Friday, December 16, 2011

Just a Friday.

Not too sure just how long Travelling Companion is going to be tonight,  since there are a heap of things to sort out before she leaves her office.  As it is she realised that there are a couple HR related items that she needs to plug in by the 31st,  which is why if I were a betting man,  I wouldn’t have taken that bet that she’d be able to leave work alone between now and the end of the year.  There’s no point in doing the “I told you so”  however.  Not conducive to marital bliss. 

We’d be home for almost a week at this point,  and I’d be thinking about just what time I’d like to head out to the Big Bang Boozerama 

Let’s not go there.   We’re here.  The kids will be here tomorrow.  It’s all good. 

Just wish the other two could have made it,  but I’d sooner see them both gainfully employed, even if our only Christmas contact might be by way of Skype.  

I just now looked up and noticed it’s started to rain.   That wouldn’t be any kind of a big deal,  except that all morning it’s been rather pleasant and sunny,  which was the reason why I thought I’d try hanging out one of the bed sheets.   That plan didn’t quite work out.   Should I say again how much I miss our dryer?  

We did have “red sky in the morning”,  so that should have told me something.  I was just blissfully unaware.  I also find it somewhat troubling just how quickly it gets dark at this point in time in the afternoon. It just seems to be way,  way too early.    I go through this every year.   You’d think I would figure it out.   The days get shorter Bob,  it’s no big deal. 


Speaking of taking a while to figure stuff out.  (gotta have those segues!)  For as long as we’ve been here in Wienerland,  I’ve been going to the honkin’ big pharmacy around the corner from our front door in order to pick up prescriptions for Travelling Companion.   The thing is,  they never have the stuff in stock,  always have to order it,  which means I have to go back the next day.   That wouldn’t be so bad,  but there’s always a huge mob at this place every single time I have to go there.   And yes,  if you’re picking up,  you can go to the dedicated “pick-up” area,  but there’s always a line-up there too.

So then I finally had an epiphany and realised that,  if I have to go back the next day anyway,  I may as well order these things from the tiny little “Apotheke”  that’s down the street.  Sure enough, I went in there yesterday morning,  and there was ONE person ahead of me.  I placed my order knowing full well that they wouldn’t have it on hand.   Got my little claim ticket and left.   Went back this morning and there was NOBODY ahead of me and I was in and out in about five minutes.   I’ve gone to this small place a couple times before,  which is why it’s even more vexing that I hadn’t figured out the ordering part beforehand.  What a bonehead.

It so happened that when I was in there yesterday,  the one person ahead of me was speaking English to the lady behind the counter, (I guess they’re called a “druggist”?)   so when I got up there,  I said to her in German that I supposed that we could either speak German of English.   She preferred German,  (“Mir geht’s besser Deutsch”.) so that was fine.   Good to know one’s limitations.  

I only mention this,  since the fellow who went to retrieve my order this morning,  (I never seem to get the same person twice.) thought he’d try out his English with me,  even though our conversation up to that point had been in German.   He quite possibly noticed that I had “Bronte Harbour Yacht Club” on the front of my jacket,  and something to do with St. Andrew’s golf course on my hat?  Not sure.  Well,  I did pay with my Scotiabank visa,  so I guess there were some definite signs.

I don’t know why he thought he’d switch to English,  since his English was pitiful.   Try thinking of Sergeant Schultz from Hogan’s Heroes?   These people just don’t get enough practise.   “Sank yoo,  haf a nice dey.”  

Ya,  spell check doesn’t like it when I try to write à la Sergeant Shultz.

Most of you in North America quite likely know who Sergeant Schultz is, since you probably watched Hogan’s Heroes,   but just for kicks and giggles,  I’ll put up a brief video as a bit of a retrieval cue. 



Don’t for a nano second think that this silly show was in any way shape or form based on the reality of being a POW.  There was no laugh track in any of the Stalags,  trust me.

The accent however,  isn’t that much of an exaggeration.   Mind you,  I’ve met a few Austrians who have a fairly reasonable command of some semblance of a “Broadcast Standard English”,  but then you find out that they’ve lived part of their lives in an English speaking country.   I guess that’s the only way they can do it.

A somewhat trivial but nonetheless pleasant by-product of my visit to this small Pharmacy this morning was that they gave me some free stuff!



Always good to get free stuff.  There have been a couple times when travelling by air when I’ve wished I had my shaving cream along,  so the middle one just might come in handy.  Not so sure about the outside two.   “Wash lotion”?    Meh,  don’t think so.


Mind you,  I think I spent enough.  Did I mention I had to use my visa?   It’s no big deal however,  since the Company that Cannot be Named will give us back all the money.  (So yes,  it really is “free stuff”.)  That’s the nature of our “plan”.   They tried using an actual insurance company when we first moved to Europe.  That didn’t really work all that well.  Good blog fodder though!  Especially when some outfit in Connecticut sends a cheque drawn on a US bank.    (Oh, I guess I should say “check”,  whatever).  I don’t know what they thought we were going to do with it?   It’s just a piece of paper with some numbers and letters on it.   Ever heard of a direct deposit?

First of all,  they don’t use cheques in Europe. Besides, we don’t use a US banks since, (here’s the biggie)  WE BE CANADIAN.   I want to say I’m not sure what the thought process is,  but then I realise,  there was no thinking.    Or the thinking was,  “That’s the way we do it, so that must be right.  Right?”    Don’t get me started.  I realise I just now rolled my eyes.

For the most part,  that’s all water under the bridge,  but then every so often there’s just that hint of dimwittedness, when you say to yourself, “but I thought they figured that out?”.  We’ve been here since about the middle of 08,  so the learning curve shouldn’t be quite so shallow?   It got to the point a few months ago where the big kahuna over in Switzerland was getting so annoyed at the way these kinds of things were being handled, all the while threatening to use another relocation firm,  that after some serious butt clenching,  they’ve been trying to clean up their act somewhat.  

Names have been omitted to protect the stupid.

It’s a unique experience,  this Ex-pat thing,  I’ll give you that much.


Hope you all have a fine weekend.


Thanks for stopping by.





  1. We won't have any children here for Christmas unless we can talk the ones in Albuquerque into coming over. So enjoy yours that could make the trip. I'm jealous.

  2. enjoy your visit with the kids that can make it :)..hope they all arrive safe and sound..Merry christmas to you and TC..and your family


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.