Auf – wieder -sehen.
The first time I heard the word, I was all of 6 – So long! Farewell! Aufwiedersehen! Goodbye! I didn’t hear it again for a decade by which time I had forgotten all about it even though I’d sung it countless times. In regular conversation, I believe, it rarely finds use. In my limited interaction with Germans, it found less use than its friendlier counterpart tschüss. But I continue to stick to the formal word because of the sheer warmth it radiates.
I have always hated saying goodbye. It sounds ominous and final. It’s almost as if you’re certain that this is the last time you’ll meet/speak. On the other hand, auf [till] – wieder [again] – sehen [to see] emanates a longing, a desire to meet again and is far sweeter than the dismissive goodbye.
So hold my hand in yours and place your other palm on my cheek. Look into my eyes, smile and repeat after me – Aufwiedersehen.