Last night, Bill and I decided to go to Taverne bei Dimi’s for our Friday night Greek fix. It turned out to be an interesting evening, mainly because there were more English speakers than Germans there. In fact, we noticed one German couple sitting between our table and a large table of Germans and at least one Brit. Everyone was speaking English.
The waitress was one I hadn’t seen before. She seemed to be German and was very pleasant. Dimi was happy to see us, too, and offered a wave as he served lots of food.
Bill and I decided to have something different and ordered a sampler platter for two…
We got two of these beautiful farmer’s salads. I was enjoying filling up on the vegetables until I got an unusually hot pepper! I could have used some yogurt!
This was our platter. It came with Dimi’s yummy fries, bifteki, souvlaki, gyros, and pork steaks, as well as plenty of t’zatziki. We managed less than half and brought the rest home. This was a pretty good deal, too. For two people, it was 27 euros.
While we were eating, an older black gentleman and his son and daughter arrived. I knew he was an American immediately because he wore a wedding ring on his left hand. He sat down with the group of Germans and their British friend, but I noticed he kept looking over at us. He eventually came over and introduced himself. It turns out he and his family live in Oberjettingen. His wife is German and he is a government civilian who wished to become a contractor because he’s about to be rotated out of Germany.
So he and Bill talked and it turned out he was trying to score an interview with Bill’s company. Bill, being a “pay it forward” kind of guy, promised to talk to his boss. I’m kind of a big believer in fateful encounters. As I mentioned last week, I have a knack for running into people I used to know. I also have a knack for doing things that end up benefitting others.
When I was in the Peace Corps, I helped out a beautiful young Armenian woman who was hoping to go to college in the United States. I didn’t know her, but had noticed she had posted an ad in the Peace Corps office looking for people who had attended certain private east coast colleges. She needed to be interviewed by alums in order to be accepted. I happened to know a couple of people who had gone to the colleges she was interested in attending, so I took her number and passed it on to my friends. They both talked to her and were very impressed. She ended up getting a full scholarship to Bowdoin College. She also got accepted to Hamilton College, which was the other school she wanted to attend.
I know about this because I ended up meeting her one night while visiting another friend. She was dating an American teenager who was the son of a professor who worked for the US Department of Agriculture. When she found out what I’d done, she thanked me profusely. The Peace Corps does attract a lot of graduates of small, private, liberal arts colleges, but the odds there would be two local alums available in Yerevan was pretty slim. Fortunately, someone noticed her ad and knew two people who could help her.
I am certainly not responsible for her success. She was a very bright and engaging young woman who impressed my friends, who were alums. All I did was help set the conditions for her success. I’m thinking that maybe Bill can do the same thing for the man we met last night. I think it’s a good way to foster positive karma. I don’t know how my Armenian acquaintance’s story ended. I’d like to think she enjoyed four years at a very exclusive school. But I didn’t even know her well enough to be able to Facebook stalk her. I only remember her first name.
Anyway, this guy we met last night has very good reasons for wanting to stay in Germany. His son is in high school and plays football. If they have to move, it’ll be to Fort Polk, Louisiana. Granted, I haven’t been to Fort Polk, but I have heard it’s not exactly the greatest place to be. And if you are a civilian, there’s no telling how long the government will keep you in an assignment stateside.
So, I’m hoping things work out for our new friend. In any case, it’s nice to know we aren’t totally alone out here on the edge of the Black Forest.