Here in Gutenberg Land,

we have now entered the phenomenon

known as the month of Möbius:

The time when everything that was inside suddenly turns on itself

and becomes outside.

Winter iceskating suddenly becomes in-line skating,

racing in huge  packs of fifty or more

yelling loudly as they race through the nearly dark streets.

Wearing skin-tight leotards

and helmets with flashlights, no less.

And the once per week “stammtisch”-

the table of regulars who meet to play a German wildcat card game called skat,

or discuss politics,

or the good old days,

or drink after a meeting of the local choir

or hobby group,

becomes a group that travels to the nearest available waterhole,

or sits outdoors under a tree,

and drinks watered (on purpose) drinks,

and laughs loudly,

and discusses politics,

and the good old days

in much larger groups.

(And as the sun goes down, and it is finally cool enough to eat,

to eat grilled hot dogs or onion-filled pork steaks.)

And then, of course, there are the winter wine-tastings,

that suddenly, with the full moon days,

and the long warm summer evenings,

become outdoor tables at a hut in the woods,

that sells only local wine

and pretzels, or goose-grease on bread.

And then, of course,

there are the wine festivals.

New wine, potent,

and dangerous,

because it tastes only of grape juice.

If it is streaky white

(white feathers)

stay with one glass only.

Then the new Beaujolais,

the prosecco evenings with outdoor showings of film classics

like Casablanca.

And of course, at the end of August, start of September, the entire place goes mad with wine festivals,

not part of my culture,

but very much a part of the culture here,

with wine a major part of the trade balance.

(And, of course, drinker or not, the view from the top of the high terraced mountainous vinyards is absolutely breaktaking.)

Or from the local castles-

of which we have an incredible contingent here in Gutenberg land.

All up and down the Rhine.

And the 05 football fans, the big red, meet not to watch football,

at least their football,

but for outdoor showings of the Europe cup,

or old game tapes.

Or just to sing the local fight songs.

Then there are the local carnival clubs,

who often go on vacation together to plan the new campaign,

which starts in November.

And the cheerleaders, “dance mice” ie the youth dance groups,

can-can clubs, etc

do outdoor tournee  dancing,

or  public performances,

often at the wine festivals.

And, of course, this is the month when mathematicians here in Gutenberg land finally have a month off from work.

And head off on vacation.

To a place the wives, or male partners,

have carefully chosen to not be anywhere near a university or a library, or a conference,

and have tried,

at least three times,

to unpack the math books in their luggage,

only to discover that they are actually staying quite near the famous Fields institute,

and that math hubby has,

sometime between unpacking, and dinner,

managed to get himself invited to give a lecture.

Which is why math wives always carry a small computer,

with lots of writing work to do.

Hey outside is outside.

And it could be worse, of course.

The wife of a musician friend,

the cantor of a class A (cathedral) church,

told me that after she insisted they go off to a house in the country with their children,

where no one could find him,

he bought a middle-sized pump organ,

and fit it into a u-haul trailer they rented,

so he could practice daily before his concert series in September.

And since there wasn’t any room left in the u-haul,

after he put in the music and bench, etc

she and the kids had to sit on the suitcases.

All the way to France.

copyright 2016


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