We’re sitting in the opera house, the opera house, the opera house. We’re waiting for the curtains to arise.

We're sitting on the steps of the Budapest Opera House, waiting for Charity to check whether there’s a matinee showing of Faust. She’s the only one who sort of speaks Hungarian.

               We’re sitting in the opera house, the opera house, the opera house. We’re waiting for the curtains to arise.

I actually don’t know the song. Liberty and Mercina learnt it in Tour Choir – the most advanced group in the Colorado Children’s Chorale – but they only remember the first two lines. I was in Chorale too, but I was never promoted to Tour Choir. They know a lot of songs I don’t.

               We’re sitting in the opera house, the opera house, the opera house. We’re waiting for the curtains to arise.

I’ve picked up the song by now – it’s only two lines, and most of the words are the same. I sing until I get dizzy and have to take a breath. Chary comes back. There’s no Faust. She sits on the steps and starts to sing too.

               We’re sitting in the opera house, the opera house, the opera house. We’re waiting for the curtains to arise.

We sang a lot on that trip. Charity would sing O Mio Babbino Caro in public squares in Budapest and Vienna and make me walk around the resulting crowds carrying her sun hat. Pedestrians would throw 1€ and 2€ coins into it and I felt like a beggar, which was sort of the case but at least it’s a good story now. We’d use the money to buy lemonade at fancy cafes later on.

               We’re sitting in the opera house, the opera house, the opera house. We’re waiting for the curtains to arise.

We’d sing along to My Hips Don’t Lie and Weekends & Bleakdays in our apartment when they played on MTV Europe, which still showed actual music videos most of the time back in 2006. We sang Hungarian folk songs when we went to tea with my grandfather and grandmother at Budapest’s New York Palace, which is still the most beautiful place I’ve ever had tea in my life. We would sing in English every Sunday at the international congregation and sometimes I’d look up from the hymnal to see if the bishop’s son was looking at me.

               We’re sitting in the opera house, the opera house, the opera house. We’re waiting for the curtains to arise.

Now Mercina is upset. She thinks we’re making a scene. Mia’s always had the most dignity of all of us, unless you catch her at 9pm – then something funny happens to her blood glucose levels and she starts acting totally sloshed. But it’s only 2 or 3 in the afternoon right now, and she stalks off into the cobblestone sunshine of the Budapest afternoon to escape our uncouthness.

               We’re sitting in the opera house, the opera house, the opera house. We’re waiting for the curtains to arise.

We can’t see Mercina anymore in the rush of city people running errands, so Charity makes us get up. When we find Mia, she promises us that we’ll go to a café for some lemonade.

{Memories : A - Very Pleasant / B - Rather Sad by Charles Ives on Grooveshark}

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