Friday, September 30, 2011

Not the morning I planned.

That’s not to say I ever have much of a plan or anything,  but I guess I do more or less have a routine.  That’s all.

One of the first things Travelling Companion said to me when she got in the car last night was, “You have to go tomorrow and renew your Residence Permit!   You’re meeting the lawyer at nine.”

Whoa!  Oh cr*p. I thought that was next month? 

Then I took a closer look at the thing and realised that I’d be in deep do-do in fairly short order if this didn’t get sorted out by the end of the week.   OK then!


So that of course meant that I would need the car,  which also meant doing the taxi driver thing again this morning.   The “Magistrats Amt 35”  or MA 35 (Immigration Office) is on Dresdenerstrasse.  Oddly enough,  I was just in that area last week when I was trying to unload my propane tank,  so at least everything about how to get there was fresh in my memory. 

The only slight wrinkle was,  I had run out of the tiny “passport” type photos that one needs in abundance in Europe for everything from these types of permits,  to your every day subway pass.   And no,  I don’t have a subway pass.

I had meant to get this sorted out,  and had completely forgot. 



So,   what that meant was,  the young Lawyer Lady (whose name I instantly forgot within seconds of her introducing herself)  and I had to TAKE A TRAIN to the next station,  where we then went into the Mall (Millenium City) to find a place that took photos.  They’re not as sticky about the whole process as they are in Canada when it comes to getting passport photos,  and nobody needs to sign the back or any such nonsense. (can’t they see it’s me??)  so at least that’s a consideration.  Most times you just go to one of those photo booth type of arrangements,  but we couldn’t exactly find one.

And of course,  the way these things go,  when we found a place, there was some issue with the equipment (or something,  I’ll be darned if I know) and it was going to be about a 10 minute wait.  

So fine,  we wandered off to a little coffee type joint in the mall there and had a coffee. 

At one point her boss called to see just what the heck was taking so long…


Oh, you're taking my picture??

It’s OK though.  He’s made us wait a couple times,  which is probably why the appointment was for NINE a.m. and not eight,  as had been the case the last two times.  He was late each time.  I hate late.  Don’t be late.


Now,  if you’re wondering just where the heck we are,  it’s an electronics shop called “Niedermeyer”,  and we have a Niedermeyer (that site’s all in German,  sorry)  right around the corner from our front door,  which meant it would have been easy peasy to get this sorted out at my leisure, IF IT HAD ONLY OCCURED TO ME! 

So now I have enough flippin’ little head shots of myself to quite likely last the rest of my days!   Gah!



Good Lord.


And don’t ask me who the blond chick is either,  she was just on the envelope.


So once we got that minor cock-up sorted out,  we discovered that,  for an “extension”,  we should have acquired some sort of form or other from one of the official type places here in my district.  We’re in district seven.  The MA35 is in district 20.   I’d elaborate if I had the slightest clue, and it has nothing to do with the language or anything like that.  Even the young lawyer was a little flummoxed,  but her solution was to simply go and have a little chat with one of the clerks who works there,  and “Bob’s yer Uncle”!  we were able to meander right in to her office!  



Holy crap on a cracker!  I’ve never been able to go to the head of the line.   And,  should I feel a twinge of guilt since my new young ‘friend’ happened to be acquainted with someone in the Immigration Office?   Let me think about that.  

Um…  no. 

I mean,  there was a whole sea of people (the place was mobbed!) dutifully waiting there for their number to magically appear on the tote board,  and we quietly waltzed on in, past them all.

The thing is,  I’ve sat or stood around in Immigration waiting areas enough up to this point in time that,  if somebody knows somebody,  and we can just get in there to “explain” the whole situation,   and get things stamped or recorded or whatever, then I’m IN!  No regrets.   And I’ll be on my way,  thank-you very much.


There will still be some communication from the lawyer’s office concerning when to get back in there to pick up the new bits of plastic,  but the main thing was to have the process underway before the end of this month. 


We did sort of cut it close there.



Keep those sticks on the ice.




Thursday, September 29, 2011

Long Days.

There was a question the other day from The Dixons,   and to be honest,  I’m never quite sure whether it’s Jim or Sandie,  but I’m guessing it’s usually Sandie,  as to whether I ever slow down?

The answer is a resounding “yes!”.   There’s never any difficulties in that department.   I’d like to refer you back to the sailing analogy.   The only thing is,  there are some days that do seem to drag on. 

Of course,  the question might have been more directed to Travelling Companion,  and some days I do wish she’d try and slow down.   But,  we remind ourselves that the only reason we’re here,  is due to “the job”.   *sigh*


This is just an observation,  but I do seem to do a certain amount of “waiting” in these situations,  and yesterday was a pretty good example,  and today will be more of the same.  Thankfully we have cell phones,  navigation systems and Google maps.   I’m pretty sure I’d go out of my gourd without the internet.  Even though I could probably do just fine without it back home (lots to do) having internet during these “away times” seems to have become an absolute necessity.   Especially when you get a phone call that starts with, “I think I’m on the wrong road!”  

She was fine,  really.

The GPS was taking her on the shortest route,  since taking the built up highway would have meant going first into Slovakia.   Remember how it used to be “Czechoslovakia”?   Well,   at the time they built a highway (← note: link to Google map) between Bratislava and Prague.  That’s all wonderful and everything,  except that these days,  they’re two different countries.


Travelling Companion didn’t get home last night until around 9:30 p.m. (OK… 21:30 if you prefer) and I had made up some egg salad,  since I knew she’d be hungry,  but we know from previous experience,  that eating late is not a good choice for either of us.  So nothing too heavy.  I really don’t know how the Spaniards do it,  and that’s something which I thought I had referred to elsewhere,  but come to find out I guess I only thought about referring to it.  (Is this the first signs of dementia?  What the hell??)  I went back and read through that whole entry about Bilbao,  Spain and I couldn’t find one reference to eating late.   Bonehead.


Anyway, the Spaniards eat late,  just trust me on that.   I don’t mean like,  21:30 or something,  I’m talking close to midnight!   We’d both be in such trouble.  I’m not going to elaborate.


Today,  after work,  they “have to go to dinner”.  This is looked upon mostly as a chore for Travelling Companion.  She’s not into the whole “networking” thing,  or whatever other purpose that could possibly be arrived at by going to dinner with a bunch of co-workers.  I can’t really reveal too many details about the reasons for these meetings (the trip to Prague and such),  except to say that it’s that time of the year for “Profit Plan”.   I’ve lost count,  but I think this is Travelling Companion’s 12th or 13th Profit Plan,  so at least she’s not a Newbie by any stretch of the imagination.

