With great expectations, 31-year-old Mathilda leaves her dog and local volleyball club in her home town Grünkraut in Baden-Württemberg to find work as a German teacher in New York. Following an affair with a priggish, rather dull and madly enamored student in her class, she – to avoid further temptation – returns home, disillusioned. Everyone in Grünkraut now learns from Mathilda that existence in the provinces, no matter how hard, is morally superior to that in the cruel dark city.