From: Dan Wainblum [] 
Sent: 10. September 2006 23:00
To: ''
Subject: Hello!

Dear Edit,
About two weeks ago, I got a contact with our father and your mother.
And even though I have talked with them a couple of times, it is still hard to get it into my mind.
I knew about my father since I was 16, and I knew that I had a sister.
When I uncovered that the man who raised me was not my father, I was so angry that I did not want anything to do with "another guy".
I even did not want to read the letter he wrote.
In the sixties, he visited Poland, but I was still as stubborn as a donkey.
I was informed that you had to go to London and that it was an opportunity to meet you.
But you were part of the "package"!
I do not know if what I am writing makes some sense to you.
It is very difficult for me to write it, but I have to release all the feelings that came all of a sudden and overwhelmed me.
So let's go ahead.
With time, the feelings about that became less strong, and I did not think much about "another part of me".
And if I did it, the conclusion was: too late and too embarrassing to interfere in your lives.
Another thing was that my mother has covered whole this quite well. Everything was hush-hush, even after my actual father died in 1973.
I remember that when we went to Denmark (after 1976), I asked her once about our father's address in Australia (I think it was in the eighties), but I never got any answer.
She died in 1993. Life continued. I thought about my father from time to time, but I did nothing.
My wife, Tina, could not understand why I did not do anything to find my family.
But I had my life, my little family, and my job, which has forced me to travel much around the world. And when I was home, I was more than satisfied with my wife, my children, and my grandchildren.
In 2004, I was sent by my company to New Zealand. Before the departure, I discussed with Tina that this is the best opportunity to search for both of you. When I was there (almost eight months!), I made an internet search. The only thing I found in my mother's diary was just Sidney, Australia. I searched for M. Alabis. This was the name I knew and the name I had on my first school papers. Unfortunately, the search has not given any results.
When I came from New Zealand, we talked about it and concluded that the time had probably passed. My father probably passed away, and since you probably changed the name, the chances to do anything about it were next to none.
But life can be more complicated than the movie.
My school friend (from primary school in Poland), Lena, found me on the internet six months ago. By accident, she is also living in Sidney!
At the beginning of August month, my brother Hector died. He was seven years younger than me, and due to the age difference, we were never close, but he was my brother.
I was informed about his death when I was on holiday in Poland with my wife, my older daughter Nika and her children.
It was Nika who got the phone message about it. And her first words to me were: "Now you have to find your sister".
After the funeral, I wrote to Lena and asked if she could look for M. Alabis and his daughter.
It looks like she was quicker on the uptake than I was because when the search for Alabis did not give any results, she extended the search and found three Aladises. She asked me if I did not make a mistake in the searched name. I answered that, taking circumstances into consideration, I could not exclude that something could get lost in translation.
Before she answered me, I got a strange call on Thursday, 24th of August, early in the morning. It happens to be Dorothy, your mother!
After that, we had a couple of phone calls. And as a result, I am coming together with my wife to visit you all in the next month.
I promised Dorothy to come with all the details, but they will come later.
I have an e-mail confirmation from British Airways, but I want to have all the details before I begin to bother you
I can see that what I have written is very chaotic, but so is my mind at the moment.
It is difficult to digest suddenly getting a father and a sister.
But it is a nice feeling.
I do not expect anything from you. I just want to see you.
Dorothy has told me that you and Ross have planned to go to China, but if I just get an opportunity to see you a couple of days before your departure, I will be happy.
Dorothy has also mentioned that maybe you would postpone your China trip because of me, but I will feel bad if I, from the very beginning, will create any disturbances in your and Ross' lives.
My visit will disturb you anyway, but I want to see you as soon as possible.
And I understand that all of you have a life, and this has to go on, also after my departure.
So let us take it as easy as possible and get the best from the new situation.
I feel I have to finish this letter because it begins to be more and more chaotic.
Please, send a couple of words to me.
Your brother Dima (my name when I was little), Dan (my present nickname).

From: Dan Wainblum []
Sent: 12. September 2006 23:54
To: ''
Cc: editross
Subject: Hej from Denmark

My dearest Edit,
I had a hard day in the office.
But when I took a break and checked my private e-mail, I got a big reward.
I got an answer from you. Now I know I have a sister.
I knew it. I got a contact. I talked to our father and your mother.
But it was still like a distant mirage. Now I have got proof.
It is still difficult. I still have a problem calling him father or dad. For me, he is still Misha, as Dorothy calls him.
But I do not have any problem calling you my sister. You are real to me.
Despite what I wrote to you, I am not a sensitive guy. I have difficulty expressing my feelings.
I do not remember when I cried last time. But when I read your mail, I got a lump in my throat.

