A drive to Guido and Nathalie's at Stuttgart followed my visit to Bad Kreuznach. Some people may find it crazy that I did 400 kms of traveling on that day – but, believe me, driving is a stimulant.
This time, I made it a point to reach Stuttgart on time, Guido Standard Time (GST) that is. The last time I reached there precisely on the dot as most Germans would expect me to, I had to see them scamper and get dressed. It was also then that I learned that following GST was not only a practice prevalent in India, but also in Werastraße, Stuttgart. A true Indian like me always feels comfortable following GSTs!
This time, I also got to meet Guido's parents. It was wonderful speaking to them as they had many experiences to recount, and many stories to talk about. In particular, I got to share thoughts with his father on things such as living long durations in foreign cultures, the advantages and problems caused by it – basically, issues that I face today and those that I will face as I continue living away from home.
Guido's mother came across as a very graceful lady who in that short meeting actually improved my knowledge and understanding of the German language. She has been teaching German, and is definitely good! His father spoke about his experiences with the steel industry and also with continuous casting - very familiar talk for me given that my father has a similar background.
Nathalie was cute and pretty as ever. She also played the perfect hostess and had Raclette organized for the evening– toppings et al with wine to match. She has this wonderful quality of making people feel comfortable and at ease. Precious!
Guido makes great company, like ever. This time, I saw him get some drubbing for his habit of working too hard! I can understand both sides of the perspective – a family that wants his time, and a committed professional who sleeps but only when his work allows him to. I seemed to be a paragon of virtues with my talk of sticking to a strict work regime. The next 3 weeks would however prove otherwise – I would be seen work from 09:00 am until 02:00 am towards releasing my product.
I take leave at around 02:00 am, having consumed only a judicious (read: infinitesimal) amount of alcohol that would keep me a safe driver on the autobahn. Reached home in 30 minutes and… Checked mail!