Werner was not a traditional guy. Forget about a wedding or honeymoon. In fact, in our case everything was ass backwards. We left New York and our awkward visit with my parents in October, flying more or less around the world for a book Werner was doing on the explorer, Captain James Cook. The trip included Hawaii, Tahiti, Fiji and New Zealand, so it felt like a honeymoon. But we didn’t marry till the following January. Looking back all these years, I don’t remember what made us take that step at that particular moment. My mother was not hovering. Werner was certainly not the marrying type. And I was eager, but not pushy.
The whole thing was unplanned and unstructured. I wore a regular dress, no bouquet or flowers. The ceremony was at a London registry office with the queen staring down at us from the wall. We didn’t tell anyone — Celia and Francis were our only witnesses. We didn’t even have rings. When the judge handed us a plump little black pillow, I looked at him blankly. “For the ring, Madam.” Consternated, I slipped a jade band off my right hand and Werner slipped it onto my left. It was a dark day that spat rain. We argued about something a few hours later and I wept — bad luck for the marriage. That was it, no flowers, no photos, no festivity, a rather grim affair.
Our honeymoon, continuing in our ass backwards fashion, began twenty-four hours later in Prague. Werner’s intention was to pick up cameras and equipment, and to visit his father who was extremely ill. He had all the right visas to get in and out fast. But the trip was not without danger and he had planned to go without me. I fought him tooth and nail on this. I simply wasn’t going to live through the behind-the-iron-curtain drama again. If he was to be detained, shit — I’d be detained too.
To be continued ….