Friday, August 31, 2012

Didn’t fall off.

Didn’t fall off the planet that is. 

Been on the run.   And I’m not going to get too carried away,  so no need to go and top up your coffee or anything.

First thing on the agenda was to secure a slightly bigger car on Monday afternoon.  Once in a while all those hours that T.C. puts in at the Company that Cannot be Named can get translated into a little favour or two.

The Passat on the right has just that much more room in the back seat to make having three bodies in there go from unbearable to sort of OK.   Somebody always ends up having to sit on the hump.  I knew where I’d be sitting.   As the designated spouse of the Divisional Controller,  I’m the only one other than her who is permitted to drive said vehicles,  even though Daughter Number One and her cousin can both drive standard.   Yes kids,  the BMW that we drive is an automatic,  but only because that’s what we asked for.  Most cars in Europe are standard.  




First leg of the journey Tuesday morning was to Salzburg.

To Salzburg

Since that leg of the trip was going to be roughly three hours, and Daughter Number One and her cousin had no desire to sit in the back seat for that length of time,  they took the train from the Westbahnhof here in Vienna, over to Salzburg.   Travelling Companion and I have to take that trip one of these fine days.   They said it was great.  They had snacks,  coffee.   Relaxed.

We do enjoy travelling by train, but driving is certainly more cost effective,  and once you get there,  you have a car to use.  Just the same though,  we need to take that train to Salzburg for a visit, maybe on a weekend.  I said that,  didn’t I?  Maybe if I say it enough,  we’ll do it.  It’s a new service that is in direct competition with the Austrian Railway system,  and leaves the station every hour.   You simply get on the train,  buy your ticket,  and away you go. 

We didn’t discover until we arrived at the train station in Salzburg that the first 20 minutes of parking in their underground parking lot was free.   So that was a bonus.  I was actually willing to pay for the convenience,  but since the trains are quite consistently on time,  20 minutes is all time you really need to go up and meet your passengers.

The time in Salzburg was mostly spent wandering around,  and Travelling Companion had this particular salad on the brain that she had had the last time we were there.   My mission was to once again find that particular restaurant,  which wasn’t that much of a challenge.   Parking in Salzburg can be the challenge,  but that’s just part of having the convenience of a car.   You just have to suck it up.   Found underground parking once again,  and considering that it was a warm sunny day,  I’m OK with leaving the car in the shade of the underground for a few hours.


The restaurant in question was actually a pizzeria.

No salad for me.



‘Nuff said.


Anyhoo,  I have a couple more little errands to run today,  and maybe I’ll annoy you with the second and third legs of the trip a little later.

Tomorrow it’s off to the airport once again to fetch Daughter Number One’s significant other.   He couldn’t get as much time off as her,  so she left Canada without him.  It’s the way these things go sometimes.


Stay tuned.


Thanks for coming on by.



Sunday, August 26, 2012

When the milk runs low.

Guests arrived yesterday with no issues,  with the slight exception of some misinformation concerning the arrival time.  Nothing to do with the passengers, but the flight info said the plane was supposed to arrive early, so I made sure I did the same. Not sure what happened, but the flight arrived on time.  Had a bit of time kill. Such fun to hang around. 

I think I’ve griped about the new terminal enough at this point.  Would be nice if they had some place to sit,  but apparently people picking up passengers don’t need to sit down.   Bastard monkey designers.

I also noticed that they now have installed some Dude in a little box just outside the point of no return,  since there is very little indication as to just where the heck you’re supposed to go once you come out of there.  Maybe there were some complaints?  Not sure.


There’s still a certain amount of confusion though,  since passengers now have to come out of there to get to any connecting flights.  I think that’s the way it works anyway.  I’ll never have to find out. 

One suitcase per person isn’t really a big deal,  except of course,  a three series BMW doesn’t exactly have the biggest trunk,  and all three suitcases were that size.   Travelling Companion stayed home.




The routine when coming from overseas is,  get settled,  take a nap,  and then there’s a chance you might not have too much in the way of jet lag. 