So,  since she has to go somewhere to a “Heuriger”  later this evening,  I offered to chauffeur this morning,  and then run out to her office and fetch her later and deliver her to wherever the heck they’re having their dinner.    That link will take you to a Wikipedia article that’s pretty accurate. 

We were listening to the 7:00 a.m. news out on the Gürtel this morning,  and I’m not sure when we set out,  but it was early. 

So now I need to get back out and refuel the car and get it washed,  which was something I didn’t want to do earlier,  since getting back in to the city before the traffic gets crazy is usually a consideration.


What follows is a random photo I took last week when I was out trying to unload my propane tank.  I’m always somewhat in awe of the buildings here. 


And yes,  there does seem to be a lot of hanging traffic lights.



Thanks for stopping by.




Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Plodding along.


I probably have way too many pictures of sunsets,  but I figure if I only use them as some sort of filler once in a while,  it won’t be make you nod off too soon.  If I didn’t find it quite so annoying,  I’d add the “date stamp” feature on each one,  but you’ll have to take my word for it that I took that one last night.

I have to say,  we’ve been having some really great weather these last few days.  Just had to mention it,  since I have been known to gripe a little bit when the weather is less than ideal.  It does get cool fairly quickly at nightfall,  but I think that’s one of the reasons why I like the fall.  If you’re a little warm during the day,  you can look forward to cooling off in the evening.   Of course,  the days are getting shorter,  but I’ve been warned not to complain about that minor triviality.  Just makes using the BBQ in the evenings a bit of a challenge is all.


Got word back via email that the sisters-in-law had arrived in Toronto safe and sound.  If there’s no news,  I usually figure it’s good news,  but it’s always nice to hear a little peep on that front. 


Not too danged much going on today in Wienerland.   Travelling Companion just called to say she had just left Prague and is on her way to her other office in Schrems.  At the moment it’s just after noon time,  so she won’t be getting there until almost three this afternoon, and won’t be leaving again for home until some time in the early evening.  I may offer to drive her to work tomorrow.  It’s sort of a consolation prize.

I had originally offered to drive her to Prague,  and then just come home again the next day,  since I have very little desire to hang around Prague on my own all day,  but the fellow that she could have ridden back with has had to go elsewhere,  so that plan wasn’t going to work.  I’ve done enough of the hanging around town routine while she’s at work to know that I just don’t have any huge desire to do that.  (Vejle, Denmark.  Brussels,  Belgium.  Bonn, Germany.  Shall I continue?)


I guess I could have been watching some quality Czech Television in my hotel room,  but that’s hardly any enticement. 

Um,  that last little bit should have been in some sort of “sarcasm font”,  but I’m not quite sure just how that should look.  There’s really very little quality television anywhere on the planet these days,  and certainly not in the Czech Republic.  Just thought I’d point that out.


Meanwhile I’ve sorted out one of the spare bedrooms in anticipation of another guest arriving on Monday from Toronto.   


Not that you really care all that much,  but it never hurts to throw in a gratuitous photo.  I should point out that,  here in Europe,  they do have these rather large pillows,  and at this point we have…. several.  

And yes,  I did just roll my eyes.

The one sister-in-law who slept on that bed during her visit (well,  when she wasn’t in Slovenia)  said,  “I LOVE that pillow!”   I think we may have to bring her one or more of these pillows when we move home?   We brought two of them home in August for Daughter Number One,  that she and her significant other are using in their new house.   Talk about having a shit of a time stuffing two pillows into your luggage!  I had to actually roll them and tape them up with packing tape to get them them to go in.

Getting a hold of pillow cases may be a bit of a challenge,  but the plan is that Travelling Companion may be able to sew up a pillow case now and again if need be.  

Just a guess.


Well,  I’m sort of running on empty here kids.  Have to figure out what to have on hand for Travelling Companion’s late arrival.  Can’t be anything too heavy.


Keep it between the ditches.




Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Busy Sunday

OK,  I know it’s Tuesday.  I’m not quite that daft.  However,  I’m sure you recall my sailing analogy when it comes to life here in Wienerland.   For the next day or so,  we’ll be on a rather long beat to windward.  (i.e. boring)
But before we get to that,  just a brief attempt at some levity.  Sometimes I see the darnedest things from out my kitchen window.  Sometimes the balcony.
I guess this person needed some “alone time” with her phone? 
She’s actually on a roof a half a block away.
DSC_4001 (1)
Hey,  whatever works for you.

So,  Sunday.
The plan was to go to St. Augustine's for the Sunday mass.  Now,  far be it from me to poo-poo what the North Americans consider “old”,  but this place was founded in 1327.  So,  it’s been around for a while.   It’s “new” compared to St. Stephan's I suppose,  but it still doesn’t quite have that “modern” look about it?  
The trick is to get there early.   I punted the crew out not too far from the Albertina and took the car back to the parking garage outside the Opera.  That was around 10:20 a.m.  (just a warning with anyone who has a less than ideal internet connection,  that “Albertina” website has a bit going on.  Just so you know.  No crazy music though.)
In spite of getting there early,  we were relegated to the wooden chairs off to one side.   Come to find out,  they were slightly less uncomfortable than the permanent ones.   The only consideration is that the view is somewhat obstructed.  Not too much of a hardship.
I always look on in amazement at the people who show up at 10:55 thinking they’ll some how get a seat. Are you kidding me?  Get out of bed!   We were sitting on individual chairs,  so nobody came along thinking they could “squeeze” in.  There were a few attempts in the main section,  but most every one of them were turned away.  Late comers get no respect,  nor should they. 

It was a “lovely service”  (hey,  I’m not Catholic) and the irony is,  I’m really the only one who can understand what the heck is going on, but I’m not fast enough to interpret everything that is being said.  Plus there’s some of the “holy jargon” that I’m not completely sure about.  The Catholics among us (that would be Travelling Companion and her two sisters)  know the routine well enough that they can fill in the blanks.   I do however give snippets from the announcements before the mass and at the end.   This time around there was an admonition for the touristy types to not take photographs,  which curiously enough was announced in both German and Italian.   I said,  “Oh,  he should have done that one in Japanese”,  but I’m funny that way.
It’s not that they mind you taking pictures,  but some folks don’t know how to take a picture without an annoying flash going off.  THAT’S the real problem,  and really f**king annoying!   Besides,  in a church,  flash photography really doesn’t work all that well, as any of you avid photographers may already know.   And if you don’t know it, YOU NEED TO KNOW IT.

