Monday, May 21, 2012

I ask you, was that mean?


Had a couple things to blab about yesterday, but never really got around to it.  Sometimes it’s just *stuff*  and there doesn’t seem to be the spark that motivates me to shove it on here.

Then today the phone rang.

This was right around 1:30 p.m. (CET),  which is a time of day when I’m really and truly not expecting a phone call.

Ljuba is out exploring,  so if she called it would only be because of something of an emergency nature.  Travelling Companion is quite likely not going to call at this time,  since she’s busy and any call would also be unexpected and possibly bearing bad tidings. 

A call from home at this time?  Whoa. Usually bad.  A death or some other news that can’t wait.

So naturally if the phone rings at one of those really unexpected times,  after I get over the initial jolt, (damned ringer is too loud!) I brace myself for something “bad”. 

Well,  it was a phone solicitor. 

See,  I didn’t have my glasses on,  so I couldn’t really see the number on the call display.  Yes folks,  we have call display in Austria.  Amazing, I know.   We also have f**king phone solicitors its seems.

Here’s the way the conversation basically went;

“Hallo,  hier spricht ….(I actually missed that part),  ist das Herr Robert?”

(already I’m thinking,  we have a problem here)

So then I continued…in English, (just to be a snot)  “Well see,  here’s the thing,  if you can’t tell the difference between my first and last names, that means that I don’t know you and you shouldn’t be calling me.”

Now,  in the Netherlands,  that wouldn’t fly since those buggers can nearly all speak English,  and I’ve had Dutch phone solicitors SWTICH effortlessly to English once they detected my shaky Dutch.   Not here though,  buckaroo.

All the guy could come up with was,  “Sprechen Sie Deutsch?”   (wow,  that was creative!)

To which I replied; *ahem*

“Ja natürlich kann ich Deutsch!  Aber hier ist die Sache.  Ich finde daß, hier in Österreich (und auch in Deutschland) die Englisch-Kenntnisse sehr schlecht ist.   Und für Sie,  das war die Prüfung,  und Sie sind durchgefallen!  

(and since there was absolute silence on the other end,  I finished up with)

Have a nice day!”  (in English of course)…and hung up.

You can copy and paste that into Google translate if you didn’t get the gist of it.   I’ll wait right here.



I know. That was probably not really a nice thing to do.  However,  if I call someone here in the fine Republic of Austria,  I try my damndest to speak their first language.  We rarely switch to English,  and if we do, we might go back and forth mostly depending on knowledge of vocabulary.  I mean,  even the lady at the bakery,  who is originally from Laos,  tries her English.   It’s actually pretty good,  to be honest.   Heaps better than my Laotian.

It’s not like my first language is Bantu.  I don’t think I’m expecting too much if a person calls from a business,  but then can’t utter a word of English. Supposedly,  English is the language of business.   Supposedly.

You’re welcome to present your arguments for Mandarin, Hindi or Spanish,  based on numbers.  But *sorry*,  I don’t,  and won’t agree.   We won’t go there.

I suppose,  *maybe* if I were an immigrant and were going to stay here for ever and ever amen,  that maybe I’d let a person get away with only speaking German.  Just the same,  if they call or come to the door unannounced, I will put them to the test. 

So I guess that was the spark that got me off my blogging butt,  but of course now we’re heading into snooze land,  so I’ll only mention a couple snippets from yesterday.

We actually went out.



Do you know this place?  Look carefully.  Do you see any critters?


There’s actually a well hidden hint in the photo below,  which is why I’ve sized it to “original”.    Go crazy.



Ljuba and Travelling Companion watched “The Third Man” after we got back home in the afternoon,  since we just happened to be outside “Josefplatz 5”,   which is referred to in the movie as “Josefplatz 15”.   Just thought you should know that bit of trivia.



There has actually been scaffolding in front of that door for the last couple years it seems, and now finally all has been revealed.  The fronts of buildings start to get black over time,  and it’s necessary to clean things up once in a while. 

These snippets all came about as a result of going to a mass at the Augustinerkirche.    The mass was at 11:00 as usual,  but I dropped off T.C. and Ljuba at something like 10:15 so they could secure a decent seat.  The place fills up pretty fast,  and yesterday was no exception. 

We took the car,  since I can park outside the Opera in the parking garage for less than what it would cost for three of us to take the subway. 

We heard a performance of the “Nelson Mass”  by Haydn,  which I’m pretty sure we took Nephew Boy to last year,  since I know we heard it there once before.  The years tend to run in to each other I’m afraid.  I can’t really say that it is my favourite or anything,  but the orchestra and vocalists were all superb as usual.  They’re professionals.  It counts.

It just so happened that the organist,  one  Elke Eckerstorfer,  had done her last performance at St. Augustine’s yesterday,  since she’s expecting twins in July.  Yes you read that right.  That would be two babies.

The priest who made the announcement was hopeful that she’d be able to return for Christmas.   Whatever,  buddy.

Also a bit of trivia that makes absolutely no difference to any of us,  but a fun little snippet just the same.


I did take a little YouTube video of her last hurrah.



It’s unfortunate that I have this rather less than optimum camera that doesn’t know half the time what to focus on,  and also doesn’t capture the hair-raising presence of the organ.  Even if you’re not overly keen on organ music (and I’m not)  I would still have to say that, she “rocked”!    Just my humble opinion.



I see you’re starting to get tiny eyes.  


Tomorrow,  the Police Report. 

Nothing bad, don’t worry.   Just one of those things that makes you say, “Huh?”



Keep your dry mop on the floor.


Thanks for coming by.





  1. Don't fret, that was not a crime. When I get a solicitor on the phone, I am usually pretty short in my answer. As soon as I hear what he wants I interrupt rudely and say: "No thanks, not interested." And then I just hang up.
    Lately we get phone calls where nobody says anything. When I lift the receiver and say: Hello? Nothing happens. Some scratching noises - nothing. Then I just hang up.
    They are rude - I am rude. Equals out. Or?

    1. I tend to think it 'equals out'. The calls when there's nobody there? I've heard that it's an automatic dialling thing that tries to determine when someone is home to answer the phone, then a real person will call back at that time on another day. Annoying.

  2. Organ music I do like, but not this one. A bit too monumental for my taste. The Video? Not too bad considering the fact that you have a camera which you say is not up to par. By the way don't they have pews in Austrian churches? Seemed to me everybody was standing and/or milling around. Too strenuous for me.

    1. This was at the end of the service, and by then everyone was milling about. There's a constant influx of tourists at this church as well.
      I wouldn't have the gall to take pictures or video during the mass.
      The organists do tend to get a bit carried away after the service, but that's the only time it seems.

  3. WOW!!! I would have loved to have been there to hear it in person but you did a grand job of recording it with your camera. I wouldn't want a steady diet of that type of music but this was wonderful seeings how it was in a cathedral and all.... She could really make that organ "talk" . Thank you for sharing it with us.


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.