As I watched my daughter playing outside with ‘her Martin’, memories of Konstanz came flooding back.
Martin was my best bud, my neighbor, my classmate, and my constant companion during our 2 years in Germany.
A beautiful university town, Konstanz is located at the western end of lake Constance. My Dad’s work as a postdoctoral fellow took us there for a temporary, family relocation.
We lived in a 3rd floor apartment, only a few blocks away from the lake. Language was certainly a barrier, and it made socializing that much harder for my parents. So, it was an easy and welcome connection we made with the English-speaking family living downstairs.
That’s how I met Martin… and we immediately recognized that we had BFF potential, as only 3 year olds can do ☺
We made up our own games, and occasionally cooked up some mischief that got us gentle warnings. Here we are, Martin and I…
and here we are celebrating my birthday together, with friends!
On our way back from Kindergarten, Martin often climbed right past his 2nd floor home, to ours. My mother fondly recalls his love of Indian food then, and how he stuffed his cheeks with the Indian flatbreads (pooris, and rotis) every time! It even prompted Ms. Steffi, Martin’s mom, to learn how to cook Indian food! ☺
Martin and I went on to welcome Cornelia, his younger sibling, into our exclusive club. She was too adorable and too precious to say no to! ☺
I hope to revisit Konstanz some day, for I have so many have precious memories of that place…
I learnt to ride my bike there and remember riding on a neighbor’s driveway because I loved the sound of gravel under the tires so much… and all these years later I still LOVE that sound!
I spoke German fluently, made many new friends during my Kindergarten year, traveled across Europe with my parents, and most precious of all — became a big sister!
In this day and age of social connectivity, how hard can it really be to find Martin?!!
Well… it will not be easy. I don’t even have a last name! Our family lost touch with Martin’s after we went back to India. All I have is pictures and old information. For e.g. his father was a faculty member in Konstanz University back then. There is also the hope that Ms. Steffi might still have some ties to New York! But, it really is like looking for a needle in a haystack…
Yes, it can go either way. I may never find him, and even if I do… that may be the extent of it.