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Into the Abyss: An Anthropological Study

One Day in Vienna

AUSTRIA | Sunday, 4 July 2010 | Views [535] | Comments [2]

I've been a bit lax with keeping people informed of what I've been doing, and I'm sure that some of you are wondering whether or not I'm still alive. In fact, I have a very good reason for not having updated this blog (I couldn't be bothered) but I do apologise and I'll try to write more in future. Also, I want to present this in the form of easily-digested stories rather than vast analytical monologues that take hours to read, so with that in mind I'll just cover the first couple of days of my journey in this entry.


I left Melbourne on 18th June at 23:00, destination Vienna via Qatar. Just to point out how organised I was, I only got a guy to pick up my fridge at 18:45 and then headed straight to the airport. It started off exciting before I even got off the ground, because I spent so long in a line waiting for tax money back on my headphones that I got called over the PA system and had to make a mad dash. Notwithstanding the glares of the flight attendants, however, twas all good. I got a pretty decent amount of sleep simply by taking a Mersindol night strength, putting on my noise-cancelling headphones and eye mask, and pretending to be somewhere else.

I first became aware that I a hoodie, scarf and warm furry hat might not have been the best attire once I landed in Doha. It was 5:30am and 35 degrees. It was only a two-hour stop-over, but I still managed to get hit on by a creepy Indian massage therapist headed for Moscow who gave me his card. It turns out that this was simply the start of a rather irritating trend, but more on that later.

A 6-hour trip on a little Airbus got me to Vienna, where I began to feel that something had been lacking in my packing decisions. I had neglected to pack several bilingual Germans happy to carry my bags for me. But in any case I made it by double-decker train (!) to the centre of Vienna. A person of indeterminate sex smoking a cigarette in the train station seemed to be saying "Welcome to Europe!" The first Australian I found was beating up a would-be thief, who hurriedly gave back the guy's wallet. So proud.

I managed to figure out the unconventional Viennese train system. By "unconventional" I, of course, mean "good". Friendly coloured lines on each train and at each station showed me exactly where everything was and how to get to it once I had achieved some degree of orientation. A friendly English-speaking Austrian lady explained that I was travelling in the wrong direction and showed me which lines to take. I wasn't sure how to explain that I'm not used to a train system this easy to use, and that I interpreted the simple instructions as a sort of trap. Every time I used the trains there was an exact five-minute interval between each one and they were never more than a few seconds late. It was inexpensive, clean and reliable. I began to feel quite homesick.

After wandering aimlessly for a while I found the A&O hostel and gratefully deposited my stuff. I tried to rest but got bored and restless, and at 16:00 on 19th June I set out. There was, of course, absolutely nothing open, but it was nonetheless a delight to wander the beautiful streets, take photos and make it clear to everyone that I was a tourist.

Using what I privately think of as the "Emily Smith" principle, I wandered around in the knowledge that I would eventually find something completely ridiculous. After about half an hour I found it! A parade was slowly weaving through the streets: five or six cars pumping terrible dance music with what appeared to be the entire alternative youth population of Austria following them. At first glance it appeared to be demanding an end to such outmoded concepts as "nation" and "religion" but I eventually realised it was mainly about getting drunk and pissing off the extremely conservative older Viennese. Of course, I had no choice but to join in.

I acquired a new bf named Sunny. His hobbies include: holding hands, drinking warm beer and dancing his "special" dance. I cheerfully pretended to be interested until he bought me a beer (from a cafe fridge!), then "lost" him. I followed the parade until the front car broke down in a ridiculously residential area, then lost interest and staggered off to find some English-speaking food service professionals. I slept extremely well.

The next day I didn't have much time to see the sights, but because I woke up early I wandered about again a bit and took some nice photos. Then I negotiated my way back to the airport via a train and prepared for Sofia. The best thing about the airport at Vienna was getting a photo of the sex shop in the terminal (seriously, what would you need to buy so urgently that you couldn't wait to get it at your destination?). I look forward to going back to Vienna in a few weeks, I suspect that there is plenty more chance of lulz.

Tags: airport, lulz, parade, vienna

Comments

1

Hi Tess,

Great blog! glad you managed to ditch sunny and his special dancing.

Love you, Mum x

  Mum Jul 4, 2010 7:59 PM

2

Hi Tessa

Great to hear your news. Look forward to your next installment. Have fun.
love Sue x

  sue mitra Jul 9, 2010 5:33 PM

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