The real enticement to go to a service at this particular church,  is that there is always,  always a very nice musical performance.    We listened to Shubert’s Mass in A flat major,  which I had never heard before.   He was a little more long winded than Mozart,  but it was damned fine music.   Oh,  I guess using “damned fine music” in the context of a church setting is not the best choice. 
Meh,  so bite me.
Then of course at the very end,  after the mass is finished,  the organist plays on for a good five minutes,  and I guess the regulars have heard it enough times,  that they have places to go and coffee to drink,  but we always stay that extra few minutes.   The church organ isn’t necessarily one of my favourite instruments,  but this guys knows his stuff.  There’s always a hearty round of applause at the end.

After coming out of church,  and a brief nutrition break at Starbucks, we wandered over in front of the Albertina again,  where we were surprised to see that the fountain outside was finally operational after what seemed like the longest time.   Every time we’ve come along here in the last year and a half,  there has been netting over the thing,  and they’ve been doing some sort of work to it. 

I can’t seem to find a good link that properly describes the figures in the statue,  so you’ll have to bear with me.  It’s “Danubius”  and seated next to him is “Vindobona”.  (The chick)  Doesn’t make a lot of sense,  unless you realise that “Danubius” is the personification of the Danube river,  and “Vindobona” was the name given to Vienna by the Celts when they had a camp here around 15 BC.   The Romans made quick work of them a bit later,  but that’s a whole other story.
There are ten additional statues on either side of the fountain that represent other rivers from around here. 

I didn’t mean for this to be a history lesson,  so I’ll knock it off now.

I’ll skip ahead to Sunday night,  when we went to dinner at Plachutta.   We took the subway this time,  since Bob wanted to have a beer.   Or maybe two.  Would have been cheaper to park the car,  but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.
Once again we had a hidden agenda,  since we wanted to have an idea as to how they make this particular spinach sauce that goes really well with “Tafelspitz”.    We now think that it’s the tiniest bit of nutmeg that they put in that makes the difference.   This is one of those many occasions when having oldest sister-in-law along to taste things can be lots of fun.  She can taste most anything and tell you what’s in there. 

We did go to dinner a bit early by European standards,  since our reservation was for 6:00 p.m.   I’m usually getting hungry by then anyway,  and none of us had any problems scarfing down our food.   There’s nothing cheap about anything on the menu,  but you need reservations to get in,   and the food is to die for.   We had NO room for dessert.
Of course,  then Sunday night,  the two sisters-in-law had to pack up,  since we took them to the airport on Monday morning. 
We won’t see either of them for probably a year now,  since we won’t be going home for a bit of a stretch.
The trip to the airport was uneventful,  even though the traffic is busy on a Monday morning.  I made sure I had a pee break before heading back,  since sitting in traffic with a full bladder is just not something I’m overly enthusiastic about.  (done it too many times, it ain’t fun)
It was then Travelling Companion’s turn to head out,  since she was first heading to her office,  and then on to Prague later in the afternoon.  
What that meant was first stopping by the apartment here to fetch her suitcase,  giving me a chance to put together some lunch for her,  and then stopping at a nearby gas station where I refuelled the car.   I then saw her on her way,  and I toddled on home on foot.
I did happen to notice that the boys were working on their erector set,  and happened to have the small camera along.   This is taken from the opposite side,  down the street.

By yesterday already (Monday) the crane was gone,  and by this morning they had already put up a bunch more pieces.  I hear then using a pneumatic wrench,  (impact gun?) so I’m guessing they’re using something like Huck bolts?   I’m only guessing of course,  but judging by that website,  it would seem that such a product is readily available here in Wienerland.
DSC_4001 (2)
Plus,  they don’t like to have things blowing down in these parts.  That would never do.

I realise I’ve gotten a little long winded,  and I hope you’ve been able to stay awake.

Thanks for stopping by.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Down and Back.

With the exception of checking on emails I haven’t really had the time or ambition to fire up the computer all that much.

We’ve been busy.

As I (think I) alluded to on Friday,  I was off to Slovenia on Saturday morning to fetch my two sisters-in-law from the Slovenian cousin’s place in Sava.  There was some talk of the two of them taking the train back here,  but I just had visions of the one sister-in-law fighting with her suitcase getting on the train and such,  and there was no way that that was going to happen.  See,  she was born….well,  I have to be careful here,  some time before the second world war,  yet sometimes thinks she’s in her forties?   Revealing women’s ages on the blog is probably not a good idea for Bob.  Just thought I’d mention that.

Besides,  she had very kindly paid for a ONE MONTH Vignette for Slovenia when we went down a couple weeks ago,  and dammit! I was gonna get the use out of that thing!


I had sent along my estimated departure time at some point in an email,  stating that I was going to be leaving Vienna “before sun-up”,   which these days means around six a.m.   So when I showed up at the door at around 9:30,  they were a little surprised to see me.   I did say before sun-up,  and in spite of that,  the cousin somehow thought we’d be hanging around there until something like 2:00 p.m.  

Oh,  I don’t think so.   I wanted to get back here before the stores closed in case I had left anything off the shopping list (and I had)  so that was also not going to happen.

I’m not feeling overly effusive in the blogging department,  so what will follow will be a host of pictures I took on the way.



IMG_0138 IMG_0136 IMG_0137

The little beemer likes to go.  Just the same,  the Slovenians were still passing me.   Note the various temperatures in relation to the time?   It just depends on the elevation.


This is the only reason that I engage the GPS,  since I don’t want to miss the cut-off that takes me over the mountains to Sava.

the cutoff

Lousy picture though, but I was kinda busy.



Now we’re off the highway.



That one kind of sums it up.  Can you see the licence plate?


Once you get into the mountains,  the weather can do some whacky things.


Driving by oneself in a three series BMW in the mountains of Slovenia can be a lot of fun.  It’s always best to stay on the road though, and I’m certainly not a rally driver.  There was no skidding or going sideways,  although I noticed that motorcycle riders do have cornering issues when it’s really dicey.  Can’t keep up.  Naturally he passed me like I was parked once we hit a bit of a straightaway.   If you think there was any notion of picture taking,  you need to give yourself a shake. 

Too busy.


As I mentioned,  Slovenian cousin didn’t seem to get a good grasp on the notion that I was going to arrive early and then leave right away,  so she had put a pork roast in the oven.   Huh?


Not sure what to say except that,  letting others decide my travel times and such isn’t really something I’ve been willing to do since,  oh I don’t know?  about 1975?   Sorry about that.   There wasn’t going to be a “Happy Hour”  or anything. 

I mean,  I hung around long enough to have a cup of Turkish coffee,  and for the two ladies to get their bags packed, but that was it.


However,  we cut off a slab of the roast and took it with us!  




I’ve had a couple slices as cold cuts.  I don’t know what she did to it,  but MAN,  she makes a great roast pork!  I think that’s all I’ll be having for supper tonight….

