"I love your attitude. The way you continually try to understand other people is really beautiful."
How did she react?
She smiled and said, "Thanks!"
How did I feel?
Berlin nights are fuzzy. Buzz, booze and beats turn into one blurry cloud. If you're lucky you will remember the faces of who you met -- their names will be gone the next day. Not necessarily because you have taken a trip to Berin's chemical sky. Too many people, too many hours, too many drinks are sufficient. But there is a phase before things fade; Before you waltz down the street to beats from a liquor store, marry the kebab guy with a paper ring and find a new language with your friends.
You start the night with a bunch of sober people. For me yesterday this crowd was friend's crew. They were hanging out at his place. Among them was Theodora. I sat down next to her, we started talking. Besides her pretty face and her great English I loved Theodora's approachability. When she listened her ears and eyes opened wide, when she talked her mind and heart walked hand in hand. To me the golden thread in our chat was Theodora's understanding attitude. No matter the topic, she tried to comprehend everyone involved. We covered living between two cultures, practicing yoga, immersing in cultural studies. I complained about the Berlin school bureaucracy, Theodora laughed, said, "I hear you.", and added, "But those secretaries don't have the greatest job in the world. I hear many of them have a degree and stay at school, hoping to pursue an academic career, then end up doing the secretary's job." I asked her about her opinion on the Sinti and Roma and Romania. She nodded, then gave me insight to five different perspectives: The Romanian goverment, the cultural background of the Sinti, the French police, Romanian citizens, German citizens. No matter the point of view, she made it seem reasonable. Theodora did not judge. I was stunned by her open-mindedness. My compliment came out spontaneously: I told her that I think she should go into politics. She laughed and said, "Thank you! But I won't become a politician. If i did I'd go for the green party and with them I could not really make an impact. I'd rather cook, fill people's bellies and make them happy that way."
Later everyone started spreading from sober to a drunk swarm of their smiles, smells and statements. Theodora convinced me to stick around. Have you ever seen a nice person become a drunk pain in the ass in one second? I bet you have. Think of that best friend you are always a bit embarrassed of at parties. Or your aunt on Christmas. That guy or girl who seemed like a fine man and suddenly hit on you with the worst pick up lines in the world (and wouldn't stop). You know the score. Well, Theodora was none of those. Sober she had been a great conversationalist with sweet jokes. Now she was turning into a fun girl whose mere presence made me happy. We sang a long to 80ies songs and drank Berliner Luft. Her smile was contagious and the way she motivated everyone to turn the night into an easyjet weekend was too cute to say no. I had wanted to go home at first but ended up following the crowd to some party because of Theodora. We did not end up staying there. But I did not mind. Neither did I miss waltzing on the street or marrying the kebab guy, none of which happened yesterday. I got something better instead: Linking arms and having late night fries with Theodora. To me she was all sunshine and soap bubbles. I couldn't have hoped for a better way to spend my Friday night.
On top of it all Theodora gave me a random present. Her mom is a jewelry designer (find her page here). She gave me her bracelet saying, "If you like it you should have it! I love giving away jewelry! Take it and it'll be a win win." I haven't taken off that bracelet ever since Theodora wrapped it around my wrist. I think it is wonderful.