Anyway,  I guess I underestimated the amount of coffee we’d need to consume in order for everyone to come around,  but unless I want to haul myself to the store first thing tomorrow morning,  I needed to find some place to buy milk today.  Nothing worse than needing to put milk in five cups of coffee,  and running out about half way there.

Not a big deal really.  Just have to know that the gas station is the place to go to get milk,  and the car didn’t mind the rain.


The rain splattered picture is a pretty good representation of today’s weather.  I think our high for the day has topped out at around 18°C.  Still not willing to give up on the shorts though,  except that we’ll be heading out to dinner a little later and long trousers are pretty much the rule.  For me anyway. 

The service stations in Europe are a bit of a far cry from some of the shabby things we have in North America.  I really could have stocked up on a few things if I had the need,  even in this tiny place.  Beer, booze,  all kinds of food related things.   There’s a bit of a price premium,  but if you run out of Jack Daniels on a Sunday,  then you just might have to pay a little extra.  Tough luck.


I didn’t take a pic of the very nice pearl necklace that Travelling Companion got as a belated birthday present,  but I did manage to remember the camera when Daughter Number One got one of her belated birthday presents.



There was some “oohing”  and “aweing”.  (Hard to spell that)

Not something we were willing to ship. 

I don’t think she’ll be putting that in with her checked luggage either.   Just a guess.

Anyway,  there was a brief excursion to St. Augustine's for the mass this morning,  but I was off the hook for that one,  since T.C.’s sister was quite happy to go.   They then took a couple wrong turns and ended up at Stephansdom,  which turned out to be a good thing,  since the sister had never been there.   Crazy,  I know! 

So many trips to Vienna,  and it seems like we always immediately cart her off to Slovenia to see all the relations.  There’s stuff to see here.  Shame to miss it.


Maybe I’ll do a dinner report tomorrow.  We’ll see.


Keep it real.   And no,  I don’t drink Jack Daniels.


Thanks for stopping by.



Friday, August 24, 2012

You’d think we were moving.

And please note the use once again of the subjunctive there kids.  I’m trying to do my part.  Keeping the English language on the straight and narrow and such. 

But no,  we’re not moving.  Not for a while yet.  Let’s not go there.  I might forget my sense of decorum.



It’s just that,  we’re getting visitors,  and part of my “deal” is,  the whole place needs to get the once over. 

Don’t get me wrong.  We’re excited to be getting visitors,  and with the exception of perhaps not having a bed to sleep in,  none of our expected guest could give a rat’s tiny behind about the rest of the accommodations. 


This is what I’m talking about.


There’s normally furniture there,  but I’ve moved it,  ‘cause I gotta wash the floors.  See, and you were wondering where the notion of “The Caretaker Chronicles”  came from?  Left that job in 08, but it’s still haunting me it seems.


Then of course,  when it comes to the beds,  everything has to match.   Right.  Because this is the Hilton after all.




Oh,  pay no mind to the Panama Hat.  Had to take that down to get at the bedding.  It’s not staying there.  The stuffed bear is though.  I have no idea why.




And of course it goes without saying that,  in the master bedroom,  everything has to match.


OK well,  can’t dawdle.   Got bathrooms to clean.


Have a fine weekend.  I know I will,  because I’ll be “on vacation”.  


Keep those sticks where I can see them.

Thanks for lookin’.



Thursday, August 23, 2012

When “frugal” doesn’t quite cut it.

I’ll admit it.  There are times when I get called out for being pretty darned cheap.  I’m reasonably content with that moniker,  but once in a while it doesn’t quite work out. Let’s see if I can dredge up a couple things.  

A few years ago,  some cronies and I had this grand scheme to jump in the RV and head to Mosport.   Of course,  these days that hallowed racetrack is called the ‘Canadian Tire Motorsport Park’,  but don’t let me get distracted here.   Better to have a sponsor and survive,   than go by the wayside I guess.   I’ve looked at the website,  and everything seems to be the way I remember it,  so I won’t gripe about a name change. 

Too much.

