I feel I should explain something. There’s a woman in Germany called Prof Dr. Christina Völkl-Wolf and she is not me.
On our first day travelling to the university in Würzburg, we immediately began to notice posters with people’s faces on them. They reminded me of American car salesman ads – I don’t know why. During our guided tour of the city centre we saw even more and certain faces began to become familiar. Eventually I asked the professor from the host university what they were all about.
It turned out they were posters for politicians campaigning to be voted in the local elections which are this month.
One of the girls I travelled with has a tradition with her sister of taking pictures imitating statues. She had got me to take photos of her to send to her sister, and me being me, I joined in the banter.
A couple of days later, I think cabin fever got to us (there were 42 of us sharing one kitchen, 52 of us in one room at the university for most of each day…) and we decided to get some fresh air by walking from the campus to the train station rather than taking a bus. Chariots of Fire was reenacted in a park. And we started posing next to the election posters.
We worried that maybe the folks in Germany would be offended, but it turned out they thought it was funny too (phew) so we did it a few times, as well as doing the statue imitations. At the weekend, we were free to go explore the region as much as we wanted. While I went with most of the Italian university group to explore Nuremberg and Bamberg, two of the Scottish group went with one of the Hungarians to explore Würzburg. When I returned they told me I had to see the poster they had found.
You have to get your picture taken next to one of these posters they said.
The next day, I went into Würzburg with one of my roommates and while walking up to the Fortress we saw a poster. And I obliged.
And then I made it my facebook profile pic, which got plenty of comments, the best of which came from my sister who said “HIMYM doppelgänger moment x” (How I Met Your Mother fans will understand). Yes. We had found ‘German Professor Laura Anne’, and she was a nominee for the city council.
One of my classmates was disappointed my hair hadn’t been straightened that day, so on the last night we took a photo of another poster we found walking back to the main station.
I did check with the Würzburg students she wasn’t some crazy conservative, because I was concerned I might be inadvertently promoting someone from the German equivalent of UKIP or something. They told me she isn’t though they didn’t know much about her.
So there you have it. Some say we don’t look alike at all, others think it’s a bit freaky! Good luck Christina, and serve your city well.