erica, once again.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Erica is in her first year of grad. school at SAIS (this is a big deal - I'm very proud of my ambitious friend) in Bologna, Italy. She'll be leaving next summer, :( , to return to SAIS' D.C. campus to complete her degree there (and will then, no doubt, begin a highly impressive career). Because the SAIS curriculum is so intensely rigorous, her availability to meet up with me is quite limited. There were only 2 weekends we could meet up and last weekend was one of them. I wanted to get away from crazy landlady land and she wanted to get away from Italy. I left the planning up to her but wasn't surprised in the least bit when she told me she had decided the location of our reunion: Poland. In case you don't remember this and this, our last trip to Poland was sort of the deciding factor of Erica's and my inseperability this summer. After that trip, we were the best of friends. Then, after the worst weekend of our lives (Bratislava, for which I will not provide a flashback link, as I don't want to relive the trauma), Erica and I were even closer than before. Vienna was a very lonely place after she left. I couldn't wait to see her again.

Luckily for Erica, there is a direct Ryanair flight from Bologna to Wroclaw. For me, on the other hand, it's not as direct. I was debating whether or not it would turly be worth it to pay the money for the train ticket to Poland, when a brilliant idea occurred to me. Karol, a Polish boy who graduted from the university in Poland a few months ago, recently moved to Nuremberg (perfect) and works in Erlangen (even more perfect). He is married, but his wife still goes to the university in Poland, so he works 4 days a week in Erlangen and drives home every weekend to see her. I emailed Karol and asked if there was a chance he'd want to give me a ride (there and back). Karol's such a nice person and he agreed to take me along (meaning a direct route from Erlangen to Wroclaw which is infinitely better than the train....3 hours faster, much more comfortable and I don't have to buy a train ticket!). He finally let me pay him to help cover gas money, but this trip took only 10€ out of my budget. :) More than I can say for the train...

The best part of this was that the morning of Karol's and my departure, I got another package from my mom, which contained snacks and magazines -- perfect for a road trip! I was perfectly content the whole way there.

Seeing Erica was just as great as I thought it would be. One thing I love about her is hearing her stories. There are some people who tell stories that, for lack of a better term, are downright boring and seemingly pointless. There are other people, however, who are born story-tellers and Erica is one of those people. I ask her to tell me stories all the time, just to laugh and laugh and laugh. One of my favorite stories she has ever told me is the story of how badly she wanted a little brother. She has a little sister who is a year younger than me and, after this sister came along, Erica wanted a brother so badly. She went to a private Catholic school and prayed every day in school for a little brother. She asked her parents every night if they could give her a little brother. This went on for years. When she was 10, her parents sat Erica and her sister down and told them they were pregnant with a little boy. Her parents said that, upon hearing this news, Erica burst into tears and could not stop crying from being so happy!?!! Isn't that so sweet? I love this story so much. Erica comments on this now, saying, ''Oh, I thought I had willed him into the world. I was so proud''. And, let me just say, I have never met anyone who talks about, loves and obsesses over her younger brother more than Erica does. It is truly endearing.

I have Skyped with her family a few times and I adore them all, actually. They are coming to visit Erica in April and I already invited myself to Italy during that week....conveniently enough.

I love this girl and, in true Jennifer and Erica fashion, my stomach hurt from laughter after this past weekend in Poland.
Jan said...

What a sweet story about wanting a little brother!!

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