Anyway,  one of my esteemed race going buddies thought it would be better to have “quantity over quality”  when it came to the beer strategy.  Naturally,  there was no way in hell the four of us were going to drink all that (cheap) beer, as none of us are in our twenties anymore.  I don’t remember the exact numbers,  but it was a considerable amount of beer.  Trust me.  Like,  how much beer can you store in the basement of a class A motorhome?  Ya,  that much.

Even back in my youth,  I was referred to as,  “One Beer Bob” on many an occasion,  and one or two in an evening is usually quite enough for me.   So it’s easy for me to just “say no” to the cheap beer program.  Of course here in Austria,  cheap beer can still be good beer, so it gets confusing.

Then this morning,  I got a little tingle of excitement  when I saw that Müller,  not too far from our front door,  have “Kanadischer Ahornsirop, Grad A”  on sale for €3,55 for 250 ml.  

Well now,  that’s worth checking out, yes?   Never hurts to save a little on that kind of thing.



That’s maple syrup kids,  in case you hadn’t figured that out.  

The thing about maple syrup is,  you have to actually reduce it to the point where it’s thick enough to be considered,  oh I don’t know, syrup?    No good taking that watery stuff right from the tree.   That’ll never do.   Needs to stay ON the pancakes.    Unless you’re going to just drink it from the glass.

“Grade A Maple Syrup”,  my ass.   Why bother?  I guess they figure the Austrians won’t know the difference,  but they’re kind of giving maple syrup a bad rap.   Maybe I need to call the Embassy?


I took a little detour on the way back from the Maple Syrup diversion to check out the recently completed renovations at the C & A. 

Nicely done.  Honestly.


I didn’t really have any intention of setting foot in the place,  but catching sight of these two put the idea in my head.

This is one of the ways they advertise.  


But just wait.   It’s not just a couple chicks on the sidewalk with a banner.  Nope,  they go out into the cross walk when the light is red. 


Because….all those people waiting at the light are going to now turn left and find their way into the store?  I never took any marketing courses,  so I can’t comment, but I have my doubts.

Is this a Vienna thing?  I’ve only ever seen it here,  but I suppose I’ve lived a sheltered life.


But hey,  it’s the place to go if you’re going to be frugal.

The thing is though,  most (well, all?) of it is really rather cheap.  Everything has that Wal*Mart/K-Mart kind of feel to it?  Hoards of shoppers in there,  mostly women with youngster in tow,  doing that “back to school” thing.  Picking through the cr*p.  I guess.  I didn’t hang around.   Too many shoppers.  My skin starts to get clammy,  I begin to palpitate,  and then it’s time to leave.  The only slight consolation is that I’m at least a head taller than most of them.  *phew*

And fine,  I know,  pays to stretch a Euro.  Whatever.

I think it’s been a couple years since I was in there last.  Today’s visit will be the last for a long time I would imagine.  Just not my ‘deal’.


It so happened that we got a little package in the mail yesterday.  I think this is keeping with the ‘frugal’ theme,  so that’s one less segue I’ll need.  Best to store them up.

When sending items from Austria to Canada,  you can pay a few Euros more for the,  “We’ll come and grab it off the plane and take it to their door” program,  or you can just send it by regular airmail.  It turns out that regular airmail is only maybe a day or two longer than the really quick plan.  So,  I go with the cheap plan (which is still pretty expensive)  and the card or whatever gets there in about a week.  Easy peasy.  And relatively frugal.  Well,  kind of.



My guess is, there’s a bit more of a difference when sending things this way? 

The word is,  that the package that was sent for Travelling Companion’s birthday back in July found it’s way here by the “regular way”.  Whatever that means.  Is that by boat?  Ox cart?   The post mark was July 7th,  which would have been in plenty of time for a July 14th birthday.   It arrived yesterday.   Had to be by boat.   I think our shipment of household goods took just about the same amount of time.


It’s always fun to get something in the mail,  so I’m certainly not looking that gift horse in the mouth,  especially since there also was a very unusual device in the package for Yours Truly. 



