Friday, May 6, 2011

The Vacuum Theory.

I half ways forgot that I was going to mention anything about this until I signed in just now.  I had something else in mind,  but I'll touch on the Vacuum Theory first.
This is just a theory.  I have no empirical proof,  nor do I wish to do the research.
I recall when we had an apartment in Horseheads,  New York,  that the prevailing view of the local pundits when it came to taxation was such that it was "high".   Certainly lower than anything we would get upset about in Canada,  and most definitely lower than the average 19% that gets heaped on most anything one buys in Europe.   The thing was,  the city of New York needed to siphon off tax dollars from the rest of the state.
That's what "everybody" said,  I have no idea if it was true.

 After our visit to Budapest last weekend,  I began to get that impression about Vienna.

Here's the thing,  the highways from the Austrian border to Budapest were spectacular.   I mean, smooth as silk.  Not a blade of grass out of place either.   Budapest itself had streets reminiscent of Rome.
Not so smoothy or silky.
As with many countries in these parts,  the highways in Hungary are supported by a toll system.   The slight difference is, when you go into the gas station close to the border to pay your toll, rather than getting a stick on "Vignette"  which is a bitch to remove later,  they simply key in your license plate number into some sort of system.
I made sure I had my receipt handy.   No telling how reliable their "system"  was.

So fine,  the idea is,  that toll goes towards maintaining the roads.  My impression was they were doing a damned fine job of it.

By the way,  it was something like €7,50 for four days,  which I suppose is not too unreasonable,  considering it is for a time period, and not just a single trip.  Most assuredly better than the stupid 407 ETR that we have in Toronto,  where a single trip across the city can cost you up to 15 bucks.  

 Here in Austria,   we also have a toll to pay for the privilege of using the highways.   I should almost put "highways" in quotation marks,  since the difference in quality is beyond just noticeable.
This is where my "Vacuum" theory comes in.  My impression is,  somehow Vienna is sucking up some of those funds.   Has to be.
The farther one gets from Vienna,  the better the condition of the roads.  That seems a bit odd.
There's no other way to explain the poor state of the roads.   There was some talk a few months ago about raising the speed limit or possibly eliminating it in places.   Even if they wanted to do that,  I can't see how anyone would be able to keep a vehicle on the road at anything much faster than about 150.   So that will never happen.
One could also go with the theory that all the traffic around Vienna is simply beating the hell out of the roads,  and that the "Asfinag"  hasn't managed to stay on top of the situation.  But then that wouldn't be in keeping with their mandate.  I'd sooner just go with the "vacuum" theory.

Now on a completely different subject....

What has become at this point almost a tradition in these parts is that guests are not discouraged from any efforts in the meal preparation department.
Notice I didn't say it was a requirement.   Simply that any offers are greatly appreciated.

Dana thought she'd have a go at the chicken risotto challenge.   This is a meal where one has four pots on the go,  and can take well over an hour to prepare.   Well worth it,  but not for the faint of heart.
It was really good,  but of course by the time I came back after having fetched Travelling Companion,  we didn't eat until some time well after 8:00 p.m.
No early bird specials in these parts. 

For tonight I've made reservations at Plachutta,  which has also become a bit of a tradition for most any guests that we have.  I'm hankering for some "Tafelspitz".  

It's much better than it sounds,  trust me.


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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.