The day we left Elisabeth’s was bitter-sweet. On the one hand, we were excited to be looking after Nina for a few days but on the other hand, we both knew we were going to miss Elisabeth and her ‘tiny house’ a little bit more than we expected. Elisabeth had been so kind during the week – answering all of our silly questions and coming over to show us how to use the washing machine when we couldn’t figure it out ourselves. She even gifted us with some tangerines for the road just before we left…she was such a sweetheart.
Before we set off for Betty’s we gave Elisabeth an orchid just as a little thank you for everything she had done. When we knocked on her door and handed it to her with our broken German exclaiming how ‘wunderbar’ she was, she seemed so surprised and grateful that we couldn’t stop smiling…until I completely ruined the moment, as always.
You know when older people place their hand on your cheek when they’re saying thank you, as if they’re nearly pinching your cheeks but not quite going that far (thank god)? Well when Elisabeth did this to me, I mistook this for the start of an embrace and went in for the hug. Being the severely awkward human being that I am, instead of continuing to go in for the hug when I realised I had been mistaken, I decided instead to stop halfway and put my hand on her cheek and shake it like a hand. And then her shoulder. And then her arm. And then I decided it was time to go ahead with that hug I had only gotten halfway through. To be perfectly honest, I was being optimistic when I thought that no one else had noticed because as soon as we walked away from her front door, Jordan proceeded to laugh hysterically while trying to fit in a “WHAT WAS THAT?!” and then made sure that everyone back home knew about the time that “Chloe shook an old woman’s face”.
How can anyone be so utterly cringe-worthy?
After I had pulled myself back out of my hole of embarrassment, we jumped into the car and were about to set off before Elisabeth came out for a final goodbye. Just as we were about to leave, Elisabeth noticed that a piece of paper had been left on our windshield. Turned out our eco-friendly neighbours weren’t too happy that we had brought a 3L diesel on to Austrian Land so they thought they’d let us know. Poor Elisabeth was mortified but told us not to worry about it and that ‘the past is the past’. As you can tell, her English is much better than our German.
Jordan and I have both agreed that when we can speak a sufficient amount of German – we will go back to see her and actually find out what she’s really like and hear a few of her stories.