There's a huge gaping hole in my account of life in Germany and that is: dating. As a young and spritely single girl in Munich, I have thrown myself into the deep end of dating Deutsch-style – and what an 'interesting' pool it is. Although my first forays into dating in Germany involved a Dane and not a Deutsch wonder, that Nordic adventure was somewhat brief and I could no longer ignore the daunting task of tackling the blonde hair and blue eyes of zee Germans (note: nobody I have dated so far has had either of these attributes).
So, let me begin with: Marathon man. Before female readers everywhere start applauding me for my beginners luck, it's important that I clarify that I unfortunately mean 'marathon' in the running sense. You'd think that I'd take a slow and subtle approach back into dating right? Wrong. I, being the genius that I am, decided to accept a blind date. A blind date involving running. A running blind date! Somehow I didn't think through the fact that when I run I look like a dying mongoose that has been dipped in deep red paint. I think my naive-self figured that if he could like me in my running gear sweating up a storm, then effort and fabulous outfit on date 2 would be like a gift from the Gods (yes, this is how my mind works).
So I turn up at the agreed spot on a sweltering summer day to complete a 40-minute blind-date/run around the English Gardens. Non-Munich readers should know that this involves walking down a normal shopping street in your shorts, so you are already feeling self-conscious before you arrive.
There he was standing on the other side of the road. An Adonis. I couldn't believe my luck – how wrong I was. Marathon man was socially inept. After greeting me (thank god no awkward one or two kiss moment!) and telling me his name, there was no small talk. "Shall we go?” he said.
Now, I decided to leave my running gadgets at home to avoid looking like a bit of a pretentious pr•••. Marathon man? Oh no, he had every gadget that Nike ever made, and then some. Within a few minutes of setting off he asked me "Is this pace good for you?" as I was frantically panting beside him and reluctantly replied "Sure!" (nobody wants to appear like a pansy and particularly not on a date). As soon as I learnt that a) he was a consultant and b) he was Austrian and from Salzburg, I should have known better and run in the opposite direction, but instead I stayed and endured the worst date ever.
This guy did not know how to make conversation (which was, by the way totally in German and he never once offered to switch to English despite being fluent in English himself). There was never a reciprocated question or show of interest in anything I had to say. It went a little like this:
Me: Do you have any siblings?
Marathon Man: Yes, a sister
*silence* *awkward pause* *run 10 minutes more*
Me: What do you do, do you enjoy your job or travel a lot?
Marathon Man: I'm a consultant. I really enjoy it. I travel quite a bit but luckily not as much as other firms so it's not too stressful.
*silence* *awkward pause* *run 10 minutes more*
He. Never. Asked. Me. Anything. About. Myself. NOTHING. Oh wait sorry, he did ask me something:
What's your quickest half-marathon time?
Which means he didn't listen to me five minutes before when I was telling him that I was training for my first two half marathons ever in a few weeks. *sigh* He then proceeded to tell me all about his quickest times, where the races were and his tactic to get quicker. All the while I was thinking "you're attractive, but somebody pass me a spoon so I can gouge my eyes out because that would be more enjoyable than another minute of this date". Why are German guys so obsessed with sport? And I mean really obsessed. I'm a sporty person and it's even too much for me. They don't just do a run, they do a marathon. When they've done a marathon they do mountain marathons. Then they do a triathlon just for kicks. Then they take their hiking to the next level and climb Everest – like you do. I don't think you have to be a genius to work out the one thing that a lot of the guys aren't managing to achieve despite all of their sporting endeavours...Give me a man that will happily munch on a Maccy D any day over a German fitness freak.
After running 50 minutes instead of 40 minutes (so already running further and faster than planned) we arrived back at our starting point. At this moment, instead of accompanying me back to the U-Bahn, he declares, "Actually, I think that I'm going to carry on running and go a bit further. Not sure I got my full workout". Translation: asshole. I took it as a rejection but then was shocked as he asked for my number. My number? Strange, I thought the date had gone poorly for both of us, as he seemed so uninterested. However, for some reason I was still hovering between whether he was an arrogant git or merely socially challenged and decided to give him the pleasure of obtaining my digits – and with it, a second-chance.
Mistake. Date 2 debrief to follow soon...