the long awaited dinner with the german guy from daves french class occurred tonight.
so, dave took a short french class from approximately february-april here in rennes. one friendly guy in his class was a german engineer who mentioned hanging out at some point outside of class. one day, this idea got narrowed down to a choice of a couple specific dates. and, by email, dave chose a date that he said would work best for us. when we didnt receive any confirmation and the date came and went, we thought it was a bit odd but not a problem.
apparently, on the other other end, since dave had said "this date works for us," the dinner was considered official and the german and his wife made dinner that night and waited, and waited, and waited for us. so, the next time dave saw the guy in class they discussed...
apparently the "confirmation" email with their home address (we didnt even know where they lived!) had somehow gone to daves spam box. even so, without receiving a "got your address, see you for dinner on this date" response, they had gone ahead with the food. and, as i recall, dave mentioned that the wifes reaction was "this is typical american behavior/this is why i dont like americans." awesome.
anywho, we chalked that up as a botched friendship and poor ambassadorship (though it really wasnt our fault!). but in a future class, they tried to organize again. dave sent an email with some available dates but for weeks we had no response. recently, dave received a "sorry i didnt get in contact sooner, i nearly severed some fingers off at work a couple weeks ago" email. mmmm, k. so we set up and confirmed the next dinner.
it was my last night of supinfo and i got home at around 8:15p. dave had just gotten off the phone from a "we're waiting for you" call...ugh. (dave had emailed and told them i get off work at 8p and dont get home until 8:15p and its my last night teaching...so we hope to be there by 8:30p). anyway, we headed to their house apparently "late" and i considered ourselves doomed.
finally arriving at the apartment, we met the man (christophe) and his wife (annegret). they had two small girls the wife was putting to bed so we sat and talked with christophe. at one point, his oldest little girl quietly came into the room to say hello and after a few minutes agreed to go to bed. very well-behaved kids.
anyway, we learned more about the severed finger accident (a big, sharp knife at work sliced through some tendons, yum) and why they were here in rennes (wife getting phd in eco-bio...studying snails). then dinner arrived as a european sampler: russian-style beets, handmade german noodles (spätzle), and the southern french dish called canard confit. everything was great. wasnt sure i liked beets but i'll try em. they were pretty good!
during dinner, we learned that they had lived for a few months in racine, wisconsin (so thats your view of americans?), had hitchhiked across many parts of europe, and had taken a one year honeymoon to tandem bike across russia, ukraine, and kazakhstan...ending the trip by taking a cargo ship up to the seriously remote russian island city of kamchatskiy. whoa. um, i think youre outta my league in terms of worldliness.
but, the food the good, they were friendly and interesting, and the night turned out okay. perhaps we helped them "update" their opinions of us and left things on a good note. j'espère (i hope).