By the way,  that’s one of the sisters-in-law,  not the cousin.   The cousin,  among many other things,  is a volunteer firefighter,  and was at a competition that day.  So it’s just as well that Travelling Companion wasn’t able to come along,  since they wouldn’t have been able to see each other anyway. 


Cleaning the bugs off the windshield was the only other thing I took the time to do.


So,  the hidden agenda for getting back to Vienna in a timely fashion?   Well,  there had been an offer to sort out the cooking details for the evening meal as well,  and I really didn’t want to screw up that opportunity.

I’m happily standing back at a safe distance from the kitchen.  Nice to get the day off.   (well,  except for that seven hours of driving)


Dinner was a chicken risotto recipe that we got from another sister-in-law that is to die for,  but is very nearly at the outer limits of my culinary skill level.

That’s my story anyway.



Friday, September 23, 2011

Racing to the Airport.

I’m not sure what the opposite of “hurry up and wait” would be,  but last night I tried it out,  even though I hadn’t planned on it.

Somehow misjudged the timing,  and didn’t leave the apartment here until ten to eleven,  and the flight was supposed to come in at around five past?


The trip usually takes about a half hour.  It’s ten minutes just to get down to the car in the underground parking.

I didn’t run, but I didn’t dawdle either.

Needless to say I had the little Beemer kinda flying once I got out on the highway.  Good thing the construction on the A4 was on the other side.  That would have sucked. They were squeezing three lanes of traffic down to one and had the road ripped up.  If you click on that link,  it coincidently shows the exact route that I took.  We don’t actually live on Zieglergasse,  but that’s where the entrance to the parking garage is.

So I had my little cell phone out at the ready,  waiting for the call with the question, “Where are you?”.    Never sure what to give as an answer to that one,  “I’m an idiot and I can’t tell time”?    Thankfully that call never came.

Travelling Companion arrived all right,  but didn’t come out through the point of no return until 23:27.   I had scurried in there at 23:23!

Such good timing.  Just too bad I didn’t really plan it that way. It would be wonderful if it worked that way each time,  but I usually have to stand around for a good 20 minutes to a half hour,  never really knowing when exactly the plane has touched down.   And flights at the end of the day?  If they’re on time,  it’s pretty nearly a miracle.

So of course,  I already knew about the construction,  but taking any other route is a bit of a crap shoot,  and I have come in to Vienna another way,   but it’s not any faster than just waiting your turn to go single file past the construction crew.   

Oh and by the way,  those crews are the same no matter where they are in the world.  There’s usually one or two guys down in the hole,  and about six of them standing around,  checking to make sure the work is getting done.  Or having a smoke.  Or something. It was about 18°C,  yet they were wearing jackets.  Travelling Companion commented that they were bundled up,  but I pointed out that it was because they weren’t going any actual work.


I think we crashed some time well after midnight.  She didn’t even unpack her bag, but I’ll sort that out later today.  I have a whack of things to look after today,  not the least of which is trying to figure out what to have on hand for the rest of the weekend.

I’ll be heading off to Slovenia tomorrow morning just as soon as I haul on me trousers,  so I’ve had to figure out what we’ll be eating when we come back,  and then what to have on Sunday.   I’ve already made reservations for Sunday night at Plachutta,  which is one of the places that we do take visitors on a fairly regular basis.   I’m in their reservation database,  but they still can’t pronounce my last name.  I’ve tried to get used to it.  Really.


Meanwhile,  we’ve had a little bit of interesting activity just up the street in the last couple days.  

For anyone who is remotely interested,  I’ll be updating this construction site over the next year or so. 

I’ve always had a thing for cranes.




Looked like they were hauling up big pieces of a Meccano® set all day long.  They’re not too keen on flimsy buildings it seems.



Looking up the street…



Now,  here’s an example of something I find absolutely mindboggling about life in the “big city”.  

The pedestrians think nothing of still using the sidewalk right next to the machine,  AND you’ll notice that he has maybe a foot there between the back of the crane and the building?



I guess “an inch is as good as a mile” comes to mind?


There may be a bit of a void over the next few days.  We’ll see.


Hope everyone has a fine weekend.



Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Quest!

It certainly didn’t start out as a “quest”,  but it’s just an example of how some times the simplest thing can end up being an entire morning of entertainment.  Really.

There are,  how shall I put this?  certain challenges here that we tend to take for granted back home.  One of those things is the otherwise simple notion of procuring a tank of propane for the BBQ.  How hard could that be?

In Canada, or at least in Ontario,  we have a host of choices.  You can do the “exchange a tank” program,  or you can choose to buy one outright,  all the while knowing that the thing is going to expire at some predetermined date down the road.  One has to check that expiry stamp.  Helps you avoid any unpleasant surprises.   There’s a story in there about a cottage rental on an island,  boating in to town with an empty tank,  only to discover that it had expired.   A metal tank of propane can start to get MIGHTY heavy after the first kilometre or so.  This I know. That was such fun.  But that’s another story.


Which, by the way, is why I prefer to take the car. 



You’ll also notice that the tanks they have here are just a tad bigger than the ones we get back home?  Well,  at least the ones I’ve been using for the last 30 years or so.  Also,  when I went to get a tank here in Austria,  I discovered that the EU had begun to mandate that suppliers of gas could only use these new types of tanks that are not only made of some sort of poly, but are also virtually indestructible.   The sides will expand and contract,  which is something that a metal canister cannot do.  That’s kind of cool,  yes?


So,  where do you find these??   Well,  not at a building supply place like OBI or Bauhaus or Baumax.   The equivalent would be Home DepotLowes and say,  Canadian Tire?  Even though there’s nothing quite like Canadian Tire anywhere in Europe,  with the exception possibly of Carrefour in Belgium and France,  and in a few other places,  but not around here. 

I’ve been around,  OK?  Trust me.


Now,  I don’t need more propane.  I have a second tank.  It’s all good.  But what I also don’t need,  is having one of these empty tanks hanging around,  since it represents a sizable deposit.

Oh,  that’s  the other thing.   When I finally found a gas station that handled these tanks,  I actually didn’t have enough cash on me to buy the thing.  Had to use my bank card. The total outlay was €85,90. 

Yes,  your eyes are fine. 

That was about two thirds more than it had been in the Netherlands,  but the thing was,  since they were still using the metal tanks in the Netherlands,  there was no need to put down the deposit.  When we moved,  I just took back my empty tank,  (and the other one that was about half full…grrr.) to the place where I had bought it.  Not a gas station,  by the way,  but a place that sells tools.   Even though we were driving down to Austria by car,  there was no flippin’ way I was lugging a half full tank of propane across two countries.  I’m just saying. 

