Andreas has never left his hometown, Munich, Germany. For some reason, he thinks he looks just like Ludwig Otto Friedrich Wilhelm or Ludwig II. Ludwig II was the king of the German Kingdom of Bavaria in the late 1800s. Andreas has an explanations for this uncanny resemblance. He is confident that one of his great, great, grandparents was an illegitimate child of Ludwig II. So far, he doesn’t have any evidence. Nevertheless, Andreas is positive that it’s only a matter of time until the “truth comes out.” As soon as it does, Andreas will be the heir to the throne of Bavaria and the recipient of all of Ludwig’s titles: Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Bavaria, Duke of Franconia, and Duke of Swabia. Out of Ludwig II’s numerous titles, he is best known for being the Swan King or the Fairy Tale King because of his love for classical music, patronage of the arts, and his costly habit of building beautiful castles. His most famous castle was Neuschwanstein Castle in the village of Hohenschwangau, Bavaria. The castle looks like it’s straight out of a fairytale or a Disney Movie like “Sleeping Beauty” or “Snow White.” Ludwig’s penchant for spending the state’s funds on fairy tale castles eventually drained Bavaria’s budget and led to Ludwig II’s own demise. Andreas says he will never make that mistake because of his “mad math skills.” Andreas works as a Hybrid Equity Derivatives Pricing Analyst or “Quant” for an international investment bank headquartered in Germany. Everybody believes that whatever Andreas does is really important, but they don’t understand what it actually is. Andreas has a whiteboard in his office with a bunch of math formulas that he says he is constantly trying to make “less complicated.” Andreas sometimes goes out of his way to be indirect since he doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. He often gets bored talking to people after only a few minutes. Instead of asking them to leave his office because he is bored, he starts talking about the math formulas on the whiteboard. When that doesn’t work, Andreas changes the topic to his lieben (dear) German classical or schlager music. That always helps. Andreas believes that half of his life is math, and the other half is music. Like Ludwig II, Andreas loves German classical music. However, he prefers Johann Strauss over Richard Wagner. At the same time, Andreas likes modern music. He loves to listen to anything by Peter Wackel, Anna Maria Zimmermann, Francine Jordi, or Helmut Lotti. He knows many of the song lyrics by heart, and he is a regular at Karaoke nacht (night) in downtown Munich. All his life, Andreas has been singing Karaoke. He hopes to soon qualify and win Deutschland sucht den Superstar (German version of American Idol). By that time, he is confident that he will finally date a schlager celebrity like Diana Sorbello, Franziska Kettel, or Vanessa Mai. His friends regard Andreas as either a hopeless romantic or romantically hopeless. His parents told him that has an unhealthy fascination with female beauty. Even the bartender at Andreas’ favorite karaoke bar told Andreas that he can’t sing. Andreas thinks they are all crazy.
Andreas dreams about changing places with Peter Wackel.
One year ago, Andreas returned from a vacation to Mallorca, Spain. He was a regular at the Ballerman beach bar, where he listened to schlagers and partied with his fellow German tourists. Wanting to take a break from the schlager hits at Ballerman, Andreas decided to take a trip to the other side of town to visit an authentic Spanish restaurant with live flamenco music. When he was making the trip, he had no idea that his life would change forever. He fell passionately fell in love with a beautiful Spanish waitress named Sandra. Andreas is a firm-believer in “love at first sight” and he is sure that he made a “real connection” when he looked into Sandra’s eyes.
After seeing Sandra once and her eyes twice, he went back to the same restaurant just to talk to her. He really believed that they shared “something special” after Sandra smiled at him, kissed him on the cheek, and gave him a hug. The day before he left for Munich, Andreas bought the most expensive engagement ring he could afford. The day before his return flight to Munich, he went back to the restaurant hoping to see Sandra. She was the there. When she asked him if he wanted to order anything, he got down on his knees and told Sandra that he wanted to order a wedding and proposed to her.
To his astonishment, Sandra rejected his hand in marriage. She asked why he wanted to marry her. Choking back tears in his eyes, Andreas told her that she was the most beautiful girl in the world. He even said that he wanted to have a gorgeous family together, and he would worship and adore her forever her with all of his herz (heart). Sandra laughed at him and walked away from his table without even taking his order. Andreas was hurt, devastated, and heart-broken. He was surprised that Sandra didn’t have the same feelings for him. It took him a very long time to recover and move on after that traumatic experience. Andreas is now learning how to speak Spanish and play the flamenco guitar. He also writes poems in Spanish in his free time about love, loneliness, and hope. Someday, he plans to return to Spain to find another beautiful Spanish girl. When he does, he will play a flamenco song he wrote for her. He hopes that she will realize that his herz vestecht (heart understands) Spanisch, and they will live in one of Ludwig’s fairytale castles happily ever after.