At first he had taken us for Poles, said the man sitting across from Katrin and me on the bus. Before we sat down in the bus we waited for a half hour on the main street in Elizabeth, New Jersey. We find that’s how we fit into the general business rhythm in Elizabeth. Later, Later, says everyone who we ask.
The man in the bus claims that he knows Poles very well. Most of the employees where he works are Poles, and he learned Polish because many of them don’t speak English. But then he didn’t let himself be deceived and noticed that we were not Poles but Germans. He himself emigrated from Brazil. Where we actually came from? From Manhattan, says Katrin. Manhattan he says and nods. Manhattan. “I have an ex-wife living there. Manhattan. That’s where my alimony goes.” They supposedly were married twenty years. He should remember the good times advises Katrin. There definitely must have been many. He clucks his tongue contemptuously. He is ok, he says, we should not worry about him. For three years he’s been with a new girl friend. Good, I’m happy says Katrin. He clucks his tongue contemptuously and says that we should watch out for each other.

After three hours, we get to Ikea. With relief we eat cheesecake and Tiramisu and look across the highway at the Newark Airport.

The thing with tables has turned out to be difficult. Everyone who is there to help us raises their eyebrows. I am sure it means, “Don’t dare to ask for anything else.”