I thought now would be a good time to tell ya'll about the wonderful time my favorite best friend from Sweden, @I don't care, and I had exactly two months ago when she visited me in Germany.
Everything started about 10 months ago, when we met in the GDC chatroom (that small one on the bottom right corner of your window that <1% of you use) and realized that we were soulmates who just happened to roast ourselves into each other's hearts on an online forum of our favorite band. Our friendship blossomed as quickly as you can say "Billie Hoe and I don't care for Best Board Buddies" and soon enough we fantasized about how we would meet for the first time. Once we came kinda close with the Pinkpop festival both of us wanted to attend (meet my soulmate and go to a Green Day concert together at the same time? Uhh, goals?), but when that didn't work out we made due by skyping for hours on end day after day.
Then her parents (God bless them) finally made it happen and booked tickets for the second week of August (when my own parents conveniently left the country so we had my place pretty much to ourselves). After a few weeks of "okay cool" and not fully grasping the reality that we were actually going to meet, I was on the edge of freaking out when I went to pick her (and her parents) up from the airport. I spent an hour or so pacing around nervously in the arrival hall at the terminal, right at the gate where she was supposed to come out with her luggage. Thanks to @Jenn. and @Shahd (aka. Nicest!) who kept me company on WhatsApp, I didn't completely lose my mind. It was just a mess - Agnes and I kept messaging each other about their progress (she sent me picture and video updates of how her plane landed and on her way into the terminal, etc.), yelling at each other via texts about how excited we were.
I kept peeking through the gate to the hall where they picked up their luggage, but I didn't see her despite her very colorful hair. Then she sent me a picture of a gate that looked a lot like the one I was waiting at, where she was supposed to come out, saying "IS THIS WHERE YOU ARE?" and I went "YES!" and she said "OKAY, I'M RUNNING ONCE I GET MY SUITCASE". I waited peeking through the gate to catch this girl running, but I never did. Instead I saw her mother whom I recognized from her Facebook picture (yes, I befriended her mother on Facebook because of reasons) and her dad calmly strolling through the gate. But where the fuck was Agnes? Turns out she ran out of the wrong fucking gate. Her mother told me where she would be and pointed her out like 30 meters away from us (??? I'm terrible at estimating), carrying her guitar case on her back and looking down on her phone. I started jogging towards her but tried to be as quiet and inconspicuous about it as possible, praying that she wouldn't look up from her phone and see me, and then I tackled her and THUS OUR FIRST EVER HUG CAME TO BE. We hugged so tightly like I haven't hugged anyone ever, and she petted my "red head" (which I had re-dyed JUST FOR HER) because she promised to do so on WhatsApp weeks before.
1) our first ever selfie together with awesome band shirts, made a few moments after our first hug / my tackle
It's still a bit weird (good weird) when I think about it, because I remembered adding her on Instagram and seeing how she looked like, her Snapchat videos and pictures she sent me (like, definitely not a Catfish, I learned from Nev and Max), but then all of a sudden she was standing right before me and I was holding her and we were taking pictures together. I have never met any online friend I've made since I'm on the internet in real life, with some of whom I've been friends for years. I guess it's never really been real-real because the internet is a different, more anonymous place, but now it's definitely real. On the internet you can portray yourself how you want people to see you, you only send them the pictures where you like yourself, but you have no control over that when you actually meet someone for real. They see you from all the bad angles, they see how you look when you eat or sleep. I guess I was a bit anxious to meet her because, fuck, what if she doesn't like who I *actually* am? What if we have to spend a week together and then not click, despite having had conversations that lasted several hours on the phone? What if it's gonna be awkward and we won't have anything to talk about? Is she gonna be sick of me when she's around me for 24 hours straight? I have also told her more about me than I have ever told anyone I know (not even my other best friend whom I've known since kindergarten), and I trust her, and suddenly she's ... there, right in front of me and I can hug her for real, as I've wanted to do so many times.
