Tag der Arbeit. Tag means day; der means of or of the, which is dative (something no one that has gone to school in the United States knows), and Arbeit means work. So, Day of Work or Day of the Worker. First of May. May Day. Day of parades in communist countries. Ignored in the United States and Great (oxymoron) Britain, of course.
The first of May is a holiday in Germany. Today is unusually warm and sunny. We sit on the terrace and drink Champagne (the adjective, French, would be redundant, if you know anything about trademark law, which applies everywhere except New York and other parts of the US). I have slight pangs of guilt, because I do not work. I make no meaningful contribution to mankind. I do what pleases me, which is surely a sin--or many sins--in many peoples’ minds. I don’t care. I enjoy life.
Tag der Arbeit is like any other. I do what I want...or what my dear wife wants me to do...within reason. She worked yesterday--or rather today--until three this morning. Tanz in den Mai (Dancing into May) is a traditional festival in Germany. Because she owns a dancing school, customers expect a celebration on the final day of April and dancing into the new month. I stayed home and went to bed early (still in April).
Despite lack of dancing or working, I still enjoy the first of May. I enjoy pleasant weather. I enjoy a glass of good Champagne, the fine pearls of gas rising to the surface of the flute (that’s a glass, not a musical instrument), and a nice meal on the terrace in the sun. Also, the lilacs have blossomed, filling the air with a wonderful fragrance, and the first rhododendron buds are opening. Winter cold has been forgotten, and one enjoys pleasures of spring, with or without legal holidays.
Life is good (and that is not just a Korean conglomerate’s slogan).
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.