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Berlin

Bye Bye Bertha

I am a bit ashamed of the last month of silence on the blog, but in my defense I am in the middle of planning another international move.  The company I worked for offered me a job in Boston, and I’ve accepted. The delights of September also included a week-long debacle with the US embassy in an eventually successful attempt to secure husband’s immigrant visa, the stress from which shaved several years off each of our lives. Oh and did I mention that despite the fact I have lived in Europe for more than six years, my mother decided last week was the right time to visit?

Having survived US Citizen and Immigration Services and my mother, I now find myself with a moment to reflect on my imminent departure from Berlin. There will be many farewells, but today I said goodbye to Bertha das Benz, who was my first and quite possibly last Mercedes. Our time together was brief but tumultuous, like the best kind of love affair. In her eight months under husband’s and my stewardship, Bertha received six speeding tickets (don’t let anyone tell you there’s no speed limit on the autobahn), two parking tickets, a three-inch key mark along her derrière, had her badge nicked twice, and, just once, was towed away. Nobody ever said we were easy to live with.

But the truth was this love affair was mostly with husband. I only drove Bertha three times (our final voyage was to take my mother to eat crepes at the KaDaWe last week). Husband said this was because I am a bad driver and my driving made him nervous. This is crap, but Bertha is big and a little stressful to maneuver around a city so I didn’t mind leaving what little driving was required in Berlin to husband.  I am not really a car person anyway, as proven by the fact that my last car was a Prius.

Bertha may not be making the journey across the Atlantic, but Poppy the Pashley will. (No, I don’t give all my modes of transportation names.  Poppy just happens to be the name of the model of my periwinkle blue Pashley bicycle.) She was made in Stratford-upon-Avon, about forty miles north of our home in the Cotswolds, but I bought her here in Berlin. And so by bringing Poppy to Boston, I take a little bit of both places with me. I’ve even put the keys to her bicycle lock on the mini-Mercedes badge key ring I kept as a souvenir of Bertha.

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