Just downstream from where I sit, a massive slab of slate rises almost five hundred feet above the Rhine River. From that wall, the Loreley sing their seductive songs, luring sailors to their deaths. I am safe behind the walls of this medieval town, tummy filled with saubrauten, potato dumpling and a lovely, tender green salad, its light touch rarely seens in the U.S.
This day began in Chicago O'Hare airport, boarding a United 747 headed to Frankfurt, Germany. I was in the very last row, the one with only two seats across rather than three, because the airplane's fuselage tapers to the tail, thus narrowing the interior cabin width.
Seated next to me was Oadan, a slight man perhaps in his late thirties, who teaches chemistry in secondary schools. He lives in Oklahoma City, and was flying to his homeland of Turkey. Very discreetly, after dinner, he began to pray, bowing forward as far as the restricted seating would allow, then read for some time from his Quram, bound in a beautiful green embossed material.
Oadan belongs to a group that promotes friendship between Americans and Muslims. Ironically, when two of my group of friends had flown to Germany the week prior, they also had been seated with a Turk who lived in Oklahoma City, who taught secondary school.
Oadan believes what is happening in the Middle East right now is good for not only the people in the Middle East, but in the whole world. And education, he insists, is what will better world relations.
|Bacharach main street|
|Bacharach and the Rhine River|
|Too cold yet for the summer flowers, these added color to the lanes of Bachrach.|