Sarah and I recently visited Düsseldorf. We went to the Opera and saw Aida, hung out with friends, and toured the Opern am Rhein in Düsseldorf.
What prompted Sarah and me to go to Düsseldorf was the chance to meet several people. While in South Africa, Sarah’s mother had connected with a fellow Enneagram superstar in named Bea, who was going to be spending some time in Düsseldorf visiting her brother and sister-in-law–both of whom are musicians. And Bea suggested that we should all meet. Bea’s brother is Patrick, who is a resident conductor at the Opern am Rhein in Düsseldorf, and his wife Stephanie is an opera singer.
Bea, Stephanie, Patrick, Stephanie’s brother Felix and we all went to brunch together at the Altstadt (old city) in Düsseldorf, a nice place called “Bazaar.” We ate German breakfast (bread and things to put on it, and one hard boiled egg), and we learned an important lesson from our time with Bea, Patrick, Stephanie, and Stephanie’s brother; that is, in Opera, one should get a healthy dose of “Vitamin B,” that is, Beziehung, or connections. We laughed about that, and other similarities and differences between the US and Germany.
After brunch, Patrick took us on a tour of the opera house, which provided us a behind the scenes view at all of the work involved in preparing an opera.
Coincidentally, Sarah’s friend KK’s boyfriend–his name is Dominik–lives in Düsseldorf, so he mailed us his keys and we were able to stay at his place. Neither Sarah nor I were comfortable with this, but Dominik insisted and insured the keys for 500€, so we were all kind of hoping they would be lost. “That way we could all have a nice dinner,” Dominik said. Staying with Dominik was a pleasure and an honor. After knowing Dominik for about a year, it was fun to spend time with him–just the subtle nuances that one picks up from being with someone, like their sense of humor, mannerisms, and so forth.
All in all, it was a wonderful trip, and we cannot thank Bea, Stephanie, Patrick, Felix, Dominik, and Michael (Dominik’s roommate) for their hospitality and kindness.