Photo of my neighbor’s plant (called “Bird of Paradise”) in Hawaii.
From mid-December 1969 to early February 1970, I lived in Munich, Germany. An elderly German friend, whom I had met at the German Embassy in Thailand, had given me his address in Munich, and he told me to look him up if I ever got there. That’s what I did. Long story short, he met me and my American friend, Andrea, at a restaurant in Munich for tea and biscuits and then he gave us tickets to the opera. Meanwhile, he suggested that if I were interested, I could study music at the Goethe Institute. But, to study there, I would need money. So, I began to look for a job.
First, I applied for a government job as a clerk. No response.
Then, I applied at Voice of America. I had taught English at Voice of America in Thailand, so I thought I would have no problem getting a job teaching English at Voice of America in Munich. I was interviewed by a German, who was the director there. I told him that I had lived in Thailand for ten months, teaching English at Voice of America, Thammasat University, and AUA Language Center. I also told him that I held a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Hawaii. After twenty minutes, the director said that he could not hire me, because I had insufficient experience.
Oh, that made me mad.
I thought to myself, “What makes him think he is qualified to work for Voice of America? He speaks English with a German accent. This is not Voice of Germany. This is Voice of America. I am an American, and he is not.”
Of course, being a nice little girl from Hawaii, I kept my composure, smiled, and thanked him for his time. But, if thoughts could kill, he would have died on the spot.
Later, I applied as a nanny for an American family, but then decided that I should just call it quits in Germany. It was so damn cold, and I was sick of sausages and sauerkraut.
So, I took the bus from Munich to Frankfurt, spent the night there, and then rode the bus to Amsterdam. From there, I flew to New York City, where I lived for 5-1/2 years, studying music at Columbia University and supporting myself as a secretary.