No, not the card.   That thing on the left.   Had to put it together.  Seems it’s a fly swatter.   Now I have three.

Click on that picture,  you know you want to.


Is there a rumour going around that I have some sort of fly swatter “thing”?  It’s not true.  Honestly!

Betcha didn’t know fly swatters could stand up?

Well,  neither did I.

There was some mention made of “black flies” in the card.  We don’t have them in Vienna.  But I’ll keep the fly swatter.  I think it’s cool.   With the exception of watching it stand there so nicely,  I haven’t had a chance to try it out just yet.   Better not say this but, we don’t really have enough bugs.  (that’s really asking for it)  I’m not about to take it down to Mariahilfer Straße in hopes of finding something to swat either.



Keep it between the ditches.   Thanks for lookin’.



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

It’s a tough language.

And I’m not referring to German or French,  or any of the dozen or so languages or dialects here in Europe.  I’m talking about English.

Even (supposed) English speaking individuals seem to have issues with the language,  and I’ll readily admit that I didn’t really grasp the concept of something called “Grammar”  until I started learning a second and then third language.  

I recall Mrs. Egan trying to enlighten us in grade six English.  Somehow it wasn’t making any sense.  Probably because there are no longer clear differences between nominative, accusative, dative or subjunctive usages in English (to mention just a few) which help to make it crystal clear just what the speaker would or should be trying to say.

I’ve probably forgotten more than I ever learned,  in terms of terminology at least,  but having used it for roughly 50+ years,  a feller just knows what is right and what isn’t. 

So I have another assignment.  


Well,  it seems having the little pamphlets to hand out to visitors is now some sort of “thing”  these days at the various production locations of The Company that Cannot be Named.   Of course,  since Travelling Companion was in the Czech Republic Monday and yesterday,  she dutifully brought home one of these pamphlets so that Muggins here can give it the once over.

Of course,  I can’t exactly take a picture and post it here,  since that would defeat the clandestine nature of calling it The Company that Cannot be Named.   However,  in a paraphrasing sort of way,  I’ll give you an idea of what is on the front cover.  While gritting my teeth.

“Welcome at (TCTCBN)

in ….(the Czech location)

Please, follow safety instructions showed down below.”



*quietly weeping*

Can’t we even get past the cover page?  

The one from Serbia was two type written pages of corrections,  but at least the cover page was well, adequate. 

Here are a couple more snippets.

Under the heading, “Orientation Map”  (shouldn’t it be “Site Map”?)

“Here you are".  (That one made me chuckle)  As opposed to,  “You are HERE.”

Say “Here you are” a few times to yourself.  You’ll laugh,  I guarantee it.

And then there’s one of my favourites, “If you get from the sight of the guide, please find and go to the nearest Gatehouse (l or ll ), and wait for his arrival.”


The thing is,  you know what they’re trying to say,  but something just ain’t raight.  This is when a liberal arts education can be a mixed blessing.  I just can’t leave this stuff alone.

The report is that,  after the last pamphlet was given the once over by Yours Truly,  Travelling Companion handed over the corrections and said,  “The next time you go to print,  put in these changes.”  

I can only hope.


I’d better get busy.


Here’s something for you to chew on.


Apart from the fact that it’s blistering hot out,  would you be willing to sit between two construction sites to have your coffee?   I do realise that a lot of people have their regular stop/hang-out/whatever,  and sitting in a cafe every day has never been my “thing”,  but even if it were, (note use of subjunctive?) having construction  on either side of me would put me over the edge I’m afraid.


That’s the only snippet of life in Vienna that I presently have to offer.


Here’s a little language snippet for you to chew on,  (aren’t you excited?) showing how changing just ONE LETTER in a word,  can completely alter the meaning of a sentence in German.

Sie tanzte vor ihm.  (dative)

She danced in front of him.

Sie tanzte vor ihn. (accusative)

She danced right up to him.


Cool,  huh? 

OK fine,  maybe not.



Keep those sticks on the ice.


Thanks for stopping by.



Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Remember the sock?