But back to the business.
To avoid too many misunderstandings, I am sending you a couple of pictures.
The first one is from our 30th wedding anniversary (2000) where you can see me, Tina, Nika (from the right) and Mira (from the left). The second one is one of our (Tina's and mine) latest pictures taken in our little garden. Then the picture of me and Mira at her wedding ceremony, the picture of Nika from the wedding party (both are from 2005), and one of the latest pictures of my grandchildren Ella, Jesper, and Nadya.
Nika is our oldest; she is 33 years old and divorced. Mira is 31 and just married.
Ella (8) and Jesper (4) are Nika's children, and Nadya (eight months) is Mira's little baby.
I will not bother you with the rest of the family connection (at least not yet), but be so kind and clear to me about the "Australian connection".
At the moment, I have a little mix-up of the names:
Edit (you), Ross (your husband?), Warren (your son?), Shirley (your daughter?), and James (your son-in-law).
I hope I got it right. Did I?

Waiting for your soon reply.

PS. All from my childhood call me still Dima. Tina and her family call me Dolek, which was my Polish nickname. In Denmark, they call me Daniel (officially) or Dan (friends). My daughters call me far (father), and my grandchildren call me morfar (mother's father).
So you can choose what suits you.

From: Dan Wainblum []
Sent: 16. September 2006 19:56
To: editmorrison
Subject: Practical matters

Dearest Edit,
I have got a flight confirmation from British Airways.
Dorothy and Misha have mentioned something about our accommodation in their flat during our stay, but I have a little problem with it. We are all at the age where we have our old habits, and I do not want to spoil our joy with some unnecessary disturbances.
The best guest is like a fish - it can start to smell after three days.
Because of it, I did a search for accommodation nearby.
The price is affordable, and the hotel quality looks OK.
Can you find out how much the parents will insist on our stay in their flat?
I do not want to hurt their feelings, but I think it would be best for all of us if we do not complicate the situation.
We will stay with you as much as possible, but it will be better to give all of us a little rest.
I hope you understand my concern and do not take it hard.
I need the answer as soon as possible. To get a favorable price I have to book and pay for the accommodation as soon as possible.
Your brother

From: Dan Wainblum []
Sent: 17. September 2006 15:48
To: 'Edit Morrison'
Subject: RE: Answer

Dearest Sis,
Thank you for the fast reply. I think that this arrangement will be best for all of us.
I have just made a booking. We have just got my grandchildren, so I have to finish this.
Sorry about that.
PS. I sent a letter with some photos to your parents yesterday.
Hope it will come soon.

From []
Sent: 20. September 2006 21:51
To: editmorrison
Subject: Hello

Dearest Sis,
Nika's flat is occupied by plumbers (renovation of the bathroom), and she has moved with children into our little house.
So after work, we have a pleasant (and noisy) afternoon until they are forced to bed.
Because we are crazy with our grandchildren, all other activities are canceled until they get permission to come home again (maybe at the beginning of next week).
How are you? Are you again on the level after Bali and returning?
How are the parents?
Dorothy has told me about her health problem, but I did not get anything to know about our father. How is he? How does he take the new situation?
Please write a couple of words.
Your brother

From: Dan Wainblum []
Sent: 22. September 2006 19:18
To: 'Edit Morrison'
Subject: RE: Photos

My beautiful little Sister,
Thank you very much for the photos. The grandchildren are great.
Jameson is a nice boy, and Rachel looks like she has a lot of gunpowder. Am I right?
I cannot read Naomi, but Warren looks like a happy man!
Shirley is a beautiful woman, and Dorothy looks like a Queen.
And our father... What shall I say? A nice, quiet old man.
I try to see me in him or him in me, and it is difficult. How was he 20 years ago?
OK. It will be difficult because he still has the hair I have lost (joke).
Today I got a letter with the pictures from Dorothy and Misha.
There was also one picture with you together with Ross, Jameson, Ross' mother (?), and Dorothy.
And two pictures of our father. I took the picture, and we were staring at each other.
I am looking forward to seeing him, you, Dorothy, and the rest of your family.

From: Dan Wainblum []
Sent: 24. September 2006 21:18
To: 'Edit Morrison'
Subject: RE: Photos

