All things end, and this blog is no exception. It's not going to happen overnight, and it's not even going to happen anytime soon, but this week I finally got to see the next few months fall into place, so this has been on my mind.
I'll be off to Texas for SXSW on the 8th or 9th of March, stopping in Paris to see a performance by Carl Stone, and then heading off to Austin via Dallas the next morning. The reason for leaving from Paris (besides going to see Carl) was that on my return, I was going to rest up for a day, then take the train down to Montpellier to start apartment-hunting.
Thing is, I'd somehow gotten in my mind that late March is the right time to do this. I have no idea where this chimera came from, but there you go. Two of my contacts down there told me this week that this would be way too early, and that I should think about late May instead. So...that's now my deadline.
This is actually a Good Thing, in that it gives me more time to raise money. Getting paid, in my business, takes a lot of time. I'm still waiting to get paid for work I did in October and November, which is pretty much par for the course. And it's not just about renting the apartment; I'm going to need a new washing machine, a new couch, more shelving, and who knows what else.
Fortunately, there's also another plan in the works. This blog is going to serve as the basis for a book, a sort of memoir of my semi-voluntary expatriation, a guide to how not to expatriate, in a way, as well as a narrative of the things I've seen and done here. After all, when I arrived, it was only five years after Germany had reunited, and the divisions were still very much in evidence. Other former East-bloc countries were even more tentative. At any rate, over the past few weeks I've been putting together a book proposal and this week I had a very encouraging talk with my agent, a former colleague from the daily newspaper I worked at in the '80s. Don't worry: nobody's comments will be quoted, I don't think, and if I do want to quote you, by chance, you'll be contacted.
But moving to Montpellier, which will almost certainly happen now in the next three months, is going to render maintaining a blog called BerlinBites absurd. This blog will have to be shut down.
On the other hand, I've become very fond of this kind of forum, and I'm certain I'll want to keep it up. I've been wracking my brains for a name for the new one, but it's really too early. Unfortunately, this name doesn't lend itself to the kind of morphing that Marie's blog can do: it's gone from No Hurry in Africa to (I swear) No Hurry in Jersey City, and now she's in Kuwait. (Well, actually, today she's in Bahrain, but that's Marie for you). Somehow, MontpellierBites doesn't sound right. Not to mention that most Americans can't pronounce it (or Languedoc, either, for that matter).
Still, I'm sure the next three months will provide me with plenty to write about here. For one thing, America is about as foreign a country as Italy for me after all these years, so I'm sure there'll be some culture-shocked posts from my stay in the States, especially if my nebulous plans to go to California pan out. And then there'll be the joy of packing up and moving. Sauerkraut will ensue, you may be assured.
Anyway, the big news this week is I have a deadline. I'm a writer. Writers like deadlines. And now I have one.