The blue plastic buckets of the morning and the swinging mops before and behind; the black rubber gloves of cleaning, water drops and some spilled suds; wearing uniforms they mop and mop and then pass on.

Beside the walkways, strawy hemispheres of grass crouch between indicative junipers. And I have a lesson all vocabulary and no grammar.

Early though, and where I wait the ivy rings my rest. It is the mossy patio where the buckets stand and the periodic cleaning women come to rinse and to refresh their mops.

In the cool morning there is a humming as of air-conditioning, a twittering of birds. In the spotlit lobby the casual rush and the formal stroll. All is industry at Siemens.

A woman in blue will bring us coffee, the sounds of the office starting will also come to us, and then as the day gathers to full throttle, in the sun, I’ll walk away, out past the idling security guards.

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