I considered it,  because I’m cheap,  but decided it wasn’t worth the hassle.  There are probably some “rules”?  And besides, if it doesn’t seem like the brightest idea,  it’s probably not the right idea.


The gas part of the transaction itself is only €32,90 for a ten kilogram tank of fuel.  Since I bought the first one in January of 2010,   (January 11th at 1:13 p.m. to be exact,  ‘cause I’ve been known to keep the odd receipt now and again…)  and it only just ran out at the end of August,  that’s really not too shabby.   That’s what?  Twenty months?


So you’ve done the math, right?  That’s a deposit of €53,00.   I think they want their tank back,  yes?


I knew I had first purchased this canister out in Handelskai (just another part of Vienna)  but first I thought I’d try out the station not too far from here where I’ve bought diesel from time to time. I wasn’t sure if I had seen tanks there or not.  No dice.   It’s not every BP station that handles these things,  which makes it even more fun

What’s that game?  Scavenger hunt?

Never mind.


So,  I just figured I’d take a drive out to Handelskai, only to arrive there to discover that the BP station where I bought the first tank was no longer a BP station.   Oh c’mon! 


So then I figured I’d have to come back here and do an internet search,   but as I was tooling along Dresdenerstraße,  with no particular place to go, (well,  except home)  I spotted another BP station!  They sold tanks!  Bazinga!  But they couldn’t take mine!   What??   The clerk said they were full.  I guess they can only take so many,  and that was it.  *sigh*

They keep the empty ones in one big metal box.  The full ones in another.  I suppose I get it.


However,  she was very kind, and offered to call another station over on Heiligenstädter Straße,  and they informed her that yes,  they had room for my tank. 

All of this is only because Bob wants to BBQ.  OK? 


So I found the next stop with no difficulties,  and realised that I had DRIVEN RIGHT PAST this particular BP station a half hour earlier,  but had not gone in there,  since it was on the other side of the street,  and I KNEW for sure that I could take my tank back to the station on Handelskai.  

All I want is my fifty-three Euros.  

And I don’t have to go pee yet. 

I’m still in the game.


So here’s the deal.   I wander into the store part of the operation,  and the guy tells me I have to take my tank back to an area behind the entrance to the Car Wash,  and the fellow back there will deal with it.  I don’t think they had quite thought out the notion of cheap buggers like me simply bringing back an empty tank for the deposit,  since the receipt he gave me was just a quarter sheet of lined paper with a couple details scribbled on it.  I should have taken a picture,  but by then the end of the quest was in sight,  and I guess I started to get a little excited.

So I took that “receipt” back in to the clerk inside,  and after studying the cash register keypad just long enough to make me nervous,  he produced my €53.  




I’m tempted to get it framed.




And now we wait for Travelling Companion to call from the gate in Turin.   It’s going to be a bit of a late night,  since her flight doesn’t come in until 2305.   That would be 11:05 p.m. for you non European types.   Gah!


I may have to take a late afternoon nap.




Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Putting away the shorts.

I think I’ve gone practically all summer without having worn long trousers for more than a few hours at a time,  but that time has sure passed.  Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had a fabulous summer,  and I’m by no means complaining,  but the idea of putting away the “summer clothes” for the next several months is kind of a bummer.  “Summer”  clothes for me is really only the shorts end of things,  since I tend to wear t-shirts just about all year.  If I could compare my body temperature to that of a car engine,  I seem to run a little “warm” just about all the time,  and could never quite get over working with guys who would wear a t-shirt AND a shirt in the middle of the summer.   I would simply wilt, and fall by the wayside.    And forget long sleeved shirts!   Within minutes it seems I find myself rolling up my sleeves,  so it’s always best to just not wear a long sleeved shirt in the first place.
So why am I blathering on about this?  Well,   starting some time Sunday night,  the weather in these parts has kind of sucked, if I must say.  It’s just been drizzly and cloudy and blustery,  and only today has it started to brighten up a bit,  even though it’s still completely overcast.  
Travelling Companion left Monday morning in complete cloud cover (with rain interspersed)  and said her flight was a bit of a bumpy one.  She’s calmed down a whole lot over the last ten years or so of air travel,  but I recall her stories of flying out of Hamilton,  Ontario when I think it was US Airways that had a direct flight to Pittsburgh.   Only thing was,  the plane wasn’t anything bigger than about a 12 seater,    and trust me when I say this,  she’s still not a person who wants to see what’s going on up front,  especially if it’s big red blotches on the radar screen.   I always wished I could go in her place,  since I would have had a grand time,  but that certainly wasn’t possible.  
Funny how that works?  I much prefer flying in a smaller plane rather than a passenger liner,  but that sort of activity scares the bejeepers out of her.   Yet she’s the one who does most of the air travel.

Some time on Monday I guess it was,  I received a note from sister-in-law telling me she had arrived in Ljubljana on schedule and her sister and cousin were there to meet her.   They went to a Gostijlna (Slovenian for restaurant is all)  and ended up having what turned into a five course meal.  Had to take home doggie bags.  She said there was then a picnic in Sava later that day (more eating!)  and then the rain started later in that night.  I think they’ve pretty much had the same crappy weather we’ve had,  if I take a gander at the weather radar for Europe. 
She insists that the two of them are going to take the train back here on Saturday from Ljubljana,  but I have no problem running down to Sava on Saturday to fetch them.   It takes about three and a half hours to get to Sava,  I’ll hang around a bit, and we’ll all motor back here to Wienerland.  No big deal.
Originally Travelling Companion wanted to head out together on Friday some time,  but she figures the work will have piled up to the point that the Friday program is out the window.   Stupid work!
She still might come along if I do a ‘down and back’ on the Saturday and work in the car.  She seems to be able to do that,  right up to the point where motion sickness starts to creep in.  I only find it slightly annoying when it’s during the week and she’s on the phone (using the bluetooth system) and I have the privilege of listening in to some of the conversations.  Her patience with some of the people who report to her shows no bounds.  Other than that,  I have no comment.
It remains to be seen if the issue with Live Writer has been sorted out.  I had some words of wisdom from Rick on joining Google Plus,  which I’ve done.  Don’t know if that will help.  I do recall having the issue with running out of space for pictures,  but that still doesn’t explain how I can just load them up from Blogger in draught.  (no, meant to say "draft",  but writing in Blogger with a "draught"  is probably also a worthwhile pursuit,  except of course that they both actually mean the same,  does that clear things up?  Silly English language.)
Of course,  I don’t completely understand where the heck they end up anyway,  so perhaps the pictures are in two different spots?   Too much info for my pea brain.
So I guess that means I should add some photos to test things out?

Some Enquiring minds need to know I'm sure.

