An expat who spent the summer in his home country mistakenly believed that people in his Luxembourg City neighborhood would have noticed his absence and possibly worried about him, it has been revealed.
A day after returning to Luxembourg in early September, Jerry Gast, 45, looked forward to seeing some familiar faces and catching up.
However, not a single one of the six people Gast encountered seemed to have been aware he was away – or even recognize him.
“Moien, bonjour, hello,” he said to his downstairs neighbor upon seeing the retired bus driver checking the mail in the foyer.
“Are you new in the building?” the neighbor responded flatly, oblivious to the 23 times they’d spoken, including an argument in June about a water leak.
Gast’s next dismal exchange was with a gas station clerk he estimates he’s seen nearly 100 times – more than his boss. Like always, Gast attempted to make small talk, but his attempt failed more spectacularly than usual.
“She didn’t even acknowledge that I was physically present in front of her,” Gast said. “She said nothing, didn’t look at me, just put my change on the counter.”
Gast continued what was quickly turning into a humiliation tour, with each encounter as painful as the last.
“The lady at the supermarket, my buddy at the kebab shop, the waitress at my favorite pub, the postman – not one hint of recognition that I’ve miraculously reappeared.”
Gast says that next summer he’ll try harder to get people to notice his absence, either by clogging his bathtub and leaving the water running, or by committing a highly publicized crime and then initiating a high-speed police chase.
According to sources, everyone Gast encountered did recognize him and was aware that he’d been away, but they all refused to mention it in order to avoid having to suffer a long and rambling monologue, which many say is Gast’s specialty.