That’s not like,  “Remember the Alamo” or anything,  which would be in keeping with the sort of “stream of consciousness” type of blather that I sometimes spew.

I’m referring to the well travelled sock of a couple months ago.  Well,  there’s more to the story.   I couldn’t very well relate more of the story at the time,  since the story had yet to unravel,  but stay with me.  

Meanwhile,  I forgot that there’s such a thing as a “search” feature with the blog,  which brought up an immediate result to my “mailing a sock” query.   That is of course,  after I had been flipping through entries ad nauseam. *sigh*  Such a slow learner.

I was debating about sending off the sock,  when the late birthday card showed up.  So fine, you remember that part.  There was €30 in the card.   I found this out much later.  Well,  that €30 is making the rounds it seems.  

I’ll probably mess this up,  since I’m relying on some eaves dropping and my memory here,  but the story goes that Ljuba sent the cash on to Ontario, after I had unwittingly sent it to her in the birthday card with (freshly laundered) sock,  where Daughter Number Two ended up with it (that’s the part of the trail that I’m a bit shaky on)  who then brought it to Vienna when she came over back in June.   Of course,  she took out some more dough when she was here,  which meant she had roughly €30 hanging around when she went back. 

Just this past weekend,   she and her hubby went over to see Daughter Number One to return a borrowed suitcase,  at which point she hauled out €30 and passed it on.   Now,  it’s not THE SAME €30,  but the amount is the same.   So,  that money has gone from Ontario,  Canada to Vienna.   Then back overseas to Vancouver (where they don’t take Euros),  and then back to Ontario,  and now it’s coming back here. 

Kind of like a homing pigeon.

Hey,  breaks up the boredom.




Just stuff I see.

Some sort of boring machine.  OK wait,  by “boring”,  I don’t mean the way I bore you folks,  you know what I mean.   A “boring machine”,  but not one that has ever told a lame joke.

Anyway,  it had that “gear oil” smell?  You know it when you smell it.  It’s very hard to describe.   Crawl under your vehicle,  undo the plug in the differential,  dip in your finger and take a whiff.   That smell.

I have no clue what they were up to,  and hanging around like some nerd in a computer store doesn’t really work for me.


That’s not really fair to the computer nerds out there I know.  We need you.  Don’t get upset.

It’s hard to come up with a non-insulting analogy there.  I could tell about my ole man,  and how he could walk up to a complete stranger using draught horses,  and start talking like they were old friends.  In the case of my Mom and I,  since we would be left sitting in the car,  we’d look at each other with that, “Oh cripes,  here he goes again”,  kind of look.   You know, that “knowing” look?   So no,  I wasn’t about to stop and hang around to watch what they were going do,  all wide eyed and goofy like.   Nothing to see here.  Just keep moving.



And here we have,  “Memories”.  Or something like that. 


These are things that would go unnoticed by most people,  but as they were tools of my former “trade”,  I do notice.

Wet vac.  Pads for a floor machine,  and cleaning solution.  Is it sad that I notice these things?  Maybe. 


Oh,  and now we finally see the front of the building they’ve been working on ALL SUMMER LONG.  Oy.

I still gave it a wide berth this morning just the same.  Still though, it’ll be nice to go to the parking garage without getting buffeted with dust,  loud noise or the reminder of just how much fun it is to have a porta potty right there on the sidewalk.  Wuf.



And then of course,  I have to mention the heat wave.



Even though it’s really and truly sucks to be levelling out asphalt most any day in the summer time,  I don’t think the performers in Salzburg had any clue when they were training all those years to become professionals,  that they’d have to withstand 58°C on stage, out in the “Midday Sun”.  Jumpin’!

That’s toasty kids!

I’m going to convert that one for you,  just for effect.   That’s 136.4°F.  Does it get that hot in Texas?  Arizona? 

I recall being in Vegas once upon a time in October (which is when all the “Silver Hairs” go,  so I’ve heard)  and it was getting up there, maybe close to 100°,  but all you had to do was step into the shade,  since it was a “dry heat”.   I don’t think there was any shade for those performers on stage.