I did leave off with the proximity of the Vienna City Hall (Rathaus) to the circus,  which is also really close to the Austrian Parliament.
Speaking of which,  a couple of the clowns from the Austrian Parliament were in New York last week for some event or other at the United Nations.
just a snippet….

Austria elected Vice-President of the UN General Assembly

New York, 24 June 2011 – At the 66th UN General Assembly, which will be opened on 13 September 2011, one of the two Vice-Presidents from the group of Western European and other states will come from Austria. This was decided by the UN General Assembly on 22 June by acclamation. After its membership of the UN Security Council in 2009-2010 and its first election as a member of the Human Rights Council in May 2011, Austria is once again assuming a leading role within the United Nations. Austria held the position of Vice-President of the General Assembly for the last time in 2002.
On Wednesday, the Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, was elected President of the UN General Assembly. He will replace the former Federal President of Switzerland, Joseph Deiss, in this position.

end quote.

I’m sure you care.  It was in the news here.  Briefly.
They like to think they’re important. 
Anyway,  I think in my original post that I lost on Monday,  I was talking about Saturday’s activities.   I had pictures.
Going for coffee here in Vienna is almost a national pastime,  but since we live here,  and have a coffee maker,  it’s really not that often that we do this kind of thing.   Of course,  the hidden agenda is usually to make use of the washroom facilities,  so that’s always a good ploy. 
We stopped into a “Konditerei”  after wandering around outside the circus with coffee and bathroom in mind.
I failed to get a picture of the cherry strudel type of dessert that I had,  since I ended up scarfing it down before that thought occurred to me.   These things happen.  Bob loses his mind when there’s pastry involved.   Sorry.

I did take a picture of my nearly empty coffee cup.  Nice going.
It was still warm enough to sit outside,  although we were protected by a walkway.
It’s quite common to see really spectacular architecture no matter which way you turn your head.  It’s very easy to start to take it for granted.  After being here for almost two years now,  I have to catch myself once in a while and give myself a little shake.

After coffee,  we then wandered over to take a closer look at the Austrian Parliament building.  Also,  not too shabby.
You’ll no doubt notice the big statue is holding up a little guy?  (well,  “gal” I suppose)

Any guesses who that is?   Should I give a clue?   Do you wear running shoes?
That’s probably already a give away.  You’ll need to really bone up on your Greek mythology and architecture to figure out everything that’s going on with this place.  If you really need to know,  just go on over to Wikipedia.  It’s a good way to fritter away a morning.
OK fine,  the big statue is Athena,  but that’s all I’m saying.

It’s hard to do the place justice with a few pictures,  and there are gobs of them on the web,  so I’m not going to get too carried away here.


Here you can get an idea of just how close you are to the City Hall.  Those other two spires are a mystery to me.  The city is full of them.  My brain would explode if I tried to figure out each and every one.
That was about it for Saturday.  We once again had a nice meal,  complements of Chef Bob.   Easy stuff really.  Corn on the cob.  Steaks and some green things.  (Beans I think)  Only means marinating the steaks when I get them first thing in the morning.   I have the butcher cut them from a filet.   Oh ya, baby!  Melt in your mouth.


Sunday morning was a bit of an early one,  since we took sister-in-law off to the train station.

Note that the train doesn’t leave until 8:02,  and we’re there at 7:15?  Have I ever said how I hate being late?  Sometimes we do get a bit carried away though,  I’ll admit.
So,  that’s a whole lot of pictures,  and now we’ll see how it goes when I hit “publish”.

Fingers crossed.

.*on edit*  I had to just now sign in to Blogger,  but not for the "bad" reason!   It seemed to take a looong time,  (and I was getting nervous and tired of clenching my butt) but the post loaded up to Blogger without a hitch.   Rick!  You da MAN!  



Tuesday, September 20, 2011

On with the show.

I say that in the hope that I can carry on with my little saga from the weekend,  and that I think I might have figured out one of the things that might be going on with Live Writer.    Please note the words like, “I think”  and “might”.
I’m really clutching at straws here,  but it could very well have to do with the internet browser that I’m using,  which is Firefox.  Firefox has been working fine for me for many a year,  but I do tend to have too many windows open at once,  and when I was looking at downloading Google Chrome,  I discovered that that was one of the pitfalls of that program as well.  I didn’t know that.  So I figure it just might be a problem with Firefox.  
Yesterday I closed the browser and my post was uploaded without a hitch.  That still doesn’t mean I’m on to something.  Might have just got lucky.
The thing is,  I’m not overly keen on “change”.   If I find something that works,  I tend to stick with it.   This is probably why I was able to do that Caretaking job all those years.  It’s just one of those little personality traits that aren’t immediately self evident.  Mind you,  I did miss the changing of the seasons when we were in Puerto Rico,  but I think that’s slightly different.   Jobs in general tend to be repetitive in nature,  even when we think they’re not.  
But let’s not get side tracked.
The circus came to town a few days back,  and after we had gone to the train station on Saturday morning to pick up the ticket for sister-in-law’s train trip to Ljubljana,   we headed in the direction of City Hall to take a closer look.  
It’s a bit of an odd thing really,  but the space in front of the “Rathaus” (City Hall)  gets used for any number of events.  I know they’ve had film festivals,  and in the winter time they install a huge skating rink arrangement that is refrigerated such that it’s useable up to 15°C.
Along with all that,  I’m sure there is a certain amount of revenue generated for the city coffers,  so there is a practical aspect to these wondrous things as well.
I had absolutely no desire to actually take in any circus acts,  since the thought of sitting in some stuffy tent with a bunch of screaming kids didn’t really intrigue me all that much,  but it was fun to check out the vehicles and such.
There’s a bit of an RV theme here too,  since these folks live and work in their “caravans”,  and you can see that they are pretty darned nice.

Note the “slide out”?   That building there with all the flowers hanging off it is City Hall.   Not too shabby.

Depends on your definition of “circus” I suppose.  Far be it from me to say disparaging things about Austrian politics or their politicians.

Admittedly,  which ever version of “circus” you see in these pictures,  there is a certain amount of pride taken in the upkeep. 
So now I’m already getting nervous about uploading this,  and I think I’ll save one version and try my luck.

We’ll continue with the circus theme tomorrow,  but with completely different pictures.  Don’t want to get too long winded!

Keep it between the ditches.

*On edit,  I don’t think it has anything to do with Firefox.  I have to take out photos and then reload them in Blogger.  Still getting that "403 error".  Pain in the A**!


Monday, September 19, 2011

Back to the lab.

Not sure what the deal is with Live Writer,  but it’s starting to really aggravate me.   There’s the issue of it not wanting to load up to the blog,  which kind of defeats the purpose of the whole thing. 