Well, I'm happy to say that my anxieties were unjustified. At least I think so, she definitely seemed like she liked me and we're still talking, so that's that. And I can confirm that she is indeed fucking awesome. It's impossible to feel awkward around her because she's such an outgoing and open and talkative and simply un-awkward person, she even managed to engage my brother who never talks to my friends in a conversation.
After I met with her and her parents at the airport, they took us into the center of Frankfurt in their rental (while blasting Rammstein, hell yah, now I know where she gets her greatness from) and we spent the day sightseeing in the city, shopping (more like entering way too expensive stores, trying on things, and leaving), Starbucks, sitting by the river in the sun and just openly talking about everything.
2) by the Main river
3) happy times at Starbucks (not sponsored)
After overlooking Frankfurt (or Mainhattan as some locals are calling it) from the top of a skyscraper (it's called Main Tower if you're ever interested in visiting Frankfurt) we met up again with her parents at a restaurant, and on the way there a kind of funny thing happened that is really telling about cultural differences. We were about to cross a four lane street (which are usually busy since we were in the middle of the banking area where lots of people work, but when we were there not so much), and she just crossed it without waiting for the little man to turn green, leaving me and about ten other people on both sides waiting at the red traffic light and laughing at me from the other side. I'm told that apparently waiting at a red traffic light when there's no traffic is a "typically German" thing to do, but she, a Swede who just doesn't give a fuck, just crosses it.
Another funny thing I noticed is that people you meet in the streets or shops are much nicer to you and more open when you're a "tourist" who speaks English. I accidentally talked to people in English instead of German all the time since I was so used to talking to Agnes in English, and suddenly the clerks were so helpful. So I guess my advice would be, if you can speak English, don't bother trying broken German you might have learned before your trip if you want something. I've lived here for so many years and after spending one day with her I learn so many new things about my own country.
Then we drove back to her hotel which coincidentally was in a small town next to mine and only one bus stop from mine away, and spent an hour in their ridiculously luxurious hotel room before I had to take the bus home. She whipped out her guitar and started playing it on the bed not very quietly, and while that was VERY NICE!!!, I kept thinking "oh my god, this is too loud, it's in the middle of the night, what if the other guests wake up, but oh my god, I don't want to be rude and tell her to quiet it down, and also it sounds so beautiful and I don't want her to stop." Another difference between us: in Sweden she lives in this huge house where she can be as loud as she wants, but I grew in an apartment with five old neighbors who would complain about any loud noise. It was refreshing actually, and she showed me (who has no musical talent whatsoever) a chord, which is pretty sick. She then took me to the bus stop, which was 5 minutes away from the hotel and almost got hit by a car on her way back. THIS IS WHY WE WAIT AT TRAFFIC LIGHTS IN GERMANY! OUR DRIVERS ARE CRAZY!
On the second day her parents dropped her off at my place and I showed her my humble housing before we left for another city in the area which wasn't originally the plan, but that day was the only day I could have picked up my "If There Was Ever A Time" flexi disc from the stupid customs office before it would be shipped back to the US or I would be fined, so essentially we wasted a couple of hours picking that stupid piece of shit up. It's a good song but I've wasted way too much time and money on this thing. However, she made it worthwhile and time spent with her is never time wasted, also this really cool picture happened when we were chilling at the train station waiting for our belated train back home (welcome to Germany my friends. Welcome to Germany.).
4) Let me introduce to you, Punk Rock Chewbacca!!!
We stopped by a grocery store to get supplies for the jello shots we were looking forward to so much, because I am a very responsible adult who wanted to help her 17 year old friend get drunk, who can't get alcohol in her own country. I don't think her parents would approve of me that much if they knew I also offered to buy cigarettes in case she wanted to try it out. Hell, I know how it is as a minor who wants to try something and has to use other people to help her. Other than that though I can assure you that I am a very caring (if not overbearing) mom-friend who looks out for her friends and usually stops them from doing stupid shit. Don't be fooled by her sweet face, she's not that innocent. She has smoked before and even offered to smuggle weed for us to try out in her bra (because nobody would check there anyway, and because she's a cute, white Swedish girl they wouldn't suspect her) but we realized that probably wasn't a very good idea. I didn't want her to end up in a detention cell at the airport for the duration of her trip or anything.
