I was in Poznan, Poland for the first time in December 2011. I recall it as one of the happiest times of my life. My relationship with Younes was new and we spent many hours together getting to know each other and falling in love. Braving the snow and cold, we would leave his friend K’s house and make our way to the city centre. There, we would sit for hours in a cozy bar, drinking hot honey beer (a Polish specialty) and looking out on the glittering lights of the Christmas market and the well-preserved old buildings. Then we would go back to Krystian’s house, drink red wine, and talk about all different subjects of religion, politics, culture and everything in between.
Fast-forward three and a half years. Younes and I are married and just as in love as that first trip. Younes’ friend K is also married, to a lovely woman. Younes and I are very happy for him and for them. K’s marriage is also an international one (which is why I am not mentioning them by name on the blog; discretion is needed because of cultural norms). But it is always wonderful to see friends happy and it is even more so to see another international marriage thriving.
I don’t know if it was K or his wife, but at some point, someone pointed that we are four people from four different continents!
I was lucky that K, like me, is an avid swimmer. We headed to a local lake in early evening, the sun bouncing off the trees. Families were packing up and getting ready to leave after a day of fun, but there were still a few children running onto the pier and jumping in the water. Joined by a friend of K, we frolicked in the lake and K and I swam to the other side and back.
Off to the house of K’s parents we went, to enjoy bread, Polish cheese and meats and good company. Even though much translation was needed, we had a fabulous time and headed back home for Younes’ and my first good night sleep since we left the US.
My new swimming hole
Beautiful and peaceful
Dusk falls on our first day
Happy after a swim across the lake