Most of my neighbors past had moved to Bécs. It seemed like a particularly empty place to go. After all, in December the capital is quite empty. Mozart’s little memorium lies in the grass or in the snow unnoticed in the park. And all the buildings with their inhabitants fled to the villages and towns outside the main must be even colder over Christmas, even with leather gloves on both hands. Boulevards would be more deserted than usual. I stayed in the meantime near the Elbe on one side of the nearby brook where a small wooden ferry pulled pilgrims from one side of the water to the other, watching the ferryman plying his almost silent trade. That was the work of a ferryman: awaiting travelers needing to move themselves from one edge of the land to the other without having all their belongings soaked. Aeroplanes soared overhead. Wayfarers from hordes in faraway cities sought their escape between one border and another. I would hum a folk tune, one that Liszt, who had fingers reaching across fourteen keys on a piano, had re-set. The old empire he came from had been quickly divided into a table-puzzle between other sovereign nations at hand, once it was swept away. I lay in the sloping grass of the shallow hills singing to myself memories of Arabia in the 1890’s many green summertimes ago.