Friday, August 5, 2011

An evening out, and a phone call.


Usually within a few days after the end of each month, there’s a flurry of activity on the “accounting front”,  and as a Divisional Controller for the Company that Cannot Be Named, (the official blog moniker) that can often lead to long hours for Travelling Companion.   I should point out that,  most of her days consist of long hours anyway,  but that’s beside the point.

The thing is,  from time to time,  “help”  comes in,  by way of Plant Controllers or whatever other name that they might go by.

It’s a bit odd here in Europe,  since they break it down into “finance”, and “controlling”.

I’m not sure how the heck that’s supposed to work,  but it’s not my place to speculate.


So Travelling Companion has had a visitor who had come down from Germany for a couple days to lend a hand getting the books organised, (or something like that,  I’m in the deep end here)  and that usually means either leaving the person to fend for themselves in the evenings,  or possibly taking them out to dinner.  Some times it can be a whole group.  Normally I have very little interest in tagging along since, if it’s a group situation,  the hope is that it’s at least a special occasion like a retirement,  or moving to another division, since the conversation usually revolves around the goings on of the company anyway,  and I couldn’t care less.   I hear enough of it most every night,  and half of it is such that I don’t even know if I’m supposed to know it or not.    So…I can’t even utter a peep,  since I don’t know what I’m supposed to know.  And I’m probably not supposed to know anything.  

Got that?


It’s heaps less confusing if I just stay away.


So then I stay home.


Now,  I don’t really mind, and I’d sooner that a person who has come to lend a hand not sit and eat by themselves,  so if Travelling Companion takes said person out to dinner,  it’s no biggie. 


Apparently that plan wasn’t going to fly,  since there was a question like,  “Well,  wouldn’t Bob like to come along?”

Admittedly,  he does eat dinner,  and not only that he can take over the driving.  Just a side benefit for Travelling Companion.  


The way these things go of course,  that meant that I had to make the reservations.  I suppose I don’t mind doing that either,  even though I already had a pretty good grasp on what we were going to have for dinner here at “Chez le Caretaker”.

Mind you,  getting in to a place like Plachutta with about two hours notice can be a bit of a challenge.  And you DO need to have reservations to get into Plachutta.  I’ve seen many a poor tourist looking plaintively at the Maitre-D,  unable to get a table,  as we’ve sashayed on by on the way to our table that most times I’ve had to reserve days in advance.


I’m not sure if it helped or not that my name came up in their little database, and there was some back and forth and such, but we managed to secure a table out in the “garden”.    If you’re not familiar with dining concepts here in Wienerland,  in the summer months it’s all about having an eating area outside.   EVERY place,  whether big or small is going to have anything from a couple tables to an entire section of the restaurant outdoors.    Usually they take over part of the street by blocking off a half dozen or so parking spaces.  I’m sure getting a permit for that isn’t cheap, but it must be worth it.

Plus of course,  you can smoke out there. 


In terms of logistics,  any time Travelling Companion comes by our front door to fetch me,  it usually involves a switch,  since I always end up behind the wheel.   Last night though, I just jumped in the back seat, since there was no place to pull over,  but I sensed that that wasn’t going to last long.   We just needed a fresh light to stop at,  and then to make a switcheroo.  I felt like we were rehearsing a circus act.   I got out of the back seat and moved to the front,  Travelling Companion went over to the passenger side and our guest moved to the rear.   Travelling Companion was willing to go to the rear,  but since she’s the boss of the outfit,  the guest wasn’t going to hear of it.


This was all accomplished before there was even a hint of the light getting ready to change. 


Dinner was outstanding.  I didn’t go for the “Tafelspitz”  this time around,  as I have done on the last four or five occasions that I’ve been there,  but instead had some Beef Medallions,  (tenderloin)  with a side of some sort of dumplings.   The biggest challenge for me was not to just scarf it down in about nine seconds flat.   This joint is a tad pricey and hard to get in to,  but the food is awesome.   Funny how that works.


We were quite willing to give the guest a ride back to her hotel, but since she not only speaks the lingo and already had transit fare,  we parted company a couple hours later.


It wasn’t long after we got home last night that the phone rang.  You have to understand that our phone doesn’t ring that often,  and we have call display.   So when the display showed the number for Travelling Companion’s oldest sister,  you already start to wonder if there’s something that’s not quite right.


You might recall the house that we had been looking at in Žužemberk?


Yes,  this one….



Well,  the reason that we didn’t go in,  was because the Aunt who normally lives there was in the hospital.   It seems to me she had a bit of an “incident”  (this was all explained to me in Slovenian so you’ll have to bear with me if I’m a little vague)  and was in the hospital for treatment.   There was every prospect of her coming out again,  even if it meant she might only be able to go back to the “care facility” where she had been staying for the last little while.   We learned on the weekend that we were not going to get to see her,  since she had a staph infection.   Turns out,  it got the better of her,  and she passed away sometime Thursday morning. 


At the moment the details of a service are yet to be determined,  so there’s the very real possibility that we’ll be returning to Slovenia on the weekend!  

Travelling Companion will try calling the cousin some time later tonight.  

I know I can do the trip down and back in one day,  and that’s one possibility that has crossed my mind.


We’ll see what our plans will be.  




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