It hurt. The wind cut through the open plaza with the monuments to the defendants of the Brest Fortress. The fortress was attacked in the first minutes of the World War II. People there didn't have a chance, but they resisted the Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe for a week, burrowing into the stones of the Fortress, starving, fighting, until they couldn't resist the overwhelming odds anymore. The cold was unyielding. What we thought, what we felt didn't matter. So many dead. Were we any better off then them? My heart was breaking.
I'm ashamed to say this, but I had no desire to see Vienna. Any other time I'd be oohing and with everybody else. The light snow sprinkled streets that still remembered Mozart and Shubert and Freud. People seemed so carefree and friendly, it didn't seem possible. The grocery store where an old Ukrainian émigré brought us was filled with the goods that had nothing in common with the reality we left a couple of days ago. It was a dream, it had to be. It was a strange dream. I just didn't feel a part of it yet. Now I wish, I saw it all: the buildings and the plazas and the museums that boggle the mind with the beauty of their architecture, the concerts and the street fairs that make one's heart dance and sing. I didn't. But one day I will!