Wednesday, September 14, 2011

More of the same.

Sometimes I take for granted some of the spectacles that one sees on a daily basis here in Wienerland.   This was from this morning about about 7:20.  Of course,  I actually wanted to take a shot of the whole thing,  until this idiot cut in front on his scooter.  This “cutting in front”, is a phenomenon that happens everywhere in Europe,  and it’s one of those little things that can really start to get annoying.

Today was another driving day for me,  since Travelling Companion has to do a little travelling of her own.  Originally she thought she’d be taking the car,  since there’s some sort of Big Head coming in to Vienna from the Head Office of the Company that Cannot be Named.   He’s replacing some other Big Head who got shipped off to China.  Somehow I just don’t think that’s such a good thing,  but there are those who don’t seem to mind.  That’s a whole other topic.  At least here in Wienerland I can get something to eat,  although I got tired of Wiener Schnitzel a while back.    Didn’t Stalin send a bunch of folks off to the Gulags?  OK, never mind.
Anyhoo,  her new boss offered to be the chauffeur,  and they’ll be taking a run up to the Czech Republic to have a look at a production facility there,  along with a couple other locations in Austria.  She can just be another passenger. 
She likes that.  
I did mention something along the lines yesterday morning on our way down in the elevator to the effect that,  “It’s a shame that after that Honours Degree in Economics,  along with being a Certified Management Accountant,  that you end up being some guy’s taxi driver.”  But then she lucked out and gets to just sit and yak.
I mean,  I’ll drive her around,  and I’ve been known to go and fetch people at the airport,  whether they’re coming to visit us here personally,  or whether they’re co-workers.   The company is providing the car,  the fuel,  and my time is pretty much mine to do with as I please.   If I actually had a work permit,  I’d probably just drive cab,  since I speak better German than all of them and know the city better than half of them anyway.  Trust me on this one.   
I make sure I tell the cabbie just exactly which route he needs to take any time we get picked up at the airport.  I’ve tried all the variables,  and I don’t want to spend an extra 15 to 20 minutes taking some “short cut” that turns out to be anything but.
Again.  Trust me on that one too.
So I got back here to the lair in a reasonable amount of time this morning,  got the car tucked away in the underground parking garage,  but then ended up evaporating a considerable amount of time reading about some hapless soul somewhere in Michigan who very nearly ended up going to jail over a garden she planted in her front yard.  You think I’m kidding?  Just go to google and type in “Oakparkhatesveggies”,  and you too can waste your morning.   It so happens that her husband just recently had the good fortune to land a job in Seattle,  and their family will soon be leaving the cultural wasteland known as Oak Park.  It’s is a suburb of Detroit.  I think.  Not sure.  Don’t really care.
Now,  I could cry out,  “Only in America”,  but that wouldn’t be fair,  since there are pig headed bureaucrats just about anywhere in the “civilised”  world.   I seem to recall seeing something on Facebook the other day showing a by-law enforcement knob ticketing a vehicle in a “fire zone”,  all the while having parked his car in the same “fire zone”.  Nice.  An asshole,  AND a hypocrite.   Lovely combination.
For my part,  when it came to short term parking in our lovely home town of Burlington,  Ontario, I ALWAYS made sure I parked in the fire zone.   See,  having worked as a Head Caretaker for the school board,  and having phoned these people many,  many times,  I knew for a fact that if anyone actually called the by-law enforcement twits,  it would take more than two hours for them to show up.  If I was only parking for twenty minutes,  I was safe.  If a fire “broke out”,  I’d move my vehicle.   Has anyone ever been in a store in the middle of the day when a fire has broke out?  Not me,  that’s for sure.
Oh,  and if some busy body passer-by would try to admonish me for parking where I shouldn’t?  Well,  I’d give them the phone number of the by-law enforcement twits,  and suggest that they give them a call.   However,  I was quick to point out that,  they’d need to wait right there for them to show up.   Might be a couple hours.   I never had any takers.  Funny about that.
Whatever the fine is,  I’m sure it would be well worth it to have someone on hand to keep an eye on your truck while you run in to the store.   Yes?  Always nice to have one’s own personal security detail.

So having frittered away my morning,  I was LATE getting out for my walk today,  which meant that all the weirdoes and bums were out and about.  (there’s that expression again) 
That’ll teach me.  Need to get my butt in gear in the mornings!
I had the camera this time,  and there were many that could have been photographed,  but I only actually took a couple pictures that I felt were blog worthy.

When I came back this way,  she was gone.  I suspect that she has someone keeping an eye out for the cops.  Begging is actually not permitted (i.e. illegal) in Wienerland. 
You’ll notice that she has a sign there in front of her,  and I didn’t even have to read it,  since I already know it says something like, “I have three children and I’m sleeping on the street,  could you give me….”  Usually it’s “five cents”.   Not sure what five cents is going to do. 
Last night,  at around five I guess it was,  there were two of them on the other side of the street within twenty metres of each other.   One had “two children”,  the other had “three”.  The could have passed for sisters. I figured one of them should have been babysitting the other one’s kids,  but what do I know?   And no,  I don’t encourage them in any way,  shape or form.  This isn’t the Middle Ages,  and we do have social programs.  There,  I said it.
This is one of the underlying problems with having countries such as Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania as part of the EU.  They can come and go as they please,  and as near as we can tell,  these sorts are brought into the city en masse,  and dropped off for the day.    I’m sure this isn’t news to you.   Even without all the information that floats around either in the papers or on the net,  if you keep your eyes open,  eventually you start to figure out a couple things.    From my perch up on our “Terrasse”,  one floor above,  I witnessed one such beggar who hangs around in front of the grocery store down the street,  receive a visitor who,  for all intents and purposes seemed to be his “supervisor”.  The body language was a dead give away. 
There’s a whole “pecking order” it seems. 
Just an observation.

Well,  I suppose I’ve made you move your eyes back and forth quite enough.  I’m sure I could go on,  but I like to keep an eye on that “word count” thingy?  
Never a good idea to get too long winded.

Keep those sticks on the ice.



  1. In your first picture, which is beautiful by the way, I couldn't help but notice the stoplight hanging in the middle of the street. That's what I grew up with but now they've put them on poles instead of wires. Brought back some memories for me. Thank you. Now I'm off to check out Oak Park to see why they hate veggies. Should be very interesting.

  2. I hadn't really noticed the traffic light all that much. I do remember in Horseheads and around Elmira a lot of the lights were out over the middle of the intersection strung up like that. Most of them here are on poles, and are tough to see if you get too far into the intersection. Probably the reason why the stupid scooters and motorcycles figure they can race up to the front of the line.


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.