had me sworn not to listen to such shitty hip hop songs anymore) song all summerlong.
In 2003, summer was the hottest summer for the last 50 years in Europe, which started at the end of March and ended in early November – and 2004 had spring chased off by summer heat just a wee bit later – in April we were already donning tongs / flip flops and summery outfits, sitting down on the banks of River Rhine, listening to the sounds of water.
Then, the breezes swayed me over to die Insel Sylt – the tiny Sylt Island north of Germany, which lies off the shores between Denmark and Germany in the Nordsee. And to the Islas Baleares in Espana, the sunny Ibiza. But more on that later.
I love summer in Europe. The nights are just getting longer and longer to peak on summer solstice on the 21st of June.
I love the smell of grass in the parks, wet at dawn and slowly getting dry as the sun rises. I love the festivals – outdoor showcases and experiences of music, dancing, laughter, smiles. I love the summer holidays to the islands of Europe, cruising on an open-top speedboat with a glass of chilly drink in my hand. I love sunglasses – we wear them even at night in summer. I love Cologne in all its summer splendor – the splendid basilica towering above the Zentrum with its tribe of white doves flying alongside the roofs up above.
God, I miss Europe. Always. Bonn and Cologne will always be two of my nearest-at-heart homes around the world.
In summer 2004, my cousin sent me an invitation to her wedding back home, which would take place about eight months later in February 2005. She said, “Bring your plus one.”
It was my first wedding invitation after I moved to Europe. It was a white of an aurora borealis-white with frilly green ribbons tied around it. It was pretty. I wondered if I could bring a PLUS ONE to her wedding.
Sunday, 1 August 2004, 3 PM
I still remember that day. It was a Sunday, the 1st of August 2004. I left my window open all day long, the strong, fragrantly sweet smell of violet-colored wisteria was invading my room, sending sentimental emotions to my mind.
I played around with the wedding invitation.
My cousin. Getting married. She was five years older than me. I knew she met her husband while they were children. They had been together forever. On the very first day at kindergarten, her soon-to-be husband saw her and told his sister, “This is the girl I’m going to marry one day.”
How romantic. I wondered if such book-romantic stories only happened to other people. Not to me.
I left my Yahoo! Messenger open and sighed.
And as I was looking on the screen of my desktop computer idly, my mind was there and everywhere, a message popped up: “asheardonradio would like to talk to you”.
And unlike Ted’s children, who are still clueless who their mother is, even until now in the seventh season of How I Met Your Mother, you know, Louis, that asheardonradio on Yahoo! Messenger, is your father. Even though, back then, we had no clue about you. Not yet.