Sunday, February 20, 2011

Almost 24 door to door

Sixteen hours in the air. three hours to the airport and that hurry-up-and-wait of international flight. three hours late. Almost 24 door to door

Mattresses - it makes a difference. Despite all the hype Emirates (business) was just so-so. Fleet of black cars waiting for our flight. All new - a woman driving a  white Toyota wearing black from nose to toes flicks a cigarette out the three inch gap in the passenger side window. She's done this before.

We go to bed with the window open listening to the sigh of the traffic below. At 5:30 it sounds like an orchestra tuning up - riffs and trills, long notes and grace notes, practicing that difficult passage. Then the voices start - call to prayer. I am entranced, Wally says it's all recorded and automatic, just like the church bells in France. He rolls over and goes back to sleep - I must have too, for I wake half an hour later for a slower, softer sounding orchestra, reminds me of my childhood church days - "May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face shine upon you. May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace." Have you ever walked by an opera house when someone was having a lesson? Or a church when a choir was practicing? It's a bit illicit, those stolen notes, that music not meant for your ears. That is how I feel as I lie in bed.

I listen to the whine of a distant airplane, the shuffle of the traffic, At 6 I hear what I think is a really determined scooter. It's a leaf blower. Some things are the same everywhere.

We are in the Emerald City from the Wizard Of Oz. I have photos to prove it, but alas - they won't post.

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