"eine unbeschreiblich schoene Dimension" ~ Tiger about his love to Scarlett
The year was approaching its end, and soon it was a New Year's Eve. Both spent time together.
They set off at 6:20 p.m. to reach the restaurant on time, he drove. The car was passing Winterhude and the market square, when Tiger pointed towards a building lit in red light. "I've been there one NY Eve. Nothing special though." Clubs he'd been to and his review:
Goldblick - meh
Kampnagel - meh again
"Club Du Nord" - great music and atmosphere that makes you want to party. Tiger's choice
Henriks By a coincidence, their restaurant also had red outside lights. He opened the door to let her out of the car and she paused for a pic outside.
An Aston Martin was parked in front of the venue. Tiger commented: "Earlier James Bonds - a la Sean Connery - always drove an Aston Martin." Scarlett thought to self 'something new I learnt today'. Then she exclaimed, anticipating a great night and dinner ahead: "Oh yes! I love Bond films. They are so spectacular and entertaining!"
They entered, and were shown to their seat. The floor was slippery, so Scarlett slightly slided on the floor before they reached the table. 'Keep head up, behave like lady' she thought to herself, 'make it so as if noone noticed, be confident'.
The staff were friendly and spoke about all the types of meats served. She was switching off, reluctant to listen to the special offers for tonight's dinner.
Instead, she looked around - the venue was inviting her to take pictures. She saw decorations in black and golden, balloons and sparkly utensils- some table "schnick-schnack" attracted her glance and inspired for years ahead. It was a special night, a new year's eve together with Tiger. It was almost a year since they met.
Tiger returned her back to "here and now" by asking about her food choice. She first wanted just a soup (to dive into "Bailey's on ice" later at home). Tiger wanted a two course dinner and a company, of course. So be it - two pumpkin soups for a starter. She had kale salad, he had tuna steak for main. They ordered food and had their wine served.
"Thank you for organising and inviting me. So, is this one of your favourite restaurants in Hamburg then?" she opened the conversation. He nodded: "Well yes, in short THE restaurant. There is one more favourite I told you about earlier - El Europeo, food there is also very good. In here, I like the modern interior, the friendliness of the staff and the food, of course. Henriks is the "independent" split off from Tarantella. O. goes to Tarantella but I prefer it here instead."
New Year's Customs and Traditions Festive Foods
They spoke about new year food.
Germans eat easy on NY. Most of them work that day, so the festive dinner has to be quick. Going out could be an option. Alternatively a scewer-fondue or "raclette" grills are preferred.
When Tiger was a child, his dad used to make a sea food platter, bringing delicacies from the Scandinavian countries - so Tiger's NY dinner would include:
Salmon with horseradish, lemon and dill
Danish "Rejers" (crabs)
Stay in or go out?
"What is party in your understanding?" She asked him. "It is going out or even travelling somewhere - like Amsterdam - staying up until it strikes midnight. Wishing each other a happy New Year and being together at the very start of the new year!" So it was not partying hard, staying up till 7 am or going to discos. It meant to Tiger just being close to the partner. And wishing each other well at midnight.
"What are the top 5 best gifts that you received for NY ever?" she asked. Tiger looked astonished: "We do not give presents for New Year, but for Christmas only." How come he got her a good luck piggy toy then, she wondered.
Conversations about food were followed by those about his uni. About her uni and how she met her uni friends, in which order. And where her first flat was.
Tiger matched her stories with his memories. He told her about his student friends and groups at the uni. How he was a member of two uni groups: the ones who were thorough (role model students) and who then got now a job on the advisory board of a bank. One of his friends wrote a film book for a thriller with Emma Watson. But it ain't making people rich. The second clique was the party goers. Both groups (astonishingly for the 2nd) graduated from the uni with a diploma.
"Thank you for treating me as someone special. It helps our relationship blossom," she said. Tiger went: "You are special", and he cheered lifting his wine glass into the air "to us in 2019". Both enjoyed the dinner and the wine.At some point, she responsibly pushed her glass away, but pretended to occasionally sip from it so no questions would be asked and to make it more comfortable for both.
It was a lovely night but it was soon time to depart and continue the night at Tiger's. They walked along the room towards the cloaks and Tiger bumped into one of the tables. Apologising, he noticed Jan from their fav cafe, dining for new year's eve with his friends. It was a nice surprise!
"Tiger, do you still want to drive as we both had alcohol?" She carefully asked, hinting him to her offer to ask her to drive instead. "I am bigger and stronger than you and I am OK to drive, otherwise I wouldn't. " he said and she took the passenger's seat.
They arrived at his. First thing she felt - once she got upstairs and despite all was as they left it without changes - was the atmosphere of dimmed evy light, filling the whole living room & sending romantic vibes! An inviting and cosy night in. Get in!
Tiger served the drinks. Wax melting & fortune telling was next. From a supermarket set, they got 3 wax pieces each to melt over the candle light and cool in the water before telling the shape and the fortune. She got a bear, a squirrel (hard to tell by looking at the shape so she held it in light and projected shadows on the wall) and a mermaid. He had a bird (friend), a dragon and a horse (friend). Horoscope
They read their horoscope for the next day and for the upcoming year before Henriks already ... more Bailey's..
As they were in Henriks, the mood lifting music was played. It felt like a party there and then.
At home, Tiger and Scarlett played their own music game on Spotify - "you play a song then I do, then you, then me again." Sorry, I could not think of any shorter title than this.
