I returned to Bratislava from Prague on Palm Sunday with a cold and was not fully well on Zelený štvrtok, Green Thursday. Still, I walked to the university to tape English words for two hours with Rado, my phoneticist office mate.
When I returned home, I resumed reading Patrick Leigh Fermor’s A Time of Gifts, his memoir of a 1934 walk across Europe. I had meant to follow him along the Danube during my first week in Vienna back in January and arrive with him in Bratislava by February, but I had abandoned him somewhere between Munich and Salzburg.
I joined him again as I stretched on the bed under the light Tesco polyester comforter, doubling up the pillow for a headrest. What luxury! I reached Linz, Hitler’s hometown, with Fermor and drifted asleep, waking to struggle through his description of the Danube School of artists, imagining paintings I had never seen.