Andrew Andersen Victoria, BC
This real story happened many years ago with my German friend Manfred, when he was still quite young, with shaggy hair and a bearded handsome face. He was a guy of cheerful and slightly carefree nature, possessing a brilliant university education but lacking a specific occupation.
The events unfolded in the mid-1980s. Manfred, at the behest of his then-wife, set out for bread in the illustrious Holtenau – a maritime suburb of the heroic city of Kiel.
Passing by the pier, he spotted a group of men outfitting a beautiful and powerful ocean yacht. Among them, Manfred recognized two old friends and hailed them, inquiring about their plans.
The friends revealed that they were sailing across the Atlantic to the Caribbean Sea, and they invited him along, justifying the invitation with the presence of a vacant cabin.
Manfred was strongly tempted to join his buddies and share in their planned maritime adventure, but he still attempted to decline due to not having his passport with him. However, his friends insisted that it was nonsense and that he wouldn't need a passport...
That day, Manfred's wife didn't receive fresh bread, crispy croissants, or even the sight of Manfred himself. She searched for her missing husband first with the German police and then with Interpol, but couldn't find him, as the wayward husband was navigating first the Atlantic and then the Caribbean Sea. Though his wife was wealthy and not materially distressed as she remained with her six-year-old son, she grieved for her husband who had disappeared without a trace, shedding tears of heartfelt sorrow.
A year passed... The group of men with the yacht and Manfred returned to Holtenau, and Manfred, with a radiant smile, appeared at the doorstep of his home before his clear-eyed lawful wife and their slightly grown son...
Manfred's conversation with his wife was quite calm and not very lengthy. Towards the end of their discussion, his wife said, "Manfred, you're a good person, and I respect you. But this action of yours indicates that you're mentally unstable, and I can't, don't want to, and won't live with someone unstable. So, tomorrow we will file for divorce."
And they got divorced. As it soon turned out, Manfred, in addition to his tropical tan and rich experiences, brought back an exotic illness from the Caribbean islands - malaria, which he contracted from the local Caribbean priestesses of love. And every time he experienced another bout of this unpleasant ailment, he would fondly remember his Caribbean escapades and say, "I caught malaria from them, but oh-h-h, what wo-o-o-men they were!!!" And his gaze would become distant...