Henry takes the Orient Express

Now that Henry has told me about his French teacher, he is flipping through the same photo album and he starts discussing girlfriends.

I make some francs working in the solarium, so at end of the summer before I work in hotel Splendid I decide to visit my old girl friend Jana. You know, the one who tried to help me then married the German Officer. So in 1958 I took the Orient Express to Vienna. It was very nice. They call it the Orient Express because it goes from Paris to Vienna and all over Europe. 

Jana’s last name now is Kreutz. She and her husband had a big auto selling business in Vienna. They were both very nice to me. I still remember the address – 17 MarionStrasse*. 

I wanted to show you how she looks. She looks now completely German, fair hair and so on.  But before that she was beautiful, one of the nicest looking girls in Krakow, before the war. 

I wish I had asked more questions about the Orient Express. Henry was pretty nonchalant, and there were only so many times I could interrupt him while telling a story. How very elegant it must have been for a Polish refugee from communism to travel in style.

On a current events note – a new exhibit on the Orient Express opened April 2014 in Paris. It features several cars, decorated circa the 1940’s.  It is organized by the Institut du Monde Arabe, or World Arab Institute in conjunction with the French railway SNCF. It is entitled Il était une fois l’Orient Express, or’ It was Once the Orient Express.’ See www.imarabe.org for more information. 

*The address is phonetic.  I also found an address Mariannengasse 17 on the Internet. However without knowing what the building is I have no way to be sure. 

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