Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Monkey Business.

Most days,  I start off with an exceedingly small list of things to do.   You know,  go to the toilet,  go to the bakery.  Usually best to do it in that order too.  We won’t go there.

This morning however,  it’s been a bit of a tack,  to use the sailing analogy. 

First of all,  a few weeks ago,  as is the case with anyone whose blood sugar levels need to be kept an eye on, I took Travelling Companion up to the Otto Wagner Spittal one morning to get her arm poked.  Nasty business as it turned out,  since the arm poking person was some guy who didn’t know how to find a vein, and I think the honkin’ big bruise T.C. had on her arm just cleared up a couple days ago.  At least I haven’t noticed it recently.   Hurt like hell too,  although T.C. isn’t much of a complainer.

Which begs the question, if it’s your job to draw blood,  shouldn’t you have a clue?  I wanted to say, “F**ing clue”,  but I’m trying to be civil.

Just one of those little mysteries.  There’s probably no answer,  and I don’t think it’s a gender thing,  as there are plenty of young (and old) ladies out there who poke around in your arm a few times before finding a place to suck a little life out of you.   Good times!  Oh ya.

As it happened,  there was some minor thing or other that they discovered that needed a little bit of tweaking,  but the last time I had to go and sort out a prescription,  that meant getting to the doctor’s office,  which then  meant sitting on public transit for a bit longer than I usually like. 

On that occasion, it was a hot day and considerably cooler down in the subway and all,  but just the same,  we’ve had the odd power outage here on those really hot days, and I have no desire to be sitting on a stranded subway car between stops.   Just thought I’d point that out.

So I was delighted to hear that the doc was willing to pop the prescription in the mail!   Oh ya baby!  Why can’t they all do that?   And sure enough,  it was in the mailbox this morning.  This was only after T.C. had called her as recently as Monday.  That was quick,  and easy peasy,  as the “Apotheke” had that little goodie in stock,  so that one was off the list. 

Well,  there was really no list,  although some days I do make one.


Then it was on to job number two.   No toilet humour.

I figured I’d head down to the hardware store in hopes of finding a nut.   Since I wasn’t going to be driving,  at least there was no chance of there being one at the wheel.   Plus, it was pleasantly cool this morning,  so I figured I pass on the sandal program,  pull on some better walking shoes and hit the bricks.    Or interlocking pavers,  as the case may be. 

I’m not keen on wearing socks and runners in the summer AT ALL,  but my old dogs need some protection if I’m going to do much walking at all.

Oh,  there’s a segue..


Saw this little guy on the way.   Note the leash that is only draped over the railing?

Such a good dog.


His owner came out directly. 



Anyway,  I figured I’d take a shot at finding a tiny little nut that had come off one of Travelling Companion’s purses,  without which the thing was rendered somewhat useless.  It’s one of those rather pricey little items from Gilda-Tonelli,  but unfortunately,  somebody forgot to torque down this one little nut,  and the bugger made its escape!   It wasn’t even lying in the special bag they give you,  in which you store your bag when you want to put it back on the shelf and perhaps choose another one that day.

Um ya,  apparently if you spend enough on a purse,  they give you a bag to keep it in when you’re not using it. 

I know nothing of these things,  and we’re not about to tally up the shoes and purses.

I have ONE wallet.  I’ve had it for twenty years.  Again,  I know nothing of these things.


I might have mentioned this place before,  but up until now I’ve had no particular need to go there,  except to wander in and sort of scope the place out,  which I did last year sometime.



Today I had a mission!   In their little video,  which is down on the lower right hand corner of their start page on that site,  they mostly talk about the metal they sell,  but they have copious amounts of hardware.  It’s in German of course,  but it won’t hurt you to watch. 

And I found my nut!   Actually,  I bought two different ones,  just in case.   Both of them came to a grand total €,41. (that’s forty-one cents, by the way) 

I could have got by with only spending Twelve cents,  but I decided to get the type that has the cap on the end.  Big spender!  I know!

The pricier one is a “cap” or “acorn”  nut.

Had to look that one up.

Because you care.




Of course,  I could have tried to look up the proper German nomenclature for said nuts,  but it’s heaps easier to just take the little bolt along and ask for a “Mutter”  to go with it.   Yes kids,  a “nut” in German,  in this case,  is indeed a “Mutter”.   Not to be confused with your Mother,  although it is the same word.  Don’t ask, I have no flippin’ clue.

