Tuesday, July 05, 2016


This morning, I re-signed my rental lease, shortening it to the end of July. An immediate and familiar feeling of fear hit my stomach. My paperwork for the US visa is taking forever, and it might happen that by the time my documents arrive and I have to go to the US consulate in Germany, my German job contract is over and I might not have a place to live in anymore. Am I looking at potential homelessness post-July again? It has happened before. The first time was for 3 months when I was transitioning back to graduate school. For months, people in Seattle opened up their homes as I spent my time babysitting, cat sitting, even house sitting. The second time was right before moving to Germany when I had spent 4 weeks on the road. Every day, I slept in a new place, in supercomputer labs at universities, people's homes, seedy hotel rooms with names scribbled on distastefully done wall papers in the hinterlands of Wyoming, and even sometimes inside my car. Every time a major transition in my life happened, I became homeless, although momentarily. However, that was the US where I have hundreds of friends, where G will open up her home and kitchen indefinitely in return for digging up her garden, doing yard work, painting the walls, cleaning the garage, breaking coconuts, lugging heavy grocery from Cash n Carry, freezing myself while getting milk cans from the Costco freezer, and accompanying her to every temple within a 200-mile radius (I have done it all). Germany is different. I hardly know anyone in Germany, especially outside work. Without a cell phone, it will be even more fun.

However, these transition periods also open up possibilities of newer, unique experiences. With no paycheck and not much money to stay in hotels, I might go backpacking and sleep in overnight trains (some of those trains in Prague have showers too). I might start sleeping in my office and use the emergency shower in the biology lab. I might invest in a tent, backpack and sleeping bag. There are nice benches in the park right outside my home. If nothing, there is always Kolkata to go back to.


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