Dearest Sis,
The small ones are in bed.
Nika's flat is still occupied by workers, but she seems to like the situation where the children are partially "sold" to the grandparents. One can say we have more or less controlled chaos in our little house and life, but we enjoy every minute of it.
For the last three weeks, I have had a group from Iraq for the in-house technical training.
I have "sold" the training sessions to the specialists (24 lecturers), but a part of the training will be performed by me. Because, apart from my duty as a training manager, I seem to be one of the "specialists".
My training sessions are scheduled for the next week, and I planned to make the preparation of the presentations for the weekend.
But my grandchildren are more important to me, and it will be a very limited preparation time. Fortunately, it is not the first time I have had that job; even a part of the program will be totally new.
So long live improvisation!
At the end of the week, the group will (at last) depart to Iraq. I have three days' trips to Slovakia next week and one day of of in-house training for some Russian guys, just two days before our departure for Australia.
And then...
Dearest Edit, you do not know what kind of crazy guy your brother is.
The Australian fairytale is new, but I feel like I have talked to you for ages.
And each time I have sent an email, I am like a little boy expecting candy.
I open my mail, aware that it is too soon to get anything, but I do it anyway.
And I am saying to myself. Do not be stupid. She has her own life and duties, and you should not bother her too much before you meet each other. But I do it anyway.
Maybe because I cannot do it with our father.
It looks like it will be easier to talk than correspond. And what I cannot say to him, I say to you.
And then the language.
I am born in Russia, where I spent the first five years of my life.
I lived in Poland for thirty years. And now I am living in Denmark.
I talk Polish with Tina and her family. But my grandchildren's native language is Danish.
When I think about my wife and daughters, I do it in Polish, but when I think about my grandchildren, I do it in Danish.
Now, when I think about you, I do it in English.
And what about our father? It looks like almost forgotten Russian!
Now you know what I mean with your crazy brother.
Of course, all the languages are mixed together from time to time.
Polish because we do not use it with the Poles. Danish because it is not our native language, and no matter how much we try, we are not able to have decent pronunciation.
The same with English because it is the language I have not learned in school (it was only Latin and Russian), but in different countries where I have been working, and where they were as good as I was at do the mistakes.
I had problems understanding the people in India, even though I knew they spoke English.
I had almost the same troubles in New Zealand and in Wales.
So it will also be a kind of fun with Aussies.
I am looking forward to it.

From: Dan Wainblum []
Sent: 25. September 2006 22:19
To: editmorrison
Subject: And again

Dearest Sis,
That was a typical Jewish story.
Why do we have to speak so many languages?
In the old days, Yiddish was enough, but the tradition has gone.
In my home, Yiddish was a language used between my mom and dad, and I had to understand what they said in order to be on level. But have never learned to speak.
In my first school year, I was sent to a Yiddish school and managed to be there for six months.
Due to my behavior, the parents were forced to transfer me, in the middle of the school year, to another school.
The problem was that there I met boys I was together in a Yiddish colony one year before. At that time, I was (very) skinny, and because of it, I tried to avoid all boyish confrontations. That was what they remembered. They did not know I spent the last time before school with "goyim"-boys and had learned to fight. So each day, one of these boys in the school got a taste of my fists.
So I was transferred to another school, and this was a Hebrew school! I was a star in the first class (at least in the beginning) because our schoolmistress was dating my uncle. I was also appointed to ask "The Four Questions" at the school Passover, and that was my fifteen minutes of fame. The connection between my uncle and the school teacher went apart, and the school was closed.
I was sent to an ordinary public school, and that was the end of my Yiddish education.
The same was with Yiddish traditions.
My mother was a bit more religious than my dad was.
We hold the Passover tradition until the end of the fifties, and then it has died a natural death.
By the way, my school friend Lena (who lives in Sidney!) had sent me Shana Tova, and your brother goy had asked when it was!
It was Lena, who helped me to find our father, but she did not know it. Our father has told her that he knew my mother before the war, and that's it.
Theoretically, I have stopped to travel for my company. But practically, I take some short trips if the time and the training program allow it. The trip to Slovakia is only partially customer training. The main task will be an evaluation of their mill installation. After 27 years in the same company and 18 years of travel as a commissioning engineer, I am a recognized milling specialist. Everything you ground, except coffee beans, is my specialty.
I have never been to Iraq, and I hope never to go there. Turkey, Pakistan, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and Morocco are more than enough for me. So I have no desire to visit more Arabic countries.
When I travel, I always have my portable PC with me. And if I can find an internet connection, I can always get and send emails.
As far as I know, there is eight hours difference between Sidney and Copenhagen. It will probably change to ten hours at the end of October when you switch to summertime, and we switch to wintertime.
In New Zealand, the original difference was ten hours but was changed to twelve hours. So for me, it was a real "down under".
Dorothy and Misha have called me a couple of times and once or twice made a mistake of the time difference. One time they woke us up at 1:30 AM, and at 6:00 AM (Saturday) the other time.
Last time we talked a little about the names. If I am Daniel, Dan, Dima, or what? And stupid as I am, I have told Dorothy a joke about what we used to say in Denmark: "Call me what you want, but not too early in the morning".
I do not think they are afraid to call me because of it. Practically all things are settled, and one can only wait until the time has come. But the thought is funny. Isn't it?
Before the kids went to bed, I was appointed (by Jesper) to play with him.
I am his hero and his best playmate.
So I was for Ella when she was at Jesper's age.
Now I am too childish for her. Or maybe not. But Jesper is a very time-consuming child.
So we have some meaningful conversations when Jesper is not present.
I try to be a good listener, and Ella enjoys being heard.
Tina claims that I am too childish when I am with the kids, and I forget that I am a grown-up person. But they like it very much, and this counts for me more than anything else.
According to Dorothy, Warren should be 33 and Shirley 31 (as my daughters).
How old are Jameson and Rachel?
I am sitting in my "computer room" and hiding from the others (Tina and Nika).
The meaning was to go through the presentations for tomorrow's training session.
But it ends just with the email to you.
They will never find it out anyway.

