It feels like I smuggled myself in. All the rigmarole, the calls, emails, printed out testaments to our relationship, twisting of fingers, sleepless nights, anxiety about every various thing that once could anxietize over, the pre-emptive COVID test, the clerk at Aer Lingus riffled through my stack of proof-of-relationship without looking at it and sent me on to the Aer Lingus lounge. It was mostly empty but there was this guy who managed to slam dunk 4 tumblers of scotch in 5 minutes. We landed in Dublin while it was still dark (and raining) I couldn’t see a bit of The Ol’ Sod and it didn’t feel in the least bit Irish, nothing was open at 4:30 in the morning.
And then it was off to Berlin. No customs since I’d been through customs in Ireland, and I was out the door. No COVID test, no dramatic presentation of proof-of-relationship, no explaining that yes, I know there is a 30+ difference in our relationship. Can you imagine that in the US?
And then there was the tearful reunion with the Royal Indian Mounted Police. It’s been eight months, 20 days and 7 hours.