Love and friendship know no boundaries and no age limit. Even at the ages of 89 and 85, karsten tuchsen hansen and inga rasmussen still want to see each other every day.
The problem: hansen lives in suderlugum in north frisia, rasmussen in danish gallehus. And the border between schleswig-holstein and denmark is closed since two weeks because of the rapid spread of the new coronavirus. But just talking on the phone is not enough for the seniors. So they meet since then daily at the closed border crossing aventoft.
89-year-old hansen rides his e-bike from suderlugum to afternoon meetings. Rasmussen arrives in her car at the border crossing halay between their homes. Directly at the red-white barrier they sit each on his side of the border on brought chairs. Rasmussen has a thermos of coffee with him, hansen one of hebem water and a bottle of "geele kom" – a specialty spirit popular in the region. From this the senior mixes water punch, as he calls it. "We usually drink it together in the evening, but that’s not possible now." they toasted each other with their cups. "Cheers to love," hansen says.
Sometimes they meet as early as noon. Then they eat together the meal that rasmussen cooked for herself and her friend. And so far, the weather has cooperated with the meetings, too. The two seniors keep the minimum distance at their meetings. Kissing, even a hug or a handshake there is currently no, as hansen says.
Two years ago, hansen and rasmussen met for the first time by chance – and everything happened very quickly. Both have been widowed for several years at the time of meeting, as they report. They got to talking and hansen presented rasmussen with a bunch of flowers that he had actually brought for another woman, or so he tells it. On the same day, at his invitation, she went with him to suderlugum. He invited them to a celebration the next day. She dressed up and came. "I was even more in love then," says hansen. Since then, until the 13. March of this year the two spend every day and night together. "I’m usually with karsten," says rasmussen. She slept there and then went to her home and later back to karsten’s house.
On 14. March, denmark largely closes border with schleswig-holstein in wake of corona crisis. Two days later germany follows suit. Since then, the two seniors can no longer be together as usual. "It’s sad, but we can’t change it," says rasmussen. Since then, they have talked on the phone a lot and at least seen each other at their meetings. But the time in between is already long if you are alone, says rasmussen. The senior hopes that they may be allowed to visit each other again after easter.
And the seniors also have plans for the future. When the restrictions due to sars-cov-2 are lifted, they will be eager to travel again. Twice they have already taken boat trips on the danube and on the moselle and rhine respectively. They would like to go on such a trip again. And also the 90. Hansen’s birthday to be celebrated in early march 2021 – together, of course.