In addition to that,  there’s something else going on,  since I’ve been having the odd “crash” now and again ever since I started using the program.  Could be a huge coincidence,  but I doubt it. 

The thing with the crashing is,  I don’t mind all that much,  since most everything is backed up.  I mean,  I just expect to get ripped off and shafted when using anything written by Big Brother. The one thing you can rely on is the inherent susceptibility of anything the idiots at Microsoft create to crash and burn at some point.   It’s bound to happen.  I just try not to be disappointed.

As long as there are no surprises,  then we’re all happy little sheep?  Yes?


Only thing is,  today wasn’t a good example of getting all the info safely tucked away before the inevitable crash,  as I managed to lose a post that was,  oh I don’t know,  about a thousand words long?   Not sure.  

I mean,  I have all the time in the world,  right?


Of course,  by sticking with using Blogger in draft,  the posts get saved as you go,  but then mean possibly having an internet connection that’s not squirrelly,  and the hope that Blogger doesn’t do some sort of herniated explosion some day and lose everything that’s been written as well.   Should we all just go back to pen and paper?   Unfortunately,  my penmanship started to decline some time back in about 1975,  right after I started fooling around with The Cyrillic Alphabet and then Old German Script


Anyway,  depending on the extent of my patience today,  I’ll try and re-create some of the charming and generally wonderful things I had to say in the post that I lost.  


Here goes:


Saturday:  Went shopping.  Went to City Hall.  Went to the Austrian Parliament,   Took a brief stroll outside the circus.   There’s a circus theme there,  but it’s only coincidence.  Has nothing to do with government.  Not on Saturday anyway.

Should I elaborate?   Will it all be in vain?   I a little worried.

Seriously!  Why am I doing this?? 


I took pictures.  Really. 


OK fine.  I’ll slow down.

I’ll go back a few days.

At some point when we were seated in our “dining area”,  sister-in-law became quite enamoured with a lamp I had installed over the table last year some time.  OK,  maybe it’s a little bit more than a “lamp”,  since it is a little fancy.

I hunted high and low for a picture of the thing,  but ended up just taking another one:




After having purchased that one,  Travelling Companion thought it would be nice to have something over the mirrors in the bathrooms.




I mean,  doesn’t everyone have Swarovski crystal chandelier/lamp thingies in their bathrooms?  No? 

I’m rolling my eyes here,  even though I kind of like the one over the dining room table.   All three lamps will be getting shipped back to Canada whenever we move back,  by the way.   We had to make sure the lamps were interchangeable with ones that are made for 110 volts.  It’s all good.    I mean,  I could leave the present lamps in there,  but since they’re rated for 220,  they’d be a tad dim. 

So anyhoo,  the plan was to stop by the place where we had purchased these puppies,  since sister-in-law thought she’d like to take something home with her for a friend who just loves this sort of thing. 

For my part,  I’ve been there and done that,  so I would have been just as happy to wait in the car,  but I had to tag along to act as interpreter,  which I guess is another one of my “jobs”.  

So if you consider the price of some of these things,  (there was one chandelier there that was €23,000)   sister-in-law did well to come out of there with a table lamp that was something like €250.   A regular bargoon!

Hey,  whatever floats yer boat.


Now,  I think I’m just going to make an attempt at posting this,  and call it a day.

Travelling Companion just called from Italy to say she was waiting by the luggage carousel,  and they were having some sort of technical difficulties.  It’s mid afternoon,  are the Italians all asleep?  

She’ll call me later tonight from her room.


There’s more to the story.


Keep your fingers crossed.



Friday, September 16, 2011

Three for three.



We’ve been having a bit of a mixed bag in the weather department,  and that usually means some interesting views of the sky.  Thought I’d share.
I’m actually referring to three different “pick-ups”,  the three photos is merely a coincidence.

There’s always that moment when waiting at the airport when I think the person I’m waiting for has somehow slipped past me, but it’s just my over active imagination.  Or something.    It’s a creeping sensation that starts to come over me after about 15 minutes though,  when I start to try and figure out just what flight the people were on when they’re coming out through the doors.  If they have a honkin’ big Canadian flag on their belongings,  then that can be a clue,  but other than that,  the constant peering into the faces can start to become a bit tedious.   Considering my less than stellar attention span,  it can be a real exercise in staying focused.
My sister-in-law emerged from the point of no return within a half hour of her flight having landed,  and we were good to go. 
She had originally offered to take public transit to our place,  which is entirely doable,  and I’ve done it myself,  but she was quite relieved when I emailed her to say I’d have the car and was quite willing to come and fetch her.  It’s just one less thing to try and get your head around after a long overseas flight. 
The routine then after coming in to Wienerland,  is to try and sleep a couple hours,  and then get yourself adjusted to the time change.  It’s six hours.  By this morning she felt like she had made the transition.

It’s not a completely unmanageable mob scene,  but there are always those who think they need to crowd right up to the barrier.   I prefer to hang back, and give specific instructions to any arriving passenger(s).
“Turn slightly to your right,  and I’ll be under the sign for the casino, ‘Admiral Entertainment’.”   Works every time,  unless the person has some “right/left” issues. 
It’s happened.

This could be one of the reasons why I’ve managed to avoid any kind of head cold issues since coming here.  I do tend to be rather “stand-offish”,  and although I hope that I’m not a complete “germa-phobe”,  I do wash my hands each and every time I come in the door from being “out and about”.   Seems to be working so far.  (touch wood)

