Alex Eschborn is 52, you can't tell by looking at him - half American (quarter Mexican, quarter Puerto Rican), half Wetterauer, that's how he introduces himself to me.
A child of the party mood, the joie de vivre, the international understanding of the body. Son of a Friedberg waitress and an American soldier. But he doesn't really want to go back that far. His story begins in the middle of it all, in 2001, which is why he contacted me to tell me how he met his father for the first time at the age of thirty, in the fateful year of 2001, when a personal fairy tale came true for Alex, shortly before the world fell into a collective nightmare after the attacks of September 11. In 2001 he took this step, finally wanting to know who he is, where he comes from, who his father is. The fact that Alex had shortly before become the father of a young daughter was the trigger: the questions about his own origins became more urgent. But how to find the father of whom one just knows the name? Alex has an idea. He writes to Arabella, the daily talkshow on the Pro 7 channel:Please help me, find my father in the USA, Puerto Rico or Mexico. The editors get back to them: "We'll do our best."
A few weeks later, Alex is invited to the television studio in Munich where the show is recorded. Another few weeks later, Alex finally sits in the broadcast studio. Excitement and a lump in his throat. Sits there and waits for his turn, listens to Arabella Kiesbauer as she tells his story, the letter, the search, the lump in his throat thickens, questions arise, do I really want this, the spotlights burn, Alex is sweating, and the excitement grows.
Finally, Arabella announces the result of the research: the editors searched, searched, almost gave up, then finally a suspicion that came true - Alex's daddy can not come, sits in prison. Disappointment in Alex's face. Is this what he came to Munich for?
No, the editors of the TV show had investigated further and finally found an aunt of Alex's who immediately said yes when asked if she wanted to meet her unknown nephew from Germany. Here she is, said Arabella, your aunt Esther. Music, the door opens, tears flow through the TV makeup. Aunt Esther enters the stage, takes Alex in her arms, welcomes him into the family. Arabella gives them both a few seconds of happiness in front of everyone. The aunt will only stay in Germany for a short time, Americans rarely have vacations, Arabella explains. But the TV station shows itself generous, has tickets for Alex, his former wife, his daughter. Flights from Frankfurt to Los Angeles and back. The trip is to last six weeks, six weeks in California, six weeks in the country of the father, the aunts, cousins. The father has eight sisters, Alex now has eight aunts. And as if that weren't enough, Arabella asks Alex to take a seat, another surprise is waiting at the door. Alex's breath catches.