Since, as a singer, you almost never know where you are going to be,
and when you are going to be there,
and since I am married to a mathematician,
to whom a vacation consists of a conference near Disneyworld,
(with one day layover)
or Colorado Springs
(conference plus four days of beautiful mountain hiking)
Or twenty minutes on Peach Street
before the plane leaves,
you get used to taking what you can get.
And enjoying it thoroughly.
And since this has been a year that kept us both running
with all kinds of problems,
and places to be,
many fantastic and happy years with a man who still fascinates me, thank God-
trained opera singer,
and very very theoretical mathematician-
a sort of good-hearted,
(Did I mention patient…?)
So, as I said, our anniversary snuck up on us-
and with no plans up,
we were almost relieved to find ourselves returning from a gig
and stranded at an airport.
what the heck-
take a day off,
stay in a hotel,
wander the airport looking at people,
and unusual situations,
matching your pace to the buzzing tempo,
looking at all fascinating stores-
lots of fun even if you don’t buy anything.
We saw every local costume imaginable,
including a seven-foot plus black basketball player
in a conical lacquered rice straw hat-
great in the rain,
groups in Saris,
a nun with a very large group of Asian school children
dressed in school uniform,
eating noodle soup in a Chinese restaurant,
we looked at bizarre electronic gadgets,
and talked about our singing,
and that the first time we met,
we had dumped a Carnival Ball in Seattle
(yes, they do celebrated there.
A lot of the locals are,
or at least were, at our time as students,
from the Frankfurt area.)
(They also have Saturday school,
where you can take the state A levels-
the school-leaving exam that entitles you to study for free in Germany.
A member of the board of Education in Germany used to fly over to administer the exams.)
so we dumped the Carnival ball
to go to a madrigal concert-
Got to love a man like that.
And here we were-
and our second date was dinner of schnitzel,
a form of thin breaded pork steak,
at a restaurant on the University of Washington’s ave,
run by a couple from Nurnberg
who spoke dialect to us,
and dinner this Sunday night,
was at a pub run by the Paulaner brewery,
and eating, in my case, a boiled green cabbage dish,
in his case, yup, schnitzel,
served by a bubbly Turkish girl,
As a group of foreigners,
the women in local dress,
the men in baseball cap and tennis shoes,
stared at the beer mug on the table,
called a humpen,
and tried to understand what it was we were eating.
Since finely chopped kale
in a small tin frying pan does look a bit odd, I admit.
And then another large group,
international AI people from a place called New Work City-
a sort of super city only for AI people,
sat at a nearby table,
obviously studying what we and the other foreigners had ordered.
When we left,
they were chatting happily among themselves,
and one or two of them were actually singing.
we held hands,
and softly sang the Oscar Meyer wiener song,
and some of the funny girl scout songs,
I taught him early in the marriage,
since he had to that point never heard them,
and made our way back to the hotel,
to view the Dr Who Christmas special we had bought.
And wrap up tightly in a bed with a super-large and heavy duvet,
and thank God we are still together.
And laugh at the thought of what we will come up with next year.
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