She remembered the songs and put a playlist together:
Nervous - Sean Mendes
All good things - Nelly Furtado
Like I love you Justin timberlake
Don’t stop me now - Queen
Adoro - Liebe ist alles
"Nessun dorma!" - Giacomo Puccini
Symphonie - Silbermond
Jeny from the Block - JLo
I will always Love you - Whitley Houston
I have nothing - Whitley Houston
Can you feel the love tonight - Elton John
It felt like with each song he wanted to beat her minor key self-whinering songs and win it over with a infinite love confession.
"Your next song will accompany us into the new year!", Tiger announced 2 mins be for midnight. "No pressure", she thought hard, so many ideas come usually but this time it was difficult to make a choice. Finally, she chose "Can you feel the love tonight" by Elton John. He loved it. He won her over onto his side of infinite love through the lyrics of the songs.
The evening was long enough and there was still time to be passed till midnight.
Scarlett carefully opened new conversations - it was around sabbatical, France and one-night-stand. Tiger did not tell any long stories there. She did not give up.
They (she) switched to South America and almost got further ...asking him to show the album with pictures of the "private beach" in Brazil, Tiger could not find it and gave her another album instead ... it was his family's album. Mainly it was all about his dad and his niece, but occasionally Scarlett saw some familiar furniture pieces - which belonged to Tiger and which she knew from his current place - on the pics and she saw him there, too - younger, different and familiar at the same time. There and then, she felt a strange feeling of love, pride, unknown and possession - if she could say it this way... She would put a note into her diary: "In the evening after Henriks, and after his album to S., where Tiger is younger and I can imagine him now being my partner back then or imagine him younger being my partner now - I feel female energy, sexapeal and power. Like never before. As if I'd be observing myself from the (out)side."
Nice try, Tiger. Distraction move, very nice indeed.
She looked at him - both tipsy - and said sometime after: "I'd be interested to know more about Milan." Tiger: "I noticed."
"I do not ask you about things that you do not want to talk about, so I'd like you to respect my choice not to talk about it. At least not tonight. Otherwise, I fear you'd misinterpret my stories as something that is not true. Our relationship cannot be compared to anything in the past." Nice try, Scarlett. Maybe another time. 'Because I would like to tell his story' she thought.
She waited till the clock stroke 12. Champagne was opened to cheer, hug and kiss. She gave her present. Ever since 28th Dec. she was getting energy from anticipation of giving the present to him at midnight... They started into the new year by making love.
1st Jan, morning. When he got up, his first suggestion after wishing a "Happy new year" was to "eat tasty berries in combination with banana pancakes." As their breakfast was described, then prepared, she'd already start their new Rocket to warm up for a creamy cuppa. After breaky, she pulled him out for a walk. His sister called him back whilst they were in the park. She was watching the NY concert on TV and melanchonically she said: "Oh remember, daddy always watched this concert. And he wanted to be a director of the whole orchestra, remember?"
Tiger led Scarlett towards the pond, where they walked in July. He giggled suddenly and said: "As I was a child, I used to wish every passer-by a happy new year!" She loved him for this. It was cold in the park, so they went back home soon.
After lunch, they spoke about his business and next steps. Tiger was preparing an elevator speech for an investor. Then he took a notebook and announced " let's dream", so they started putting dreams and goals onto paper - it being a first step to their fulfillment.
Family codex and traditions were also mentioned. They sat in the kitchen and spent time discussing rules, limits and family laws... at some point, it turned into some reflection conversation but was fruitful and good.
He drove her home.
She remembered the words of her hair dressers that feelings die after 4 years ish.. And the secret of a happy marriage was to think beyond and come up with more than just attraction, to move past the initial 4 years.
She wanted to build something sustainable for hers and Tiger's togetherness, so she asked him: "what's the longest relationship that you had?" He said: "It was A. With a break in between. Around 7-8 years."
He was then afraid again ..the misinterpretation paradigm dawned onto him, so he spoke... She did not argue, just listened to how special their relationship was to him. And that they managed to build something so deep in such a short time. And how he loved her showing interest in his past, his ancestors and roots... to better understand him. To relate better. And, believe it or not, other girls were not showing interest!
She was interested and she meant it. She was also interested in telling his (life's) story.
And, now more than ever, as they gave each other an owe to marry, of course they were both interested deeper, more, sustainably. He started by reciting the Berlin story: "I had different relationships. In some, I learnt that my belief in material things and giving presents to a partner would not make one's relationship more special. The whole media preaches this via movies etc. so I believed in the magic of material things. But it's not like that. I also had a relationship where the whole responsibility for keeping the charm going was one partner's only and the other half was just drifting along / not happy 'cos tone could not wholely satisfy the unspoken needs of the partner!" He turned the car around the corner, driving into her street. Time to say good bye soon. His last sentence was new to Scarlett and she suspected, it was Tiger solely responsible for that past relationship as he murmured something like: "Nope, I am not the only entertainer in here!" and stopped the engine.
As he played All good things - Nelly furtado, she asked him why minor key song? She usually thought of Tiger as a positive, major key music fan. He told her that the song reminded him of his friends in France:
Astrid from Venezuela
Simi H. from Switzerland
Anastasia V. from St. Petersburg - now having fulfilled her dream and moved to Paris to work for Cartier
Dominic - great chef from Switzerland, responsible for the dinner prep
Special unforgettable times. Time when Tiger Dad's illness started. When Time when Tiger was away from home and torn between continuing his journey or returning home to take care of Dad. And, of course, the Parisian melting pot of friends and adventures: shop for ingredients, tell stories, cook together, enjoy the language school and the French way of life.
With Tiger, Scarlett was eager to dream and believe in a fairy-tale, in higher purpose, in leadership and magic. Even though the world would sometimes try to prove the opposite. With Tiger, she could dream big, she could fly without wings! She was looking forward to their new year 2019 and to their new life. Together. Full of love.