A year on. The post office on tax day. Bubbly.

Tax day. A year ago (minus two days) we arrived in Berlin, travel-tired, wide-eyed, speaking almost zero German. Norbert, who managed the apartment we were to stay in for three weeks, was kind enough to pick us up at the airport, and became our first Berlin friend, the punk-with-a-pillow.

A year later, we’re settled, and another hurdle passed. After much gnashing of teeth and shaking our fists at the great IRS in the sky, we have our first freelancers’ taxes off. They’re not even as bad as we’d feared. Among the chief advantages of semi-poverty is a low tax liability. Trump, Haliburtonies, you ought to look into the strategy. We take them to the German post office, which is blessedly quiet on American tax day.

And now the first spring rain beats against the window, we crack open a bottle of prosecco and let the bubbles chatter a counter-rhythm. One-two-o; a plate of freshly baked brown bread and olives on the floor, because we still don’t have a coffee table, chicken stewing in our tagine and all is well.