Did I mention that the Austrians observe eight hundred Christian holidays a year? Not quite as many as the Ethiopians (who actually do celebrate more than a hundred per year) but close. Last Thursday was Himmelfahrt, which means "unpleasant odor in Heaven," (though I don't know why they celebrate that.) So Friday was a "window day"--stuck between a holiday and a weekend--and many of the not-so-hard-working Austrians took that off as well.
The streets were rainy and empty when I walked the kids to school. The halls of the place were half-dark. It made me remember something: when I was a kid, if I knew a place as busy and bustling, then it was really uncanny to see it quiet and deserted. Quiet hallways, different echoes, everyone missing.
Now I'm older, more sentimental, more egotistical. So my first impulse was to wonder if V. and Adinah think of these quiet days as somehow magical. Or maybe they think big empty buildings are scary.
But I like these days. It seems like I could take a nap on a street corner and no one would mind. Or notice. Schedules forgotten, everyday frenzies AWOL, all peevishness and stress evaporated. The city becomes dreamy. I drift off....