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I’ve been in Los Angeles for over a week now and can’t seem to stop talking to strangers. I guess my extroverted nature has been bursting for air, leading me to shed the artificial reserve that serves me well for daily life in Germany. I also find myself wanting to board the occasional bus that I see pulling up to empty street corners with nary a smoker waiting to get on board. I’ve had my fill of crime stories, entertainment news, and sales tax, but can’t get enough of pumpkin scones, iced drinks, and free toilets.

Sami has to move too.

Sami has to move too.

I’m here because of an urgent need to move my mother to a new residence. It seems that Vintage Burbank, the upscale facility that we chose for her just over a year ago, cannot currently provide the level of care that we were assured she would be able to receive when we signed a contract and paid their hefty entrance fee. Her monthly expenses have now tripled due to a decline in her health and the outside care we have been required to obtain. The emotional strain of wrenching her out of her new home combined with the financial stress of our situation have made this trip to sunny California something less than a vacation.

I am convinced that the corporate “bottom line” is behind the facility’s lack of effort to help find a workable solution for our family. Would this have happened in Germany? Something to look into after my return to Berlin next week.