Big Euro Adventure

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Subj: Finally Made It

Date: 7/25/2003 2:08:38 PM Pacific Daylight Time

Well... I made it. I found an Internet café, I'm now able to report back from the old world. Warning — the keyboards here are set way differently so there will be many errors in my writing... what else is new.

Airport luggage area

Getting here was not without adventure... for all the stuff i packed, it didn't matter CAUSE THE AIRLINES LOST MY LUGGAGE!!!!! Nothing like being the last one waiting when the conveyor stops. Strange city. No luggage. Not good. Filed a report and hoped for the best.

Got outta the airport with a cab. What is it with the guys here—the fav haircut is the mullet. Remember that bizarro cut of the 80's, real short on the side and very long on top and in the back. It's the Richard Marx look — u remember him, the power ballad guru of the 80's... Anyway, the cab driver is sportin' his hip mullet look and then impresses me with a selection of soft rock ballads on his 8 track... it was soööö hard not to say anything... 

We're cruising down the road and this early 80's Pontiac Firebird or Chevy Camero cruises by with decals citing "Official Indianapolis 500 Pace car — 1982"… Some young kid, white t-shirt and cigarette… man, further you travel the closer you get to home…

I get to the hotel and it looked better on their web site. Quaint window view of the hood but that was it. The rest of the place is a bit worn, noisy and not the neat, old world charm kinda place i was hoping it'd be. After checking in, I haul out to scout the area. 

Right around the corner is this inviting little oval sign for HOTEL AUSTRIA. Is at the end of a tiny cobblestone alley with a little bar named Caruso's next door.

This place looks more like it. They got a room — very quiet, totally quaint, great bed with these grand windows that look onto the atrium and it's less money.

That was a no brainer. I'll change hotels tomorrow after my luggage arrives. It's 6pm, I got a handle on things — time to check out the city. 

Vienna is a great jet lag city — you can walk everywhere, very tourist friendly. And, hey — what is it about being a tourist that allows one to throw any fashion sense out the window and wear the worst combo of cloths ever? Being comfortable is one thing but what about me?? I gotta look at it… 

And, WHAT IS IT WITH AUSTRIANS AND ICECREAM? Everywhere u look, people eating ice cream — morning, day, nite — it doesn't matter. And i don't mean a scoop or two — we are talking the NBA of ice cream concoctions.

If they did this in the U.S. we'd all be 250lbs plus. Not here — they're all rail thin. I've yet to try one figurin' once i start... there's no a stoppin'. 

Haagen Das is lookin' to cash in on the craze by opening a store on the main drag. They were promoting it with a cutie- pie girl dressed up as the Statue of Liberty with various pint containers stuck into the spikes of her crown. i mean... what a site. All I could think of was that song — I'm proud to be an American..."

My first nite — all these fun tiny little streets and guess what? I end up in a bar. I know you're all shocked!! They had a sign up for my fav beer — Budweiser. This ain't the American Bud but the real deal from Budvar, Czech Republic.

Ever wonder where that Bud name came from & why? They don't call it "St. Louisweiser" for a reason. If u ever gets the chance, try the real stuff. 

I'm in this bar two minutes and a group of teachers from the local university invite me over. As my mom would say, "Always outside, making friends…" This is great! Here I am half a world away and it feels like home. 

A friend of theirs shows up who's a bit on the eclectic side. Sorta going for that ever-popular contemporary Goth meets Shakespearian pageboy look. Friendly guy, works around the world as a matre'd with a girlfriend in Seattle.

Can't help but feeling a little dorky stuck in my travel outfit. His buddies thought his wardrobe was too out there but I took his side arguing style is a matter of personal choice and freedom. We debated fashion vs. style. That led to more beer and then came the politics. 

We all got into it. News flash: geo bush ain't on anyone's top ten around here. When they expected me to defend him — they were in for a bit of a surprise cause he ain't on my top ten either. They really perked up when it came to "AAAARNOLD". Local boy to become "Preseedent of Kalaphon-eeea..." 

Yeah, they can't believe we would actually elect him... Hey — I'm still working on boy genius
George W.

 

 
Next day — me luggage arrives and I am back on track. 

Wheeled my stuff over and swapped hotels. Much better — happy camper. Wanted to rent a bike and check out the city however it was a wash... I snoozed the day away.  Yesterdays beers plus jet lag... do the math. A restless sleep — kept waking up and seeing those huge windows. Very surreal, "where am I again?? Oh yeah… Vienna" — back to sleep…

Did make it to some big gothic church and took a tour of the catacombs — a bit sobering with all them bones. Caves filled to the top with bones. 

The pulpit was cut outta stone and meant to resemble bones — the Plague as art.

They really like their bones here, along with ice cream and chocolate. Weird...

Then there's this other church with these two huge pillars out front. Tour book says it's a scrolling history of the Vienna.

 

Lotsa churches…

 

 

 

 

So far, so good...

That's it so far from Wein.

george

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