My Idea of Hell

We’re both sick today–nausea, fever, chills, malaise, aches & pains.  I tell Dan that what we need next is a car crash.  That would round everything out quite nicely.

We call our translator to ask her to please inform the orphanage director we won’t be visiting today.  First, it would be rude to bring germs into the orphanage, and second, the orphanage goes into quarantine when things like this happen, and this would affect our court date, which is this Thursday, September 25.

So today, we spend all day in bed.  Dan would probably have something funny  and smart-alecky to say, but he’s too sick to say it.

See those bookcases above?  How majestic and grand they look?  And the books–loads of them?  It even looks like the top four rows (!) are classics, given the uniform book jackets.  Except there’s one problem.  They’re all in Russian.  Yalta is more a Russian town than Ukrainian town, so I’m guessing that’s the language they’re in.

Do you know how awful this is–to have shelves of books just a few steps away, but absolutely no skill to read them?  It’s a tragedy!  I found only one book in English.  Yachting Pages 2007-2008–a super yacht marine directory–full of marina maps and advertisements for crews, port services, and yacht equipment.  It was very interesting reading, but I think I’d have to agree that the two best days of owning a boat might be the day you buy it and the day you sell it.  At least on this grand a scale.  Or maybe if you had that much money, it wouldn’t matter, because someone else would be doing the scut work.

It reminds me of the Twilight Zone Episode in which an old, crotchety, nearsighted man exits his fallout shelter (I may be getting this wrong, because I have no way to look this up right now), to realize that he’s the last living being on earth.  He’s ecstatic because he’s always thought that people were a nuisance.  His joy reaches new glorious heights when he discovers the library is still standing–intact and full of wonderful books.  He’s delighted; he’s overjoyed.

Until his glasses fall off, and he accidentally steps on them (I can’t remember how they break at this point–if they break when they fall off his head, or if they break when he steps on them).  His day has turned to night, and he’s crestfallen.  The End.

That’s me.  Here in Yalta.  Sick and no books to read, except for the last few pages of The Man in the Iron Mask, which I’ve been trying to read slowly, so it lasts longer, much like sucking on a lozenge; eventually, it’ll completely dissolve, and there’s nothing I can do to stop it.

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The quote I live by

Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.
--Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet

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