It was March 2015 and the birthday of my very good friend Benjamin was imminent. Usually we gave each other homemade photo albums or freshly filled friendship books in our study group. Our group consisted of only boys and as always we were totally uncreative about what we could give each other. Since the idea with the photo albums was too lame, Yannick thought something bigger was needed.
So we sat down together in March and had the fabulous idea to produce a little documentary about Benjamin, because he was a very special friend. Yannick wrote down some questions that we sent to our friends and they should answer them with a video message. We called the product "Awkward - my so-called life". Our circle of friends thought the idea was great and provided us with new video news full of stories and anecdotes about our Benjamin. We could hardly wait to present the result to him. The documentary was very well received and Ben was happy about his present the whole evening.
From then on we were hooked and produced gift after gift. Why not? It was a lot of fun for us and besides our studies we had more than enough time for such nonsense. After Ben's birthday, it was mainly he and I who pushed these projects forward. We thought up the most absurd gifts. Most of the time Ben wrote the scripts and I cut everything together at the end. So the next thing they gifted was to me. Their own pre-recorded radio show on a tape. The following year Yannick got a complete feature film (where we really exaggerated the effort for the first time). Not only that. We produced outtakes, websites and a making of. In the same year we presented Olivier with a radio play produced in just seven days. The whole thing ended quite naturally after most of our group had finished their studies and therefore we didn't see each other as often as before. Everybody was busy with their own life.
Around Christmas 2018 Ben and I were tingling under our fingers again and we wanted to produce our second radio play for Yannick by the end of February. But as with all of our birthday projects, we first had to make sure that our friends would support us actively again. So shortly after Christmas we started to make a plan and ask our colleagues to join us again. Everyone was immediately involved and thought the project was an excellent idea. So we did it as usual - Ben wrote the script, I collected the recordings and we met a weekend before the birthday to cut everything together. Fortunately Yannick invited us to his birthday party at Lake Constance like every year. Everyone who had time (and was healthy) has come. After three years of silence, Yannick of course didn't expect the present at all and was very happy.
For me it was the most beautiful thing to work together with old friends on a project again and to see them all again in the end and to be happy about the product. I hope it will remain a tradition that will last forever. We still have a lot to do, because not everyone in our group has received one of our brilliant gifts yet.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my friends from Trier. Not only for these "small" gifts. Also for the wonderful time I have spent with them and hopefully will in the future. Thank you Benjamin, Dirk, Fabian, Florian, Georgij, Leonard, Nik, Olivier, Peter, Sascha and Sascha.