As scheduled,  I then meandered down to the pharmacy in the afternoon to pick up the prescription for Travelling Companion.  They at least do have one wicket that is clearly marked,  “Nur Abholung”.   (literally, ‘only pick-up’)  There’s still a certain amount of standing around involved,  but I’m done complaining about that whole situation.   The pills were in,  we have them.  ‘Nuff said.
Then the third pick-up for the day was Travelling Companion,  who called from somewhere north of here to say when she figured she’s be at a pre-arranged drop off point.   This was a hotel on the Ring,  so that wasn’t a challenge to find,  although I did make sure to later enter the address in the GPS for her for this morning,  since finding places in this city is not one of her strengths, and she had offered to be taxi driver for the Big Head this morning.  She likes to be frugal that way,  and one of these days I’ll relate to you a little snippet about when we were in Puerto Rico,  as relates to this “frugality”.
The sister-in-law went along for the ride,  just to take in a bit of the city,  and of course to see her sister.  
I already knew by that point that I’d be going out again,  since dinner had been arranged for four of them last night at an obscure location in the first district.   This of course naturally means that muggins here is the chauffeur,  (and no beer for Bob) although it would have been entirely possible to take the subway.  Not very sporting of me though since,  as I’ve mentioned,  doing these drives from time to time is kind of “my job”.    We will take the subway if we’re going somewhere and I’d like to have maybe a couple drinks.   The whole “drinking and driving” thing here in Austria is really,  really,  really not a good idea,  since the blood alcohol level is set so low (something like .05?)  that you only need to sniff the cork,  and you might be over the limit.  They jerk your licence.  You’re done.   That’s not something we’d ever want to have to entertain.  No sir.  Not sure just how you go about getting your license back, but the plan is to not ever have to find out.
The funny thing was,  even though I mistimed our arrival by about four or five minutes,  (late)  Travelling Companion was the first one there,  since the natives got lost!   The First District in Vienna is an area that I do refer to as the “Rabbit Warren”,  and it is easy to get turned around,  especially at night,  and I was feeling pretty smug about them not being able to find their way when I later heard the news.   Silly Viennese.  Don’t know their own city!
Travelling Companion had a very good idea where she was,  and referred to the Jesuiten Kirche (Jesuit Church….click the link) just around the corner,  but said she preferred the Augustiner Kirche instead.    Apparently she’s better acquainted with the downtown area than these guys!    At least when it comes to all the churches we’ve gone to.   Well,  and more than a couple restaurants too. 

I see by our “Winnie-the-Pooh” clock that I need to get myself out the door.  
Until tomorrow then.

Keep your powder dry.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

So Close!

Let me tell you a little story about well,  frustration mostly.
See, here in Wienerland,  we’re back to the routine of me being “chief cook and bottle washer”. (have to look up where that one came from) 
That seems to cover most everything.  I’m not kidding about the cooking.  It’s not five star.  I’m shooting for about three and a half.  Better than a lot of restaurants I’ve been to though.
Here are some gratuitous photos:
Turns out I’ve even been doing the “weekend meals” too! Harumph!  I’m supposed to get the weekends “off”.  Oh well.   This one was breaded chicken and grilled veggies.  The veggies look a little pale,  since there was a deal on Zucchinis.  I probably should have just bought one.

Then we have Mmmmmeatloaf.  

Along with our very last Slovenian tomato.  It was good though.


I happen to be able to make a damned fine meatloaf.  Unlike steak,  it IS something on which I will put ketchup.  This particular meal was pretty much a “no carb” meal.  That is,  with the exception of the glass of wine,  and there’s minimal carbohydrates in wine.   (It’s that whole cooking for a diabetic thing?)

Enough of the photos.
Then,  besides the cooking,  there’s most everything else.   I’ve mentioned the chauffeuring part,  but there’s also the idea that I have to make any and all appointments,  including those for hair or Doctor or what have you.   I’ve tried to point out that I’m not anyone’s secretary,  and both the doctor and the hair dresser do speak English.  The hair dresser not so much.  She and I stick to German.  The Doc is a professional though,  and I expect her to keep up.
So here’s the thing.   From time to time,  I have to queue up at the local pharmacy out here about 50 metres from our front door,  and fill a couple prescriptions.  See,  you can’t just wander in like at Walgreens,  or Shopper’s Drug Mart and buy your haemorrhoid cream off the shelf.  No no,  everything is in the back.  So in the case of the aforementioned haemorrhoid cream,  that means you’re pretty well letting everyone within earshot know that your butt hole is itching like a son of a bitch,  and you just need some salve. 
Yup, that can be such fun.   On a positive note,  the haemorrhoid cream they sell here is really “kick ass”.  Thank-you.  Thank-you.  Be sure and tip your server.

The other rather unfortunate aspect of this system is,  EVERYONE has to then wait to be served.  Whether it’s Tee Tree Oil,  Butt Salve or what have you,  it’s in the back.  This is why the place is always full of people.   They’re not really “busy”,  it just looks that way.
It’s a hell of a strategy really.  “Oh look how wonderfully busy we are!”   Right.

So that’s already frustration number one.  There are two items that I have to get.  I managed to get one.  The other had to be renewed by the doc.  This isn’t always the case.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised in the past to be able to take the prescription back in, time after time for something like a year and get the pills for Travelling Companion.    Then I struck out.   How was I supposed to know this?
So yesterday afternoon,  after a couple emails and phone calls,  I had to go see the doc so she could write a new prescription for Travelling Companion.   You may recall that Travelling Companion is,  wait for it,  travelling?  Unavailable.  Next week she’s in Italy.  Running out of pills.  Just a little tension there.

The doctor’s office isn’t THAT far from our front door,  but it’s Vienna.  Her office hours are from three to seven.  In any city you can think of, that’s rush hour.
Out of one whole long city block, there was actually one parking spot that I was able to nab (after doing a three point turn,  holding up traffic but I don’t care at this point)  and got myself into the doctor’s office.  This is another one of those typical locations in an old building (well,  like there are any new ones in Vienna?)  with a left and a right “Stiege” (staircase) will elevators that have been installed at some later date.  Sort of like stepping into an old movie set.  Maybe one of these times I’ll take a bunch of pictures when I’m in one of these places.  Our building is kind of like that, but not as elegant or dramatic.   The doc has some sort of Embassy across the way from her office.  La-di-da. 
No armed guard this time.
The first time when both Travelling Companion and I went there together,  there was actually an armed guard standing in the hallway.  A little unnerving,  but we’re sort of used to that kind of thing.   Sort of.
So fine,  had to sit in the waiting room for a couple minutes, (I mean, if you didn’t,  would it still be a real doctor’s office?  I don’t think so.)  and then got invited in to get my little piece of paper.  Well technically I suppose it’s not MY piece of paper,  but my problem none the less.  The doc did make some reference to the notion that, “You are retired,  aren’t you?”   Hm, I went along with that assessment. I really wanted to point out that technically,  I’m unemployed,  but whatever.  .
Managed to make my way back across town by using a couple of my own devious little short cuts (OK,  maybe blatantly obvious to anyone living here,  but I like to think I’m clever that way)  and once again took my place in the mob at the drug store, edging my way ever closer to the counter. 

They didn’t have it.

The young lad came back out from the never ending storage room in the back with three packages all right,  but I took one look and said, “Ne,  die sind zu stark”.  (those are too strong) since they were 1000mg,  and we’ve been getting 850.  Or something.  But not 1000.   He missed that part.
There’s such a thing as “hypoglycaemia”,   (as opposed to “hyperglycaemia”) which is what would happen is she took those.   (blood sugar too low)  We don’t want that. 

So the prescription will be in today after two.

They’ve got our money,  so let’s hope so?

Now I’m off to the airport.  Did I forget to say something about a new visitor?   Oh dear.