I just had a “noonday Sun” thought…

There’s a Vegas segue here,  if you care to take a listen:




It’s almost the afternoon here,  and I haven’t had to close up and put on the air,  since there’s a bit of a breeze,  and it’s slightly overcast.   Give it a couple hours though.   We actually have something that I think I’m going to have to start referring to as “Humidity”.   The horror!   Can’t “chew” it yet,  like the kind of oppressive stuff we get in Ontario,  but it’s out there.   Very odd for Vienna.   We don’t get humidity.  Well,  at least not anything worth mentioning.

Sure hope you’re comfy,  wherever you are.


Thanks for stopping on by.



Monday, August 20, 2012

Going for the record.

Not me.  Settle down.

I’m talking about our temperatures. 


And I realise that for some folks in parts of North American where it’s been blistering hot for most of the summer,  you’re probably thinking that hitting 38°C might not be that big a deal.   Fair enough,  but not everyone around these parts has air conditioning. 

As a matter of fact,  Travelling Companion was on her way to the Czech Republic this morning,  and will quite likely be stopping off at her second office up in the  Gmünd area,  where they DO NOT have air conditioning in the office.  We were there a couple years ago for some reason or other and I thought it was just a tad warm,  and she later filled me in on that whole lack of air conditioning program.  No air conditioning in an office?   I had never heard of such a thing.  Nor have I been all that keen on going back.  Maybe when the place was built all those years ago,  there was no perceived need?  You got me.  I have no clue.  But they’re welcome to it.   Even in some of our schools we at least had air conditioning in the office.


Other than that earth shattering news,  we’re coming up empty here.   T.C. will be staying overnight,  so that’s one less worry.  She has gone up and back in one day, but travelling some of those roads late at night is just too stressful for the both of us.  We made a deal a while back that,  for these kinds of jaunts, she should just stay overnight,  and then head out the next day some time in the mid afternoon.


Of course,  for me that means fuelling up the car and getting it washed.

Had to go to two different service stations to get that accomplished.


Just one more of those slight annoyances of apartment living.  There were times in the Netherlands when I’d simply wash the car in the driveway.   Not a big deal,  and I certainly didn’t mind.   Trying not to grumble here.


Speaking of grumbling.  There was just the tiniest bit of purging on the part of Travelling Companion a few days ago,  and in spite of being told to “throw those things out!”  I happened to read in one of the local rags that we do in fact have a clothes drop off bin just up the street from us.  The only slight hitch in my big plan was,  I kept forgetting to take the stuff away.  Hence there was some grumbling.  Did it this morning.


Just ignore Rigoletto. 

The thing is,  I don’t ever really go that way,  so I certainly would have never noticed that bin.  I’d sooner see whatever charity it is get some used clothes and let them figure out what to do with them,  than simply heaving the bag in the dumpster.  Maybe it’s my “farmer Bob” side,  but I have issues with simply heaving out perfectly good stuff.   Somebody, somewhere must be able to get some use out of it? 

Took me a second or two to figure out how to open the bin, but other than that,  there was no inconvenience to speak of.


There will be more purging.  I’m pretty sure of that.

Try not to trip over any of your own stuff that’s under foot.


Thanks for looking.



Saturday, August 18, 2012

I drove. She shopped.

Which is my preferred method of doing things.  Of course though, that also means that December rolls around and I haven’t done a lick of Christmas shopping.  I don’t recall my father ever doing any Christmas shopping,  and my father-in-law would dole out some cash to some hapless family member who then had to go out and try and find a couple things before Christmas.  My memory’s dim,  but I seem to recall it that way.  Or maybe he just gave out cash? 

Wonder if I’ll end up the same way?  I have an uneasy feeling.

Not a big shopper. 

If they only had a decent tool store in Parndorf,  I’d be all over that.   Alas,  only clothes,  purses,  kitchen gadgets.  And throngs of people from all over.


Instead,  I took one for the team.


