Gwendolyn Toth

Gwendolyn Toth is the director of the New York City-based early music ensemble, ARTEK, and a soloist on early keyboards (organ, harpsichord, fortepiano). She is married to harpsichordist Dongsok Shin, and they have three children.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Planes, trains, and more trains...

July 15, 2010

After our flight across the ocean on Virgin Atlantic, we landed at Heathrow. From there, the Heathrow Express to Paddington, London Underground to St Pancras, Eurostar to Brussels, 3 Dutch trains to Groningen, then finally the small local commuter train to beautiful downtown Loppersum, 2 km from the tiny hamlet of Zeerijp where my first concert was located. All this with 3 suitcases (one giant one consisting entirely of 150 CDs), Dongsok’s incredibly heavy backpack, a duffle bag, and my weighty New York Skating Club shoulder bag with all the things like concert music, organ shoes, Monteverdi scores, bunches of computer printed travel documents, umbrella, coat, and other things I could not possibly afford to lose in baggage. Our first challenges of the trip came in figuring out on each train where we might stow our luggage. Heathrow Express: no big deal. Underground in morning rush hour London: not so fun. Eurostar: do-able. Dutch trains: completely impossible, leading to much constant re-arranging and heavy lifting onto overhead racks. Dongsok was stopped by security going onto the Eurostar. Apparently, removing his (large heavy) laptop from his backpack was not enough. They asked him to take out all his electronics. I watched incredulously as out came a video camera, two regular cameras, Zoom recorder, GPS, computer hard drives, two mike stands, and enough cables and converters to power a small third-world country. After turning on each item to satisfy the security inspectors, he packed it all back up. No wonder he looked tired – between the two suitcases he was managing and the backpack, he was moving around a total weight of 150 pounds.
Our Dutch friends, Willem-Jan and Leny, met us in Loppersum and we drove to their house in Zeerijp, where we enjoyed a lovely stay with them for the next 3 days. The best part: we left all the hot weather of New York City behind us. Holland was cool; occasionally a sprinkle of rain, sometimes some bright sun, but always comfortable.

No comments:

Post a Comment