A “nut”  that you eat,  is a “Nuss”.   Plural is “Nüsse”.

Confused yet?   Try keeping that all straight after you’ve not spoken German for 30 years and then taking it up again once you hit middle age.  I’ll give ya confused!   Deer in the headlights confused.   Just saying.


Also,  trying to figure it out from the text book can be a bit overwhelming.


I got all the books!  If I could possibly squeeze it all into my pea brain,  I would just have a wealth of knowledge.   Problem is,  I got CRS.   So I just muddle along and hope for the best. 

Or,  in the case of the lady who called from the Bank,  hope that they might possibly be willing to try their English.  Hers wasn’t that great.

It’s a funny thing, but in person,  I have very little issues with my German.  I sat in the chair yesterday and the lady who cuts my hair and I had a good time flapping our jaws.  But on the phone,  I suck.  Maybe it’s partly my somewhat diminished hearing?  I’m not sure.

No sooner had I come in the door,  when the phone rang,  and it was some person from Bank Austria,  looking for Travelling Companion.   Well good luck,  she’s at work.  That’s why we’re here. 

It turns out that our bank cards are due to expire at the end of 2012,  but since they like to get a jump on things (I guess?)  we could go and pick them up anytime.   Of course,  only in person. 


See originally,  when I noticed that our cards expired at the end of 2012 I thought,  “Ha!  We’ll be home by then!”  *pfft*! Silly bugger.  That was wishful thinking.

There was one other letter in the mailbox this morning, which was the bill for the blood work,  and so I was headed for the bank at some point anyway.

Here’s how it works.   There’s no such thing as a cheque here in Europe.  For you yanks,  that would be a check.  Whatever.  Either way,  they don’t have them.  Haven’t had such a critter for a few years now.  And really,  I think cheques are dumb anyway.  It’s like when you had to go to school with a note from your Mom.   It’s only a piece of paper.  Just silly.

What happens is,  when you owe someone money and they send you a bill,  they’ll include a bank transfer at the bottom.  It’s an Überweisung.   (Oh Gawd!  Here he goes with the German again!)

The thing is,  they have these machines set up in the lobby of the bank,  so you can go in and pay a bill at any time night or day.   Since our other obligations are taken care of automatically through online banking,  this isn’t something I have to deal with all that often, if ever.  So I naturally went into the inner part of the bank,  thinking that was what I needed to do.   Well,  truth be told, I kinda forgot about the machines set up in the lobby?

After signing for my new bank card, the very patient young lady then took me back out to the lobby and showed me this bank transfer procedure.  She didn’t have to hold my hand as if I were some dumb chimp or anything,  and I tried not to drool on myself.   This was the second time I’ve been shown this drill.  *sigh*

I did seem to remember something about this kind of thing the last time I was in.  Back in my deepest darkest memory.   I think it was last year sometime.  

What did I say about CRS?

The whole brief event is designed to be as simple and easy as possible.  And it really is.  I’m not kidding.  Almost to the point of embarrassment.

They even had a button where you could choose English.  Really?  So it turns out I could feel like a complete knob in either language.  Swell.

When the transaction was complete I said, after I drew a breath in over my teeth,  “Ein Affe hätte das tun können”.

She smiled and laughed just a little.   She was being polite.  Best to humour the old Dude.  Stupid old bugger.  I was close to the door.   I used it.


Oh,  and you can plug that one into Google Translate if you choose.  Up to you.   I’m done.


We’re only about a third of the way through that cake.  Not sure we’ll make it.   That was a lot of cake.  wuf.


Thanks for stopping by.




  1. My word, we went from the bakery, to the doc, to the dogs, to the nuts, and then to the bank. For somebody without a list (usually) you do cover some ground.

  2. you are a busy man, Bob!..good thing TC goes to work otherwise I can only imagine the trouble the 'two of you' could get into!..
    checks or cheques..none here either..too expensive, although when we were in Montana we noticed quite a few people writing cheques?..we thought it was a wee bit behind in the times..and they even had cheque book registers?

  3. Well at least I figured out about the Monkey Business title at the end anyway.... A monkey could have done it! No reflection on the author however....LOL

  4. Busy day you had, enjoyed the lesson on how Europe banks.


Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.