Today is the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For Canadians old enough it's a solemn day. Benton not really old enough but, being Benton, I expect he'll be paying attention. Moo-self, I'm keeping my eye on the corner of my computer screen to see when the clock shows the eleventh hour. I wouldn't be surprised if Benton, at his desk backing mine, is doing the same. There are other Canadians in the building but only the two of us in the Big Accounting Room.
Sure enough, spot on eleven in the morning, he turns around in his chair and says "Marilyn, if you're interested, it's eleven o'clock." We meet each other's eyes and both stand up together and observe a minute of silence.
Of course the others in the room want to know what's going on.
'Well, it's November eleventh and in Canada that's special. It means . . . "
"Oh, it's special here too!" declares Marizel (she's born in the Phillipines but raised in Vienna) It's the beginning of Fasching. You have to eat krapfen."
Krapfen are something like doughnuts filled with stuff custard or jam or something else other than a proper doughnut hole. There are American-style doughnuts here but they are vile.
Fasching is the beginning of the holiday season: parties, balls, general merry-making lasting all the way until Shrove Tuesday. Benton doesn't know that I know he went to a Viennese ball last year with his former commanding officer and slept with her afterwards. (Sadly, his virtue is safe with me, I'm too old and married.)
When in Rome . . . I reach for my purse from under my desk and fish out a ten-EURO banknote.
"Here, Bennyshore, go get us a dozen krapfen. We're not in Kansas anymore."
"I've never been to Kansas, actually," he says as he takes the money. He's as annoying as he is cute.
"Kanata? Anywhere beginning with a K?"
"Well, then just go get the