During my five months of study at the Ludwig-Maximilian Universität in Munich in late 2007 I traveled enough to pick up Turkish, English and Irish stamps on my passport. I spent a day at Oktoberfest proper and tasted Franziskaner and Löwenbräu. I saw my first ballets and operas. Except for the very occasional DVD, I saw no movies.
I don't necessarily regret this. Visiting friends and new cities and seeing Carmen and Tanguera, not to mention Bloc Party and Rodrigo y Gabriela concerts, was pretty excellent. Also, replete with such delights as the third Spider-Man, the second Fantastic Four, the third Shrek and the first Transformers films and bereft of anything of interest save Ratatouille and Stardust, the summer previous was not one to inspire hope for the fall and winter offerings. And then There Will Be Blood, Sweeney Todd, Shoot 'Em Up, Eastern Promises, Persepolis and all the rest were released in the last four months of 2007, more than enough to turn it into one of the greatest years for American film in my memory, and I missed them because I was Germany.
But the AMC in Spokane picked up a lot of the films nominated for the major Academy Awards for a second round, and I had my chance. Short of funds from being in Europe when the euro peaked around $1.54, I figured the only possible way to catch up with them all was by spending afternoons in the theater on a single ticket. Needing the confidence of an accomplice in this, only Demetra volunteered, thus fulfilling one of two life goals for her. The first weekend we followed No Country for Old Men with Juno. The second weekend Demetra us in sneaking past the ticket taker to the escalators and Jumper after Atonement. Those two weekends were the start of something.
Which makes it appropriate that late in April I called Demetra. After a few minutes of small talk, she finally asked whether I had anything to ask. There were a solid four seconds of silence before I managed to ask whether she would like to go to Die Fälscher the next night. There was a "The Rules" party that same night which had otherwise engaged the rest of our friends, which was fine with me. I had a shift that night and met Demetra the theater. We enjoyed Karl Markovics' performance, we listened to the music of Hugo Díaz for the first time, we were reminded that the Holocaust was a very miserable thing.
We went back to her apartment and managed another two hours of small talk. Standing with a hand on the handle and the door ajar and very nearly choking, Demetra asked again if I had anything to ask. There were another solid four seconds of silence before I managed to ask if she would like to date me.
That was the start of something else.