I had plans for a book approximately 5 years ago. It seemed to encompass the very idea of me trying to wrap up my life in America within 6-7 months, tie up loose ends and move to another country across the Atlantic for love (and adventure and life). The book was going to include some of the steps I had to take, things I had to consider and important prerequisites it became apparent that were necessary in order to get away scot free.
Well, needless to say I succeeded. I earned a teaching certificate in Brno, Czech Republic at the cheapest place I could find in Europe and then started my new life in Freiburg, Germany on March 18, 2003. It turns out we moved all of Assiyeah’s stuff in a small moving van from Berlin to Freiburg on the eve of the Iraq war. A strange time to become an “American in Europe”. I got work, started travelling, got more work and started travelling more. Repeat two more times and it culminates in 2005 with 126 days of vacation. I had my first photo exhibition that year. Then last year was my highest-earning year. I had 5 exhibitions in Freiburg, Amsterdam, Buenos Aires and Tilcara, Argentina and Cusco, Peru. I just got a new job. I just came back from my 3rd vacation of the year. I have today off. Really, things could not have gone any better if I had scripted it myself.
A Humorous Guide to Leaving the Country
Starting in March 2006, exactly 3 years after having begun this amazingly fantastic life (while having a tax number), I started to have troubles with my work permit. The foreign authorities of this country have almost tried to end my permission to live here in Germany as I do. They have been slow, occasionally so bull-headed in their obtuseness that I have been dumbfounded. Those troubles continue to this day but with other government agencies and with concrete amounts of money they want. I’m still here. The experience has changed but the name of the story won’t.
I can write a 150-page book in a month. I could pull it off but I would have to be disciplined. Which month would I do it? 5 pages a day. The story of me coming to germany, building my life and then being threatened from large, outside forces that make me appreciate my life just a bit more.