Then we ordered some pizza and sat down on the balcony. You all know that there are two types of people: people who love pineapple on pizza and people who want to kill people who bring a pineapple near their pizza. I am the first and she is the second. Both of us got Margarita pizzas, but I added pineapple for MY pizza. When they delivered them, it turned out that both of them had pineapple on it. So she kept peeling the pineapple pieces off of hers with the most painful expression that I've ever seen and threw them on mine. She ate as slowly as she could and suddenly just stopped in movement with wide eyes staring into nothing and went completely silent. I asked her "are you okay?" and when she started tearing up I started freaking out, and on top of everything she still wasn't talking to me. I thought she was dying for fuck's sake, but no, that goddamn drama queen just swallowed a piece of pineapple.
Then we did the jello shots (recipe: jello powder with 1/2 water and 1/2 pure vodka) but realized, damn, all we have is shot glasses, not cups, and it would be pretty hard for us to get that jelly out of a tiny glass. So Agnes suggested "Hey, let's just put them in ice trays!" and because I'm equally stupid I said "Good idea!", and because we wanted them done extra fast, we put them in the freezer instead of the refrigerator, and then had to scoop out that icy and bitter crap out of the ice trays like barbarians. I painted Princess Victoria of Sweden on her back with water colors for the Gishwhes scavenger hunt while we were waiting and then watched some Netflix and chilled, she played Life is Strange on my computer while I played Sims on hers. It was really nice to just ... chill out at home for one evening and being lazy after all that running around and despite the fact that we didn't have much time together. You'd think we would have to make "the most of it" by constantly doing shit, but not doing that made it so much better because we were doing exactly what we would be doing if we could see each other every day.
On the next day she woke me up with her acoustic guitar and we had breakfast on the balcony. This was the day when I showed her my town, and as soon as we left the house, she stopped EVERY. SINGLE. person we saw to ask them if she could pet their dogs. It was really adorable, and most of them let her do it which was a bit surprising because not all of them understood English and some of them declined because their dogs were really shy or aggressive, but that didn't stop her to try again next time. Agnes loves dogs more than you. She did the same thing in Frankfurt on our first day too, and one time when she asked a woman who obviously didn't understand her well if she could pet her dog, she said "No, thank you" and continued on, possibly thinking we wanted to scam her or something.
5) Agnes on her quest to pet every single doggo she sees, even the artificial ones
6) she's a tree-hugging hippie
Later we took the bus to the town where I grew up and went to school in before we moved away a couple of years ago, to meet with my other best friend Rebecca, who just like Agnes is really into metal music, who can play the piano and the guitar, and also understands Swedish. If I didn't know better, I'd say I have a type. Agnes was so nervous to meet her and really wanted to make a good impression on her, so she ate an entire bowl of alcoholic jelly that was left from the previous day before we left and got herself tipsy. While she was shoveling the jelly in, we were talking to the lovely @Jenn. on the phone who enchanted us with her lovely Irish accent (Accept yer faet, Jenn)
After fleeing from a roughly 200 year old US army veteran who uses his extremely bad eyesight as an excuse to come uncomfortably close to you to, as he would say in his thick American accent, "see the ladies better", we met with Rebecca, and not-surprisingly they got along really really well - we spent the evening sitting on a bench in the dark and Agnes played Rebecca's guitar and sang a beautiful Swedish song with her beautiful voice. I recorded it and I desperately wanna show you all, but it got lost somewhere on my phone, but I assure you, it's magical
Sadly that was also the last evening we spent together, because they already departed on the next day We got to spend a few final hours in Frankfurt together and had lunch but then we drove to the airport together and hugged for the last time. It was pretty sad because we wouldn't see each other again for a while, but I am hell bent on visiting her in New York when she moves there and see and hug her again💖 I'm so incredibly happy and grateful that we got this chance, not only to the universe and her parents, but to Green Day and this forum without whom this never would have happened. 💖