From: Dan Wainblum []
Sent: 26. September 2006 23:04
To: 'Edit Morrison'
Subject: And me there

Dear Sis,
I am cheating. I read your mail six hours ago.
When I finished my training session, I went to the office and opened my webmail.
And there it was. I read it only three times and then went back to my horses.
The Iraqi trainees are easy to cope with. So they have never found that the last two days were a big improvisation, covered with plenty of old PowerPoint presentations. This is the fourth week of the intensive training course, and they are tired of eight hours of new stuff each day. I am also tired because I do not get help from my department. All the others are occupied with the parallel running International Seminar. So I am on my own as a training manager and a mail girl in one person.
In the morning, I found in the mailbox an e-ticket to Vienna (by car to Bratislava in Slovakia) and the confirmation of the Australian ETA visa (valid until 2014). So it looks like we are ready to go.
I am glad that Warren can make it. Dorothy told me about it two weeks ago, so I do not think it will be a big surprise for them.
It seems to me you love to make pleasant surprises for each other.
Same over here. Tina is not able to hold anything nice in secret. Even if we agree that the girls will get it to know at the more suitable or the agreed occasion, she will tell it as soon she sees them. I have also difficulties holding surprises hidden from her.
She is a lovely person, and I am a happy husband to her. For me, she is worth her weight in gold. I am not an angel, and she could stand me for so many years!
We had a hard time when we left Poland.
New country, new people, a new language, new customs, and an unknown future.
Problems to find a place for us, to get a job, to get a life.
A short time after we bought our house, she lost her job. The situation at my company was also critical. The world selling market went down, and the only solution was to cut personnel expenses.
When I joined the company in 1979, it employed 2400 in Copenhagen (14000 around the world). In 1989, we were down to 1100.
This was one of the reasons I shifted to the commissioning department and chose the traveling job.
After two months of job in the UK, I was sent to India and stayed there for seven months.
We were all happy when I went home. But Tina asked me if I realized that, without saying it, we had chosen a separation. And it was very true. Before my journey to India, we had many problems, and they affected our relationship.
So during my absence from home, it could go either way.
But we have realized that we had more things holding us together than the others.
She was very brave. She held the family together when I was (very much) abroad.
She took all the fights with the teenage girls when I was only on the sideline.
So what I have achieved in my life, I owe her.
Dear Edit,
Are you keeping our chat secret from your parents? Do you play a small secret game?
Your cunning brother thought that he is talking with our father through you.
Silly me. It is easier for me to email you than write something meaningful to our father.
And in what language should I write to him to be more personal? Polish? Russian? (too rusty).
And I do not want to bypass Dorothy, who is probably holding all your family together.
It looks like it should wait until we arrive in Australia.
This mail begins to look more and more chaotic.
So it will be better to stop for today.

From: Dan Wainblum []
Sent: 29. September 2006 17:24
To: 'Edit Morrison'
Subject: RE: jam on the line - not rcvd

My dearest little Sister,
I did it again.
I was so eager to reply from the office that I again used my remote.
Everything I wrote on Wednesday got lost, and I was forced to re-create it from memory (which is still good, but very short). When I did it and was almost finished with the amendments, I did something stupid, and gone it was again.
I have just arrived home and try to write to you right away, even if it is too late for you to get it today.
First free re-creation of my missing mail:
"Dearest Sis,
Sorry, sorry, sorry.
I have realized that what I have written about the secrets could sound like reproaches.
That is not true. It's just another proof of your brother's sense of humor (understand who can). Of course, I have nothing against sharing my emails with the rest of the family.
Very strange.
I taught that only Tina and I are alienated from an enthusiastic crowd.
We do not have many friends. And our social life is very limited. We can be social when it counts, but it is not our biggest ambition. We prefer to be together, even if we do not talk much. Just the feeling of one's closeness is enough.
The only exceptions are our girls and grandchildren. And we are also crazy about them.
When Ella (our oldest grandchild) was born, Tina was asked how it feels to become a grandmother.
Her answer was: "It's lovely, except for the feeling you sleep with a grandpa".
After the girls left the nest (Nika when she was 18, Mira at 25) we were alone in our house with the animals. But the last dog (Tina's comrade when I was abroad) died two years ago, and the last cat (remainings of Nika's menagerie - 17 years old) passed last year. That is why I had to stop my travel - Tina likes to have at least one animal around.
Thank God everything is OK with our father. I hope we get enough time together, even if most of it will be remote.
Concerning the sightseeing, we do not have any clue. Our major goal is to be with you until you become tired of us (at least for a while). But of course, we do not say no, if something interesting can be seen.
I am writing this mail in the office because I could sell my Iraqi guest to another lecturer.
But now I have to go back to them, even though I most of all want to stay with you.

