Yeah, right. My track record on this is less than stellar. Still, WordPress has announced that it’s offering daily suggestions on topics, and I thought, Why not? I’ll bite. I could use the inspiration.
Not that the Common theme has run its course, not yet, anyway. I actually have some photos that I’ve been meaning to upload to previous posts. But I’ve been waiting for the first snowfall to add to the cycle, and not only is it late, our “blizzard” has come and gone and left maybe two inches of snow in patches — the rest is bare brown earth. Ugh.
So, the first theme of the year is to list three countries you’d like to visit, and why. I can only think of one that I would still like to visit, and that one is, of course, Russia. I’d like to see it all for myself: the baroque brilliance of St. Petersburg, the zip and verve of modern Moscow, and, of course, the variety of churches in both places. I’d love to visit St. Xenia’s grave in person. I’d love to see the church where my favorite conductor conducts, and I’d love to see what he’s like when he rehearses his choir — is he the same “Mouse That Roared” that we all know and “love” from Jordanville??
Other countries that I would have liked to visit, in the past, are Germany and Holland. Germany, of course, because we lived there: I’d like to see our old haunts, what’s changed, what’s the same, and I’d like to create new memories: For too many years, Eisenach and Leipzig might as well have been on the back side of the moon, for all their inaccessibility in East Germany, and both are so closely associated with Bach, one of my two favorite composers, that who could resist?
Well, I could. From what I read, the feeling in Germany has changed; it was never a very pro-American country, and that’s just gone downhill over the decades. I’m not interested in making myself a target for anti-Americanism, especially when I agree with a lot of the criticisms.
The other country I’d have liked to visit is Holland. For one thing, what modern progeny of Nieuw Amsterdam could possibly resist seeing the original?! And then, Amsterdam has all those nifty-looking houses in its Old City…and those gorgeous windmills in the countryside (why do ours have to look so utilitarian?!)…and then, apparently, there’s this island where cars are actually forbidden, and the only mode of transportation possible is a bicycle…and there’s another town where the only mode of transportation possible is a boat…
I’d love to see it all. What I wouldn’t love to see is a knot of strung-out druggies littering the beautiful parks, or hookers cluttering up the canals. I don’t like seeing these things in my own country, either, but my attitude is, bad enough I have to look at it in my own country — I don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to go see it somewhere that should be more scenic.
Not to mention getting there in the first place, with our beloved TSA going out of its way to make travel as humiliating as possible, and then you have to fly eight or twelve hours on a cramped airplane with 500 other Dead Souls. I’m not up for it. Now, if the Russians ever went through with that rail line across the Bering Sea….