It’s a Small World After All

Garden near Rodenbach, Germany

It’s a beautiful day, and I’ve just returned from a walk through the gorgeous German countryside, where I snapped the photo above. I decide to share my good mood and call my grandmother back home in Texas. “Hello?! Hello?!” Her voice has that hysterical tone that means one of two things. Either a grenade has just gone off in her living room, or I’ve forgotten about the time change again.

Grandmama is in her mid-nineties. She doesn’t need this kind of stress.

When Joe and I first came over here in 2000, the time change hardly mattered. We wrote our emails on clay tablets back then, and good calling plans didn’t exist. But now, I’ve got unlimited free calling to and from the States on my cell phone for only five bucks a month. (Thank you, Sipdroid and!) But there are still these completely outdated processes called “sunrise” and “sunset” that keep reminding me just how far away I am.

After almost killing my grandmother, I downloaded a great widget for my Android phone called TM World Clock:

TM World Clock on my Android phone

It keeps me from making stupid phone calls, but it can’t keep me from saying stupid things once I’m on the phone, as I did yesterday when I called the T-Mobile rep at midnight. “Have a good night!” I told him cheerfully. Then I realized that he was still living through late afternoon.

“Um…okay,” he replied with understandable caution.

Dusk at Rainer and Heidi's, Rodenbach

Dusk is falling. We’re drinking wine with our friends Rainer and Heidi and admiring their garden in the late twilight. But I still can’t call my daughter in Texas. She’s not home from nursing school.

Midnight. Is that a grenade going off in my living room? No, it’s the phone. “Hello?! Hello?!” I shriek.

“Go back to bed, woman!” sounds my daughter’s firm voice in my ear. “I’ll call you in the morning.”

Her morning, that is, which is my…oh, never mind.

Photographs taken September, 2011, in Rodenbach, Germany. Text copyright 2011 by Clare B. Dunkle. Photos copyright 2011 by Joseph R. Dunkle.

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One Response to It’s a Small World After All

  1. Patricia (Pete) McCutchan Overlooked Books says:

    Hi Claire, I don’t know if you remember me but we met a few times thru Pat Anderson, I worked for him at Overlooked Books until I too moved to Germany, we met only a couple of times. Anyways, have been reading your blog about Germany and it is very interesting. I just wanted to let you know if you would like some good websites in English about Germany or what is going on in your neck of the woods I have found some pretty good ones, and the U.S. Military has some really good ones as well. We are living in Weiden in der Oberpfalz in Eastern Bavaria.