That is more or less what I have written in the lost mail.
It looks like you have it in the same way as I do with our little chat.
Tina is laughing that I became crazy with my sister, and this is probably true.
Concern Tina:
She has not been well for the last couple of years.
Now she is going through the periodical tests. This is one of the reasons we could not visit you sooner. We are positive everything is well, but we get it to know at the final visit to the hospital, which is scheduled for the 9th of October.
Monday afternoon I am going to Slovakia. I am taking my portable PC with me, and if I get a plug in the hotel room, I can receive and send emails as usual.
Now I know you do not get this mail today. It is 1:00 AM in Australia.
I could not do it better. I needed to stop this writing because Tina called me on my mobile from the shopping mall. I had to help her with the goods. She thought I was still at work.
I have written about the letter it is because I have sent a letter no. 3 yesterday (also with some photos). It looks like the letters are going quite slowly, but I hope they will come to you before us.
I will try to surprise your folks tomorrow.

From: Dan Wainblum []
Sent: 30. September 2006 13:39
To: 'Edit Morrison'
Subject: RE: me here

Dearest Sis,
I do not know what happened, but after I read your mail, I had to talk with someone.
And stupid as I am, I called your folks and was just to ask them what is going on with you and get rid of my worries.
Fortunately, I got only the answering machine. After that, I realized that it would make your folks more worried about you. And anyway, my call would make some muddles. I was a little bit angry with myself because I again did things without thinking about the consequences.
I had to go with Tina to Nika's flat and help after the plumbers. I also was appointed as a repairman (Ella's bike was not in order). After an investigation, I decided to call the bike workshop. My mobile phone went dead, and I had to use the one, I use at work. And there were six SMS messages from your parents.
I went home and phoned them. We have talked and talked. They told me a bit more about your problem, and I felt they took it comparably well.
I must confess that my reaction was a little bit out of proportion. When I was thinking about it, I felt almost physical pain. Recently I had a such feeling only once when Tina was on 8-hour surgery, and I could not get any information before she was transferred to intensive care.
I cannot understand myself. I am worried about you like you have been my child.
I even do not know you. We have good mail correspondence, and I saw your lovely smiling face in the pictures. But I even do not know if I can talk with you as freely as I can write.
You should not be worried if I can like you because I love you. You are a part of my heart, and you are not able to do anything wrong.
At the time you are in the hospital, I am in Slovakia, but I have my work mobile with me, and Ross can SMS me when this is over or whenever he gets time to do it. He can also send a mail. I take my portable PC, which can take it. It looks like only my remote at work makes a muddle when I try to send a mail.
Sorry I am not able to write about anything else.

From: Dan Wainblum []
Sent: 1. October 2006 10:58
To: 'Edit Morrison'
Subject: RE: Good morning

Dearest Sis,
I am not that slow at all. OK. I do not run a steeple chase and take an elevator when I have an opportunity to do it. But this is just a precaution. Do not tease the devil if it is not necessary.
At my 172 cm height, I keep 80 kg combat weight (full uniform and shoes). Maybe too much, which is what a slight belly confirms. But not that bad at all (I think).
I tried to find some presentable pictures of mine, so you could proudly present me to the world, but it is a little bit difficult. When I was young, I looked like a movie star (mom said), but the tooth of time has taken a big part of my beauty (jeer, who is that guy?). When I was young and handsome, I rode my horse and fought the dragons until I got my princess, and now she is too tired to seek a better option. Now, when I have decided I am bald, I am at peace with myself.
I sent you a "fixed" picture of me, which is almost the same your folks will get in letter no.3 (printed together with text). It is cut from the photo made at Memorial Cross in Whangarei (NZ) where I was so close to you. I sent you another picture (Bratislava last year when I visited the same factory and stayed with Tina for a couple of days). It has a better solution (more than 400 KB) and will probably be easier to work with.
Have to finish now.
We are going to the Jewish cemetery to fix a little bit my mother's grave. Will do the undertaker job and replace the dirty gravel with a new one. Then I will visit my late brother. He is not buried in a Jewish cemetery. Even our mother and his father-in-law are. His wife is only half Jewish, and the orthodoxies from the Jewish community in Copenhagen do not make any exceptions. So my sister-in-law has bought three grave places close to the Jewish cemetery (for him, her, and her mother). This is one of the things holding me far away from religion and its belongings.
I will go today because I cannot do it tomorrow (with Tina to hospital in the morning, three hours in the office, flight to Vienna, and then by rented car through the border between Austria and Slovakia to Bratislava).
PS. Please pass my regards to Ross.

