When you spend significant quality time with someone from another country — a country that lies on the other side of an absolutely enormous body of water — there is an invisible clock in the relationship and the clock doesn’t leave you be. It’s there when you have have tea in the morning together. It’s there when you’re trying to get under one umbrella. It’s there when you have an argument about…I can’t remember what it was about, but the clock was there.
What happens when the research project ends? What’s the visa status, again? What’s gonna happen next? More specifically, what’s gonna happen with this German philosophy professor I have come to care about quite a bit when Germany calls?
I don’t know. Plans have changed a few times and they’ll change again and again as we both sort out what’s going on with work, life, the two of us. I’ve said before that I’m frequently surprised that I’m an adult and let me tell you: nothing makes you feel more like an adult (or a character in a Woody Allen movie) than rescheduling flights to Europe.
While I bide my time, I’ve been making German food. Like spaetzle, which was a lot of work and mostly worth it. I said to Claus, “I made spaetzle!” and I said it like an Iowan girl would: “I made shh-PAYT-zul!” He looked at me like, “You are so acutely American but I like you very much in spite of this fact.” He then corrected me in an attractive way, pronouncing spaetzle properly and my name like it’s French:
“Marie, no. It is ‘shh-PET-zluh.”