Monday, July 17, 2006

Faded glory is still a hell of a thing

VIENNA, Austria (CSB) _ This former seat of the Habsburg throne is filled with some of the finest architecture, music and art the Western World has ever seen. Of course, despite having extended my stay here by one day (I'm off to the eastern capital of the Austro-Hungarian empire in a few short hours) I've seen almost none of that. The weather has been so perfect, every time I wanted to enter a musem, I found myself wanting to go lie on the lush grass in front of the Hofburg. So what have I done? Well ...

  • Given directions to a group of Italian tourists (in English) withing minutes after getting off the train. I did use the one recent Italian word I learned, campioni. That got a smile and a pat on the back. At which point, I fell to the sidewalk, writhing in agony and clutching my face. At which point the local polizei came and carted the gent off to Viennese jail. Which is probably immaculate, well-designed and serves coffee, complete with a little glass of water and three sugar cubes.
  • Realized that not only is my German adequate for most simple transactions, but that it's a ridiculously fun language to speak, provided you do so with enough enthusiasm.
  • Went to an heuriger, which is a kind of country wine tavern very popular here. Imagine a well-kept Dominic's, with well-heeled Austrians ordering hearty local fare from a counter and carafes of the tavern's own wine from sturdy teutonic matrons. So, nothing like Dominic's, other than the opportunity to sit outside at (clean, splinter-free) picnic tables underneath trees and scratch your feet in the gravel as the wine settles in.
  • Got my heart broken by a Slovenian diplomat. OK, so that's exaggerating a bit. But getting rejected next to the Staatsoper, as I did, was one of the prettiest Heismans of my life. I got over it pretty quickly, because the diplomat and spent the rest of our final night in Vienna drinking at a sort of outdoor Taste of Vienna type thing in front of the city hall, then ambled back to her place through near-silent streets before I said goodbye and went home. It sounds like some sort of stupid, agonizing, chaste romance for Christian kids, probably called "Before Midnight." But being in Vienna definitely took a lot of the sting out of things.
  • Purchased a T-shirt for an Australian colleague with a kangaroo silhouette and the words "No Kangaroos in Australia."

10 comments:

evilgirl said...

don't get it. flop got beat up by italians?

Tommy O said...

you can't just bullet point a random punch to the chops. what's the story?

Crunk Raconteur said...

Um...Flop is making a joke (in my opinion, a funny one) about the propensity of Italian soccer players to drop to the ground, clutching their face and crying, at the slightest contact.

Tommy O said...

it is only funny if you get it the first time around. I withdraw my earlier comment and feel shame.

evilgirl said...

shame on flop for making soccer jokes. crimenotes would be appalled.

CrimeNotes said...

I e-mailed him under the impression that he'd been assaulted. I don't get the joke at all. Flop should only be punched by his friends and not by strangers.

Question -- I'm viewing Cole Slaw Blog for the first time in Internet Explorer and the links on the right are all jumbled up.

Does anyone else have quirks viewing this site on Explorer? Just curious.

Tommy O said...

yeah in IE 7 the categories are not lining up properly.

crimenotes said...

Weird. It looks fine on FireFox. I'll see if I can figure it out.

Tommy O said...

not that this has anything to do with Flop's post, but i think i found your issue with the links.

Though it really depends on how much control you have over the HTML of the site. You have some issues with "UL" tags in your links.

Flop said...

My posts always stir such lively repartee.