From: Dan Wainblum []
Sent: 1. October 2006 17:05
To: editmorrison
Subject: Jom Kipur

Dearest Sis,
Just short.
I was at the cemetery.
Told my mother about you and our father.
There was no answer, like when she lived. No surprise to me.
May she rest in peace.
I sent you a picture of her grave.
It's up to your discretion if you want to show it to our father or not.
I am not sure about his reaction, and maybe it will be too much for him.
You know better.

From: Dan Wainblum []
Sent: 3. October 2006 01:37
To: 'Edit Morrison'
Subject: RE: Jom Kipur

Dearest Sis,
I have just fixed the internet connection in the hotel and got your mail.
I must confess that I have been checking my mailbox from 4 AM Danish time (the first time I woke up), a couple of times in the morning before we left for the hospital and a couple of times in the office. And when I had to pack my laptop and take a taxi to the airport. I feel a little bit stupid with that obsession with my little sister, but I cannot do anything about it. It does not mean you have to feel obliged to write more or more often. Take it easy. Your brother is a big boy; even he acts like a child looking for more candies.
The visit to the hospital went pretty well. We got an explanation about Tina's problems, which happen to be quite normal in the restitution time. We will get the final information about the test results next Monday.
I went to the airport in good time but was just about to miss the flight.
There was something wrong with my passport.
When I told Tina about my trip to Slovakia, she took our passports from the drawer, where they were after our vacations in Poland, and gave me mine. So I could put it immediately in my briefcase, which I did.
I had an e-ticket, so I could make check-in without going to the counter. But of course, the machine did not recognize my reservation number, and I landed at the check-in counter. I was almost finished with the formalities when the guy asked me if I am going to Vienna alone or in the company of someone. The trip was planned for me, and another specialist, so I answered yes, but I have probably missed the guy and will probably meet him on the plane. But that was not what I was asked about. The guy at the counter said that it was not my passport! Angry as I was, I took the passport, and surprise, surprise! The picture in the passport was ... Tina's! So I took my luggage, rushed out to find a taxi and went home again. I reached Tina by phone, and she had my passport in hand when I arrived in the taxi home. If such a thing happened 20 years ago, I would be mad at her and all the rest of the world, and I will not talk with her for at least a week. Does not matter that a part of the guilt was mine (I could take a look inside the passport before putting it in the briefcase). She would be blamed, even not in words.
But as it was now, we laughed, and I gave her a "long kiss goodbye".
I met my colleague on the plane, and we arrived in Vienna on schedule. The only thing I have not counted was the arrival time. It was 6:30 PM, and when I got the rented car, it was completely dark. I printed the road map from Vienna airport to the hotel in Bratislava, but it was quite different in the dark. So even though I have appointed my colleague to the pilot position, we have made a couple of mistakes. We missed one exit and had to drive additional 30 km (15 to find the next intersection, 15 to come back). We turned right instead of left and used fifteen minutes to find the start point. I turned 300 meters too fast and got stacked in the middle of the Bratislava suburb. Fortunately, I could use my Polish, and finally, we arrived at the hotel.
And I convinced the receptionist that I had the reservation for three nights, not as they claimed only for one.
The only thing I have to manage is to find my way to the factory. I was there last year, but I lived in a different place, and before I got a car, I was driven a couple of times by people who knew the way. So if I manage to come to the factory tomorrow, I can start to worry about what is actually the job I have to do (I have not had time to read the papers - long live improvisation + experience).
I was not sure about the picture of my mother's grave. I did not think. It was an impulse. But on the other hand, I taught that maybe our father needs the ending of his story with my mother, and the picture of her grave maybe will do it. I do not know. I put two stones on her grave (one from me and one from our father).
To make the story less serious, I have to tell you what happened before the picture was taken.
As I told you, I had done the undertaker's job and replaced the gravel in the grave. I took a little transport bag on wheels into the trunk and tried to use it to transport the bags with the gravel from the car to the grave. Of course, I put too many bags on it, and it went apiece. I stayed as an idiot at the cemetery entrance, not knowing what to do and hearing Tina telling me a usual story about my ability to plan anything (story of my life). Fortunately, I got permission to drive the car inside the cemetery. Close to the grave and found a wheel barrel close to the chapel. So I could conclude the job in a comparatively short time. End of story.
Religion and where to be buried.
Tina wants to be burned to ashes because she is afraid of bugs in the earth. And what we want to do with her ashes is up to us. She has asked me what I prefer if something happens, but I do not have any meaning about this. Frankly speaking, I do not care what happens with my carcass. My spirit (if something like this exists) will be free. No pain (no brain) for the deceased. But plenty of sorrows for those alive. It will not be a Jewish cemetery because if I have to be put in some place, it has to be close to my wife. And with these guys from the congregation, I do not give a dam of the tradition.
I do not want to hurt your feelings. I know that what you feel about religion is what you got from your upbringing, and this is how you are. My experience with religion was always negative; even the tradition as such was sometimes entertaining.
I recognize the necessity of religion for some people. It can give a feeling of belonging to a group. To be a part of something special. It can give comfort and relief to suffering souls.
It can force people to follow the rules and be better humans. But this also can be achieved without religion. It just needs a high level of ethics.
I do not know if God exists. But I believe in a kind of an undefined power that controls our doings and life (take, for example, our story).
There was a Polish novelist whose name is Stanislaw Lem. He was a professional doctor. But he was better known as a science fiction writer. The movie "Solaris" is based on his book written in the fifties. I read almost all his books, even them, which were too sophisticated for me ("Summae technologiae"). The books I liked most were "Ijon Tichy's cosmic travels", and "Cyberiada".
The first one is a collection of the travel stories of the title figure, where he visits different worlds in the galaxy.
The second one is a cosmic fairy tale about two cosmic scientists who can create everything from mathematical algorithms. And the book is a crazy mix of the newest science and a childish story.
One of the stories in "Ijon Tichy's travels" is about a crazy professor who claims he has created a new world in his lab.
Tichy is invited to see that world. The lab is filled up with strange boxes connected to some electrical cables. In the middle of the lab, there is a kind of rotating cylinder with plenty of needle pickups running on it.
The professor claims that, by employing electrical impulses, he has created the electrical brains in these boxes. And because all human feelings are a kind of impulse the human brain receives, it is possible to generate all the filings in the way of an electrical impulse. You are blinded by the light because your brain tells your pupils that the light is too strong. You feel pain because your brain gets a signal that something is pinching preceptors on your skin. And because of these signals, you feel (impulse again) joy, sorrow, distress, disbelief, madness, love, hate, cold, hot, hungry, full, sleepy, and awake.
And the professor says that the boxes are fed with such electrical impulses.
In one of the boxes, there is a mind of a beautiful girl. She got created an electrical impulse picture of herself as a blond, slim goddess. And she received an electrical impulse that she has felt in love with a handsome boy who adores her. At the moment, she is in the shower and feels her body wet from the water stream. In another box, there is a brain of a scientist who is on the edge of epoch-making invention. And he is working on it all the time, without breaks for eating or sleep. There are plenty of others personalities trapped in the boxes. And what happens to them is written on that big cylinder, which needle pickups send the events, written on the cylinder's grooves, to the boxes. And if the pick-up slips to another groove, the electrical signals change the box's story continuation. And if some of them have a feeling that they recognize the place they have never seen before and have the certainty of what will show around the corner of this new place, it's because the parasite current has jumped from the groove, which should reveal at the next turn of the cylinder.
There is one box, which is placed far away from the others. The professor tells Ijon Tichy that this is the lab world's fool. It gets the same kind of signals from the cylinder but does not believe in them. It thinks that all of this is a big humbug. That it is a box fed by some artificial electrical impulses created by someone who treats it like an experiment.
When Ijon Tichy asks the professor if he has the same feeling that they all are also toys in the Big Puppeteer's lab, the visit is over.
Why do I tell that story to you? First of all, after I read that story, I got the same strange feeling. And I could compare my theory of the undefined force with the "Big Puppeteer".
The time is late (1:15 AM). So I have to stop. Otherwise, you get an even bigger headache.
Edit dear. Do not use the time to answer me. I know you will be very busy today. Just confirm you had time to read it.
Love you.

