One afternoon

March 2, 2009 § 3 Comments

Yesterday I was kidnapped from posh Vienna and whisked away into the Viennese countryside for a ‘traditional’ Austrian family celebration. It was D’s aunt’s 50th birthday, and D thought it would be a great idea to bring her foreigner friend along.

Never one to complain about food, drink, or birthdays, I happily went. We arrived at the restaurant, a cozy place though freakily decorated with the heads of rhinos, deer, and other game animals. One by one the family arrived, and strangely, family members here shake hands with each other. Even weirder for me, I had to stop myself from kissing people’s cheeks as I’ve now grown accustomed to here in Europe. A bit of a reverse culture shock.

Sitting down at one end of the table with D’s relatives, the food started to arrive. Despite my small body, I always thought of myself as having a rather big consumption of food, until I met 18 year-old Incredible Eating Machine yesterday. He was a skinny thing, but he polished off his own plate of food, and three other plates of food which we could not possibly fit into our bodies. I watched in wonder as he shoved potatoes, steaks, and cakes down a bottomless pit. At the end of it, he did not even look stuffed. He is my new hero.

All in all, an entertaining day. Interestingly, I was also informed that Austrians generally have not seen The Sound Of Music, and the hills are not alive with its sound. Also no trail of the Von Trapp family. Go figure.


Golden mist

March 1, 2009 § 2 Comments

Gold was the colour. It was the shade wrapped around the entire climate of the concert hall at the Musikverein, burning its golden intensity onto the look, the smell, and the people who were there.

Ladies and gentlemen were dressed up in their evening best. Some men wore their tuxedos, and the women on their arms clicked their high heels and brushed their fur coats past me. I thought, how posh it would be to mingle with Viennese high society. Now, I think I left a nice haircut and fine clothes back in Sydney. Hmm indeed. Fortunately we were in the ‘restricted view’ section also known as the ‘cheapskate traveler’ section, as I had definitely prefered others’ views to be restricted of me. I skulked in the shadows cast by other tourists in my jeans and lace-up Nike boots.

Haydn and Beethoven were the music. I tried my Stevie Wonder technique, and closed my eyes to feel the glorious sounds. Sustaining that for a while, I decided it was more entertaining to observe the maestro conducting the music, which is actually one of my favourite things about classical concerts. He was a jowly man in his sixties I assume, with silvery grey hair. I was completely mesmerized by his intense conducting, and although I could hardly see the orchestra from where I was sitting, I felt the music pulsing through his mind as he waved his hands and baton around.

I was also entertained by the fact that everybody in the hall decided to cough whenever the conductor paused for 5 seconds. I was tempted to let out a cough myself just to join in the fun, but I took this opportunity to quickly open the wrapper on my chocolate bar to stop my growling tummy. Oh yeah, I’m all class. Crunching on my delicious nut-filled snack, I thought it was a good thing I sat in the furthest of the furthest row, out of staring sight.

Despite the frequent skulking, I basked in this opulent glow for two hours. Oh my. It was magnificent.

Good times

February 27, 2009 § 3 Comments

Life currently consists of eating toast with peanut butter, drinking peppermint tea, sleeping 10 hours a day, and photo-taking when I feel like dragging my lazy ass out.

I’m couchsurfiing with D, in her gorgeous retro apartment, where I’ve been bumming around not doing much. Slightly different from Prague, where couchsurfing with boisterous boys and a dog meant going to bed late, with protests going unheeded when it came to drinking beers and shots till morning. Sometimes boys can be quite convincing.

Besides walking around the city and giggling to myself every time I spot the word ‘wiener’ and ‘pull sharply’, Vienna has been a quiet affair so far. The weather has been poorly, people seem rather depressed, and I have been feeling extremely lethargic. So being the unambitious tourist that I am right now, I’m gonna lay back, eat my peanut butter, read my book, and look forward to the symphony at Musikverein tomorrow night. Apparently I am also being taken to the Viennese countryside on Sunday to celebrate D’s aunt’s birthday.

It sounds entirely unfair that I’m living this life I’m living whilst the rest of the world struggles with the economic crisis, but it has to go on. I’m currently adopting the philosophy of ‘ignorance is bliss’ and until the day comes when I have to start worrying about stuff like that, hey, I don’t mind this life at all.

Oh hello

February 26, 2009 § Leave a comment

Hello Vienna. I like you. I like you very much indeed. Just 2 minutes from where I’m currently staying, I found peanut butter. And I ate it. I ate it with toast. Not one piece, no. Not two. I had four slices of toast with peanut butter, and it’s fucking 5pm.

I also found Nick Hornby’s book here. The one I lost on the plane. I would like to read it and eat more peanut butter with toast, but now I’m sleepy. It is raining outside, and I shall drink peppermint tea, go to sleep, and dream of peanut butter.

Eyes, tired. Tummy, happy.

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