A couple of Fridays ago I went to the SPD Landesparteitag. It means the SPD delegates representing all members in the State of Berlin. Berlin is both a state and a city, as I am sure you know. I was a guest and settled down into a seat at the back. I was alone, but not for long.
Just before the welcome speech someone dropped into a seat near me. I turned. The ‘dropper’ turned. We stared at each other then the ‘dropper’ said he could not believe it was me. It was Imre. I used to teach him at the British Council School. We lost contact about ten years ago. He got a job in the south so spent less time in Berlin, He also found new friends who I didn’t like.
He moved to Berlin from Hungary 42 years ago, worked in the printing industry, married a local lady and had twin sons. The marriage didn’t last but he maintained contact and good relations to his sons. He is now a very happy grandfather. He joined the SPD on the collapse of the DDR and has been an active local member ever since.
He actually said, in English,”What the hell are you doing here?” then burst out laughing. We caught up on news during a conference break. Later in the S-Bahn we agreed to meet again and exchanged telephone numbers. We met on Monday at the S-Bahn station near to where he lives. We went to his favourite Indian restaurant for lunch and caught up on more news.
I really enjoyed the meeting. He was always crazy about US/England pop music of the 1970s/80s and said he had updated and expanded his collection. He has added a few pounds, hair gone grey and has a long pony tail. A 1970s music person happily ageing and holding to all his values.