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Worldtrip a 45 year old's adventures around the world-which include everything from sitting in random McDonalds using his notebook, hanging with 22 year olds, and other immature stuff.

Klimt, Pussies, Opera

AUSTRIA | Sunday, 12 July 2015 | Views [516]

Yesterday was a busy day. After breakfast, I started the day at the Belvedere Museum, looking at the artwork of Gustav Klimt.  I  have heard of Klimt before-from the movie "Back to School" with  Rodney Dangerfield. At the very beginning of the film, Dangerfield's character, Thornton Melon, who plays a store-chain owner who made it to the top the hard way, is having an exclusive party at his house and catches his also-rich wife cheating on him.  Later on, at the same party, a man comes up to Melon and said something like "Your wife just showed me her Klimt"-and he says something like "yeah, you and everyone else in town"


Anyway, the exhibit was ok-the Klimt artwork was fine, and at the museum, I tagged along with a tour group from Viking River Cruises so I can figure out what was going on. The leader of the group was wearing a microphone, and all the somewhat elderly tourists had headsets so they could listen. A few we're complaining about being unable to hear with the headset-I felt like saying, just get closer to the tour guide and you won't need it.


The tour guide talked about Klimt's big painting, The Kiss, which was quite beautiful. She also talked about how many Klimt's we're collected in the late 1930's-early 1940's (confiscated by the Nazi's). The tour guide mentioned how in the 1980's the calls for reparations started coming in from Jewish Families, and she asked openly why did they wait until the 1980's, vs from the late 40's and 50's when they we're starving. She seemed annoyed. I wanted to say something but I really wasn't part of the group-so I kept my mouth shut.


After this, I went to Neko's Cat Cafe (referred from the hostel young people's map from yesterday). This is the first European branch of a Japanese chain of cafe's, supposedly filled with cats who will come up to you, and filled with cat memorabilia, pictures, etc . I ate a Vanilla Kitten-which is a desert shaped like a cat. There we're only 4 or 5 cats there, and the cats didn't actually eat off my plate-which I was used to at home.  


Yesterday afternoon, I had another walking tour-this time focusing on Beethoven's home, where Mozart lived, and also some other churches in the city. I asked the tour guide about the guide from the museum's comment from the morning, and he mentioned that Austria made it difficult for Nazi victims to receive reparations after World War II, and Austria considered itself a victim of the Holocaust. He also mentioned that if you mention you deny the holocaust, you will get 10 years in prison in Austria.  As noble a punishment that may be to Holocaust deniers-I Think I prefer free speech.


One thing the tour guide pointed me to was "movie under the stars". A large screen is placed on city hall, and they show a movie just about every night during the summer.  Being that opera is huge in Vienna-the movie was La Boheme.  The lawn in front of city hall was packed, and benches we're set up. Many vendors we're set up, serving all types of food and drink. While waiting for the film to start-I was talking to a woman next to me-she was in her early 20's from Wisconsin, and took a college course in Spain, and was now touring 
Europe.  La Boheme is a love story opera-musical, and was in Italian with German subtitles. While the effects on the big screen under a starry night was enchanting, I can only sit for so long without getting fidgety watching a movie I cannot understand. About 3/4 of the way through the movie, the girl from Wisconsin said to me said "I want so see if my friend sent me a text-I may be back". Bullshit. No American who doesn't understand Italian and German can sit through that. The Austrians loved that film though-it was standing room only. (I  found out that less-cultured stuff plays as well-for example an upcoming presentation is a concert film of Tony Bennett singing with Lady Gaga)


After all that, I took the tram back to the hostel, stayed on the computer for a while, and went to bed.


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