Weird, rude, arty: Vienna has it all — plus a penis terrarium.
I, too, pray that your dildo has found a nice home somewhere, hopefully in the arts scene. Thank you for starting my week right, Jill. I needed belly laughter today. You are a gem ❤️
I have no doubt that if Brueghel were painting his masterpieces today, he would have been inspired by your trip and included this or that episode of your journey in a corner of a painting. Perhaps coarse- faced thieves opening your suitcase and cavorting with its contents.
Jill, I don't know how you do it: to take a series of undesirable circumstances like these and turn it into such a wonderful, life-affirming, hilarious, relatable and downright human read. Awesome writing!
Oh the luggage never came back??? Bummer
Interesting that they speak perfect English.
This is funny, horrific and insightful, all at the same time.
Thank you! ♥️
Oh my God, this made me laugh so much! I can't even highlight a favourite bit, the whole thing is just perfect.
🤣🤣🤣 I'm in tears - of anger, of laughter - this is fucking hilarious and maddening, both.
"I just glared at her for a long moment to let her know she won’t ever be getting into my pharmacy after hours and stalked off, to a night of dental decay." Just say the word if you want to go back and have a word with pharmacist, I'll bring the shovel. 💛💛💛
I come for the writing, but stay for the genuine warmth of the comments section. I only went there for a weekend break back in the late 90s but Vienna struck me as obsessively clean, no litter anywhere. There also seemed to be a lack of young people too! Just old ladies with little dogs. Glad you came back – I would like to thank your dildo for its service and hope you get a new one as soon as possible!
Ha, our younger son now 46, took German for 4 years in high school and was an exchange student for a semester in Bavaria and can’t speak, write or read German. We had 2 German foreign exchange students. One of them experienced terrible grades in US school here because the next door neighbor girl his age was WILD. He did become proficient in US teenage slang and swear words. The other became a German airline pilot. We visited his parents and met his grandfather who claimed he could sleep naked in the snow and survive. He was captured at Stalingrad and one of the 5,000 who eventually returned in 1953. As you know, it’s hard to speak German in Germany as most speak English.
Currently I’m on a gig of reading German POW stories.
Laugh out loud brilliant. So sorry for the loss of luggage. So sorry too that my immediate reaction was to look up the German word for dildo ... disappointingly, it is ‘dildo’. Undeterred, I probed further, dwelling for a moment on ‘vergnüge dich selbst’ (pleasure yourself). I feel an all out assault on Austrian manners and the immutability of their rules is called for. The hills are alive with the buzz of rebellion. Loving your memoirs - a life riotously lived. Barrie
This is further proof that pleasant enjoyable experiences rarely lead to enjoyable reading. I laughed out loud. i’m glad you got some good writing time in despite the many obstacles.
I loved this post. Witty, informative, and beautifully rude. "This city doesn’t give itself up easily. Just ask Napoleon or the Ottomans" - a great line.
I love Vienna, but I recognise some of the issues you had. The next time I go, I will be sure to re-read this beforehand.
Well Jill, we visited the German host parents at Christmas to experience German Holiday singing. For some strange reason, German when sung is beautiful, especially Silent Night, despite the German language once described as best use when talking to ones enemies. As we sat in the Bavarian living room, the snow gently fell, an old man sat in a corner, ignored as old people tend to be. As we chatted in English, he burst out something in German. I asked what he said. They replied, "He said he could sleep naked in the snow." On my inquiry, it was explained he was captured in Stalingrad. Germans don't like to rehash WW2 so I let it end at that. Later I talked to the host parents son, our exchange student. I told him his grandfather must have a story that he should record. He replied, "No one is interested in those stories." My petty view is, life is about human experiences, good, mundane and bad. It's why I'm currently on a gig of German POW tales and war diaries. Many German soldiers, especially on the Eastern Front, did things that extend out the boundary of human experience. Most German soldiers were not SS but the SS definitely pushed some boundaries of endurance and barbarity. The common soldiers experienced extremes of cannibalism to insane mundane with a young soldier flown into Stalingrad as a replacement near the end without even a coat. His arms were frozen solid traversing from the plane to his assignment in the 40 F degrees below zero weather, doomed to die, unable to move his arms.
Next stop Tokyo
Damn, this is so funny. Also, I really appreciate your use of fuck.
Interesting tale of petty woes. I’ve been there and was let down a bit. Part of the negative experience is collapsing Dollar and Pound currencies creating price sticker shock over and over. The Socialist “mentality” of workers is another issue with most frozen in a feudal caste system of employment. That said, I once hated a big city but forced revisiting by employment changed my opinion to positive.
I spent a full four months as a teenager in Vienna and I remember the inflexibility on rules and shop hours as a constant annoyance. If you want a more relaxed and fun environment I highly recommend going to Viennese Heuriger (Local wine producers) in the seventeenth district. Also, I don’t recommend going back until April as the Winters can be incredibly harsh and snowy. The streetcar system can take you pretty much anywhere which is really amazing - you never need a car.
I love all the history in Vienna and highly recommend a good walking tour of the Ringstrasse. They also have amazing Summer festivals where people let their hair down a little more. But yeah, “stuffy” and “Vienna” are usually synonymous.