Saturday, March 10, 2012

Philosophers and Beggars.

Not to take anything away from actual philosophers,  but here in Wienerland,  the lines are somewhat blurred between the two “professions”.

To wit:


This was at around 9:30 this morning.  The surprising thing is that nobody has cracked a beer yet.

These “gentlemen”,  (and there may be a “lady” in there from time to time,  but it’s a challenge to actually spot the difference),  tend to congregate at this location just about every morning. 

I didn’t see any limos pull up and drop them off,  so I somehow don’t think that they represent any special group from the UN.   I mean,  then they’d be way over on the other side of town.  Wouldn’t they?  Just the same though,  my guess is that there is a certain amount of “philosophising”  happenin’ here.  

I’d hesitate to ask them how they’ve managed to solve the Greek debt problem or just how they get the caramel in the Caramilk bars.




It did occur to me though,  that the reason that they no longer hang out off to the one side of the church on Mariahilfer,   is that there’s some construction going on at their former spot.   No amount of philosophising is going to get you past a few guys working with hammer drills.  Plus,  all that noise makes it hard to really concentrate.   On your beer.


I had to dig back into January to find this one.  Note the discarded Christmas tree.   Kinda blew out onto the side of the street there.

I never thought to take a pic of them at their old hangout,  so you’ll just have to take my word for it.   Apparently there’s some sort of soup kitchen in the basement of the church, which probably explains why they haven’t drifted off too far.   The chances of them sticking around the church for some sort of spiritually uplifting experience is somewhat slim.  Unless there are some special ingredients in the soup of course.

Oh,  and the name of the church?   Why,  it’s Mariahilf.  That’s kind of a no-brainer.  

Every so often it’s kind of nice to have a real “no-brainer” when it comes to figuring some things out.  I need all the help I can get.


So now,  the beggars?   Well,  there was one of them out this morning as well.


This is a common “trick”,  if you want to call it that.   A lot of these individuals have a dog along with them.  My guess is that they hope you’ll feel sorry for the dog or something,  and give them some money.   My usual thought is,  “Hm,  when I was your age,  I used to work 12-14 hour days”,  and keep on walking.  The dog is probably smart enough to make it on her own,  so sticking around pretty well fills the charity quotient.


Now,   speaking of “easy to figure out”,  (or possibly not) I was once again perplexed this morning as I was hunting for Eggplant at Merkur. 

I was sure,  SURE I tell you,  that the German word for Eggplant is Aubergine.  I even think that word is interchangeable in English,  but at this point I’m just so confused that I dare not make any such assumptions.  Do we say “Aubergine”?   Does that sound right to you?

Doesn’t matter,  since I know what they look like.  Or, at least I think I do.

So…*Eureka*,  I spot them!   But,  when I go to grab a couple,  it says “Melanzani”.  I hesitate.  They look like Eggplant.  What the hell?  I don’t understand,  and I don’t see any other choices,  so what that means is,  I guess I had better ask.  *sigh*

I don’t mind asking too much,  but no man really wants to “ask”.  Not for directions.  Certainly not about anything to do with grocery shopping.  But it if comes right down to the nitty gritty,  I’d sooner ask some not unpleasant looking young lady just what’s up,  rather than some guy.  See,  if you ask a guy,  you’ve already admitted to having broken the cardinal rule.  The, “Thou shalt not ask” rule.   So what that means is,  he’ll TELL you what you need to know,  but there’s always that hint of distain.   Every word reeks of it.  “Yes,  I’ll tell you,  you snivelling uninformed coward,  but I’ll make you bloody well aware of the fact that,  I KNOW something,  and you don’t”.

Kind of like that.


So yes.   If you have to,  ask the chick.  She’ll feel like she’s helping out someone’s Dad.  They’re so helpful.

Anyway,   it turns out that the young lady whom I asked,  also didn’t exactly have German as her first language, (what is it with this town?)  but knew enough to tell me that up in Germany they do in fact use mostly ‘Aubergine’,  but down here in Austria,  it could be either.   Some sort of throw back to that whole Austro-Hungarian empire?    I guess.  Doesn’t “Melanzani” sound Italian?   Sure does to me.

And here I thought learning German would be enough.  No no,  apparently you have to throw in some Italian,  Slovenian,  and maybe some Hungarian as well.   And not just every day words.  No no,  just the really obscure ones from the 17th century.   Couldn’t the Habsburgs have just minded their own business?  Why oh why did they have to think they needed an entire “Empire”?    Just to confuse the middle aged foreign guy?  Some days my brain hurts.


Hey,  maybe tomorrow we’ll talk about why the outside cafe/beer garden arrangements that are being set up all over the city are named after some guy name “John”.  Well,  something like that.  You’ll see.


My word count for the day is at its max,  so I’m done.


Thanks for coming by.




1 comment:

  1. I think the French say "aubergine," too, but it sounds snootier. "Eggplant" sounds about as pedestrian as it comes (walking down the pike, as it is). And, what kind of eggs do these people eat?

    Annie saw a recipe she liked, but it called for courgettes. She almost discarded it, when the Google fired up and told us it was zucchini.

    The Good Luck Duck


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.
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