From: Dan Wainblum []
Sent: 4. October 2006 23:46
To: editmorrison
Subject: Welcome back

Dearest Sis,
If you read this mail, it means you are back home.
Your brother is crazy. I do not know what happened to me.
Normally, I do not react like an idiot. But when I did not get any info about you, I went amuck.
My sick imagination went on overtime, and I do not want to tell you what kind of thoughts I had.
Fortunately, after unsuccessful contact with Ross, I got in touch with your folks.
And after that, I could remember what you wrote about angiography you should have.
So do not be sorry. It is not your fault. It's just me who does not think clearly.
After the meeting with the client, which took three-quarters of the day, they asked me to inspect the installation.
And you can see how I look after a very detailed inspection inside.
This is the only thing I hate in my job. To go inside the mill, where the atmosphere is humid, hot, and dusty. And it takes between half an hour to two hours before everything is measured, samples are taken, pictures are made, and data recorded.
After that, the analysis of the data, description of necessary procedures, instruction of the personnel, recommendation of the changes in the control system, und so waiter, was a piece of cake.
It is unnecessary to understand all that Volapük I have just written without thinking about why I do it.
You were tired and sleepy when I bombed you with my SMS yesterday evening.
How are you today? Are you again fit for a fight? Good. That's my girl.
I am sitting in the hotel room, and the time is close to midnight.
I have to survive the day tomorrow in the factory where I cannot get an internet connection.
Their intranet is not compatible with my PC program - I have checked it.
Then have to drive to Vienna. Probably will get lost, but not really.
I promised to call your folks Friday morning Danish time.
For any reason afraid to talk by phone with you (what is the matter with him?).
Better go to bed.

