and landed around 7:30 a.m. on September 11, 2008 at Hamburg Airport.
There was so much craziness before I left that it was a relief to get a break from my life. I arrived sick. I was really sick. I wondered if my illness was a some kind of sign that I should not leave but then I remembered that I don't believe in signs and returned to being excited about being with new husband.
I had a crazy roommate who, in the summer of 2008, said she earned a spot in a directing program in Los Angeles but the subletter she found got calls from her letting her know that she would be stopping by the apartment to pick up something once every three weeks or so. While we were away, an eviction notice showed up in our mailbox. I went to the courthouse certain that this was a mistake and annoyed that I had to wake up early to hit the bowels of Hoursing Court in Brooklyn to fix this before work. I felt like someone had hit me over the head with a shovel when the clerk brought over a stack of documents about 6 inches thick that was "our" file. We were, in fact, getting evicted. When I sent her email about the eviction notice, she denied any knowledge of a problem.
Sent: Thursday, August 14, 2008 3:24:28 AM
Subject: RETURNING TO NY!!!!!!!
I am not aware of any hearing!!!!!!!!!MY STOMACH IS IN KNOTS I will be in NY By this afternoon.
That is odd because the last document was a payment plan that she agreed to comply with or be evicted. Despite taking $900 from the subletter for each month of the three months that she planned to stay in Tanisha's bedroom, Tanisha had not given any money to the landlord since May. After a warning letter in the spring, I pleaded with Tanisha to let me know if there were any problems with her rent payments. She promised to do that. When she left for the "airport" (As you see, she is coming from Los Angeles to New York in an afternoon. Perhaps she was dating a pilot?) in June, I asked if the rent was all paid up and she assured me that it was. She was aware of all the lack of payments, so her stomach should have been fine.
In the process of leaving, my desktop computer,an unopened set of pots,and a Japanese teapot (my first gift from Asmus)were stolen from our locked apartment. In Tanisha's crazy head, it was my fault we were evicted because upon learning of the eviction I made a promise to pay more than $1,000 to catch us up but then when the panic wore off, I decided that I should not pay for her mistake and rescinded my offer. Tanisha packed her things while cursing my name, the subletter told me. Some time after that, my things disappeared. These things had very little "street value." Everything was taken just to be mean. It worked. After I good cry, I packed the rest of my belongings and moved onto my friend Jennifer's couch for two weeks. That woman saved my life. It was nice to live with a friend and not a lunatic. Plus, when people at work heard of all the shenanigans, I got nothing but support from the editor in chief down.
Since I moved onto German shores, I have had a life of adventure. Adventure can be good and it can be bad. I do not feel very German. In fact, I feel extra American. People here do not treat me like a fellow countrymen and that has worked, I do not feel like I am at home. Despite that, I wonder if I could smoothly move back into life on the East Coast. Hamburg and Kiel are so clean. Can I accept the Philadelphia subway's preponderance of spat-out sunflower seeds smushed into the corners or the gross streets of New York? Germany has many many rules for everything in life. Amazingly, people overwhelmingly follow these rules, so there is very little crime here. I walk around in darkness alone and I feel no fear. That has not happened to me in the United States since I was old enough to understand the news on television.
Necessity is the mother of invention. Life in America is convenient, so I have never needed to be creative. Since moving to Germany, I have learned how to make baba ganoush in a blender and to whip up a pie crust. I working on becoming fluent in a second language. I pay attention to all types of signs because I cannot count on my understanding of words. Plus, I have such a deeper understanding of immigrants. I had difficulty adjusting and I am a college-educated, savvy person who visited Germany many times before moving here. I do not know how an Italian immigrant made it in lower Manhattan in1902 or a Chinese immigrants makes it in the same place in 2010.
A lot can happen in two years.