Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Lucky or not?

I had something completely different in my head for today’s offering,  but it will have to wait.

I was out and about this morning as usual,  ever mindful that tomorrow is a holiday here in Wienerland.  Yes,  another one!  Seriously,  a feller has to keep a close eye on the calendar,  since a holiday can come right up and bite ya on the hind end.   It’s Corpus Christi,  and I don’t mean the one in Texas.   That would be even more bizarre.

I think it was last year sometime,  when there was a holiday on the Thursday,  and it just so happened that Travelling Companion had unfortunately gone off to the UK to do a balance sheet review*.   She’s become considerably more aware of the days on which holidays fall since then.  It’s kinda tough to get the monkeys to come out for a ‘look-see’ if they’re all on holidays.  Them monkeys need their time off,  don’t ya know.

*Otherwise known by the terminology that I’ve been using up until now,  which is “some kind of financial hocus-pocus”. 


So on that occasion I was here by my lonesome in Wienerland for a few days.  No big deal.  I had gone out in the morning on the Wednesday and was coming in the building,  at which point our neighbour lady was also coming in, after a trip to the grocery store.  She was somewhat overburdened with all the stuff she had bought,  and was having some issues,  so helping her was naturally something I would do.  Never did it occur to me that she had so many groceries because the next day was a holiday.  Nor did it occur to her to perhaps mention it to the dim-wit foreign guy who was so very kindly helping her.   I guess she figured I knew what I was doing?   Why would anyone?

So the next morning,  when it was eerily quiet out on the street which is a crazy place most any other day but Sunday,  it began to sink in that I had made a slight miscalculation.   *drat*

Not that much of a hardship really,  since I always have some provisions set aside for just such an eventuality.  That,  in spite of our fridge and freezer compartment being no bigger than the one we had in our motorhome.   Just thought I’d point that out.




So back to today….

In addition to this morning’s little grocery excursion,  I had once again seen a couple items on sale that piqued my interest.   Just shirts.  No biggie.  But it did mean taking another brief hike in the opposite direction over to the Vögele store that is situated in the mall at the West Train Station.   Picked up a couple shirts for €15.   Good wampum.  I had already bought a couple previously,  knew the proper size and knew they were ‘günstig aber gut’.   (That’s ‘cheap but good’,  btw) 

I had already worn the first two enough to have them go through a couple wash cycles,   which is a good way to tell if the fabric will stand up for any length of time.  If you’re going to drop €100 on a shirt then yes,  it bloody well better stand up,  but two for 15?   Probably best to not get too carried away.


I think I’ve said this before,  and I try not to get too darned repetitive,  but I always get a kick out of some of the stuff you see in a big city.  It might be mostly a Viennese thing,  but I doubt it.


The “unlucky” part was,  these guys were just finishing up a set.   Only caught the last 15 seconds or so,  BUT they were really quite good,  and worth posting here.    And yes, you can safely turn up your volume.



So fine,  I wasn’t about to hang around there for too very long waiting for them to come back,   so I pressed on.


Just as I was coming out of the cross walk at the Gürtel,   I looked up to see this guy,  in flight.


I was going to say,  “this bike rider”,  but he’s clearly not riding it at the moment.

These photos are taken from the opposite direction,  since I wasn’t very well going to take photos of the guy sitting there writhing in pain from too close up.  That would be kinda rude I thought.

He was riding along on the bike path in the direction away from where the picture was taken, and it didn’t seem to me that he came in contact with anyone else.  Possibly there was some issue with the bike,  or he swerved for some reason?  But like I said,  when I looked up, he was airborne.


As he sat there on the ground, he was hanging on to his right arm,  and it looked as though he had dislocated his shoulder.   Anyway,  when I came by the first time,  someone had phoned for an ambulance,  and they were on the scene when I came back through after my little shirt extravaganza.






So….not so lucky.


And oh my yes,  he was wearing a helmet!   Fat lot of good it did for his arm though.  Don’t get me started on that whole helmet cr*p!    

Well,  I’m just going to rant about it for just a minute or two.  You can skip ahead.  I won’t mind.

For example,  the population of the Netherlands comes in at around 17 million,  (just under) and the number of bikes comes in at around 13 million.   That’s a lot of bikes.  And who wears helmets?  Only little kids,  (most of whom are quite likely better riders than this guy) and the jocks who go out to storm around the countryside on their racing bikes as a form of recreation after work.   Nobody else wears helmets.  Are you kidding?  There would be an uprising if some dim-witted bureaucrat or politician thought it prudent to come up with some sort of “law” saying you had to wear a helmet in the Netherlands.   Look at New Zealand,  where their bike riding dropped off to nothing after some monkey in government thought everyone should ‘protect themselves’.  F**king Nanny State!  


I’ve seen some bike riders here in Wienerland do some truly dumb things,  and if you’re going to be that much of a dummy,  then by all means,  you should be not only wearing a helmet,  but possibly some body armour as well.  Could have helped this guy.

If it’s going to be a “sport” rather than a proper mode of transportation,  then unfortunately you’re going to have to get bundled up in a bunch of protective gear to keep from getting hurt.   Hey,  I wear gloves when I go sailing (because it’s racing) to protect my hands, and I’ve seen guys wear helmets on their noggins out in rough weather,  but there’s no law that says you have to.  I’d just as soon think for myself.  Thank-you.



Oh,  and by the way,  one of the blogs that I enjoy reading from time to time is written by a fellow who lives up in Assen,  in the Netherlands.  He’s originally from the UK,  but immigrated to the Netherlands after briefly living in New Zealand.  Seems to me their helmet laws had nothing to do with the move,  it was only coincidental.  There’s a wealth of bike riding related material on his blog.   Knock yourself out.  You'll find it here.


Feel free to talk amongst yourselves.


Keep it between the ditches.   Any other instructions?   Um no.  I think I’m done.



Thanks for stopping by.




  1. Well that was quite the rant today my friend! We don't like helmets either, just saying.

  2. love your rants....hate the helmets too..

  3. Had a helmet on when I fell on my face one. My nose looked like I met a door. All blue and big. Think if I hadn't had my helmet on. My skull would have been cracked like an egg. Don't like helmets, but that day it saved me big time.


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.