From: Dan Wainblum []
Sent: 5. October 2006 23:42
To: 'Edit Morrison'
Subject: RE: Welcome back

Dearest Sis,
I am back home. I saw your mail in Vienna when I used the internet hub in the lounge.
I remember my angiography despite it being 16 years ago. And it is because of six hours in a horizontal position, after the angiography search was over, without the possibility to move. And that awful pain in the ... buttock (what do you think?).
I knew you were special, but this is not in the way I prefer it.
I sent Ross only one SMS. OK. I supposed that his answer for mine "? Dan" will be "! Edit", but I understand Ross very well. As you have written, he is straight away, and it is difficult to understand pseudo-sophisticated bullshit from a guy he almost does not know. Especially, when one's mind is occupied with something more serious. So my fault, not his.
What is the matter with us? I am afraid to talk with you, you are afraid of not having anything to say. Do we think that the other one can have too high expectations?
Too bad. It looks like we have pretty smooth e-mail contact.
So why should we not have it in a loud way? But you are right. Let it wait until we meet face to face. No hugs today. Will wait for your full recovery.

From: Dan Wainblum []
Sent: 6. October 2006 22:26
To: 'Edit Morrison'
Subject: RE: Goodnight, going to sleep

Dearest Sis,
We are occupied by people from Jutland. It means my youngest daughter Mira has arrived from Kolding late afternoon with Nadya (our youngest grandchild) and Thomas (her husband). Nadya has a strong voice, especially when she is not satisfied. And she is in a period where she demands her mummy to be with her all the time. After four weeks of absence, she was a bit afraid of the grandparents. I could charm her with my childish hide-and-show-up game. But to get her in my arms was too much for her. Now she is asleep, the rest of the company is watching TV, and I am hiding in my "computer room".
I cannot claim that my visit to Slovakia was a success, but they are still convinced that "the big medicine man" was with them.
To keep them in this illusion, I have to write a report. I wanted to do it today in the office, but of course, I was a little bit in a hurry to leave the house in the morning (I called your folks and talked too much), and then there were some small businesses in the office, as usual after a couple of days absence. And when I turned on my portable PC (all info from the trip not in memory, but files), I realized that the power supply was left home.
I spent the rest of the day with the remaining Iraqi course and wrote some internal emails to the people involved in the Slovakia case. But it looks like I have to do the job at home when the Kolding invasion is over (Sunday evening).
Meanwhile, we get an additional visit from Nika with her kids, and possibly my beloved Mother in Law will visit us to see her grand-grandchildren. All this is scheduled for Saturday. Because this is the only opportunity for a family gathering before our departure for Australia.
I talked with your folks, and it went much better than before. It looks like we are more familiar and comfortable with each other. That's good.
I can still write only about "our father" (not mine), but now there is a good chance that I will dare to treat him as my "tatele".
I am a little bit afraid that your folks started to idealize me. I was always good to made an impression when it counts. And it looks like I have succeded in mesmerizing my little sister. And now they swallow, without a trace of criticism, everything you give them from my emails. I should be thrilled by the situation, but I am not (do you know that feeling?).
What if my physical me does not live up to the expectations caused by my writing abilities? I know we will have a little problem with religion/tradition matters, which both parties will try to solve by not treading too much on the topic. But this is what I can live with. You know that if you have too high expectations, you will sometimes be disappointed by the actual outcome.
I am convinced that all of you will fulfill my expectation because the only thing I want, is to see you, to talk with you, and to be with you as long as you can stand me and as long as the time will allow it.
It looks like it begins to rumble for me again.
Have to finish.

From: Dan Wainblum []
Sent: 8. October 2006 23:15
To: 'Edit Morrison'
Subject: Departure

Dearest Sis,
That's it. We are packed. The taxi to the airport was fixed. Just to survive the night.
In the morning we have the flight to London.
Then a couple of hours of waiting time. And a long flight to Singapore.
One night in Singapore. And the last jump Down Under.
Why am I so scared?
I am not afraid to meet you. Even I know it will be more difficult than to write to you.
I do not have any problem with you. It feels so natural to have a little sister.
It feels like, from the very beginning, in my heart was a special place for you. It was just waiting for you.
But I still have mixed feelings about our father.
I know it is just my mind which makes that entire muddle.
I hope that it will be settled when we meet each other.
But I still feel like I have some butterflies in my stomach.
Fortunately, it is too late to have another thought.
Tomorrow I am on my way.
See you soon.
Love you.

Alex Wieseltier - Uredte tanker
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