Across Continents

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Close shave

Ordinarily I’d have rebuffed him more forcefully. But he’d a number three razor in his hand, in the midst of trimming my hair. Didn’t seem wise to rial him too much. Friendly banter in a small, very traditional, barbers shop in downtown Anchorage. He was German, as fond of football as he was asserting all
English fans were hooligans. That, I quickly retorted, was a contradiction. Struggling to resist the temptation to point out that roaming amok around Europe was very much something his fellow countrymen knew far more about than the Brits.

But he wasn’t the first German I’d met since I’d arrived in the US. There’d been a teacher, staying in the hostel with me in Hawaii. And Christine. She’d also been staying with my host in the suburbs. More friendly banter. We’d vehemently disagreed over which you preferred, Australia or New Zealand. An all the more passionate exchange given we’d both spent a decent amount of time in the Antipodes. Both of us holding what we firmly believed to be very informed opinions.

She was leaving shortly for Berlin. Then off to John O’Groats and a trek down to Lands End. I offered to help her carry some of her luggage to the bus stop the next morning, gently teasing her about the lack of Germanic precision when she seemed a little unsure as to when we’d need to leave the house.

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