That’s the thing about just about any restaurant of café in Europe, and certainly here in Austria.  You can sit down with a paper,  order a coffee,  and they’ll basically leave you alone.   There can be people clambering at the door to get in,  and it won’t make a difference.  

Although I must admit,  when we first arrived in Europe, oh those many years ago in the Netherlands,  it did take us a bit of getting used to,  to make sure to get the attention of the wait staff at some point after having finished our meal in order to actually extricate ourselves from the dinner table.  Like I said,  they just leave you alone.

As a matter of fact,  the Dutch in particular,  and this may apply to other Europeans when visiting Canada or the US, consider it down right rude to be served with the bill after the last plate has been cleared.   As norteamericanos, we never give it a second thought,  and figure that,  once you’re finished eating,  it’s time to make tracks.  

Different strokes.

I think I prefer the European way,  to be honest.  I will sometimes just ask to pay right away,  (“Wir werden sofort bezahlen”),  if we only order coffee and have places to go.  Otherwise,  forget it.


So that was a good outing.  Travelling Companion picked up a couple things.  There are indeed some Christmas items in there,  so the contents can’t be divulged.  Sorry.


Then,  just for kicks and giggles,  we thought we’d revisit the Naschmarkt here in the city, to pick up a few little goodies that can be a challenge to get anywhere else. 

No sitting with a coffee for Bob.  

Into the fray.



We were pretty much on a mission though,  so there wasn’t too much meandering involved.  It’s the meandering that drives me right ‘round the bend. 


Over the last year or so,  the city of Vienna has been doing some renovating at the Naschmarkt,  and my impression is that the isles are even narrower than they used to be.  Mind you, the place is mobbed on a Saturday anyway,  so we didn’t linger any longer than it took to get what we wanted,  and got out.



The temperature was getting up there as well.   The readout in the car was showing 28°C,  and the news is it’s going to get hotter over the next few days.  Summer hasn’t released us from it’s grip just yet.

Have I said how glad we are to have air conditioning?  


It’s going to be a quiet evening.   Hope you enjoy yours.


Thanks for coming on by.




Friday, August 17, 2012

Smart, but oh so dumb.

Maybe it’s me,  and I’m just not smart enough to safely operate a computer,  but sometimes I wonder how the average person manages to get through the day without evaporating several hours trying to sort out computer CR*P.

Let’s talk about “updates”,  shall we??

Every so often,  I get a message from the Mother Ship saying I need to update something or other.   For the longest time there,  there was some sort of “pack”, “package” or some such thing that I was being told that I desperately needed.  

So fine.  Click on the thing,  and install the update.   Oh,  and “You may continue to work while this update is being installed.”  

Well,  that’s good.   Good thinkin’ there guys!   Well,  I feel better already.  

But wait.  At the very end, I get this message,  “Windoz was unable to install this update”.   Really?   Then why the hell did you send it to me then?   Warning me that my ASS WOULD FALL OFF if I didn’t install this update RIGHT AWAY.    I mean,  that’s serious.   I need my ass to sit on.


So finally after months and months of going through this routine on a semi-monthly basis,  some GENIUS at the Mother Ship must have figured out that there was a line of code missing,  or something,  and then one fine day,  IT WORKED!   Well glory be.  

What was that quote from Einstein?   “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”    I must be insane.


For the last couple days now,  I’ve been getting these terse reminders that once again my ass will fall off if I don’t do an update.   Well see,  along with these updates,  a person has to restart the computer.   It’s not always convenient to simply restart a computer right there and then,  but eventually I give in,  close whatever I’m doing,  and succumb to the will of the Mother Ship.   You will assimilate!

With some programs,  and we won’t get into the nitty gritty here,  once you shut ‘er off,  it’s a heck of a job getting ‘er going again.   Kind of like shutting off a diesel engine in the arctic.   Not a good idea.  Don’t want to break out the ether.  Probably not the best thing for the motherboard.

So then it happened.   The external Western Digital hard drive that I bought and had sent to the house in Canada for my daughter to bring over,  and which has been working just tickety-boo for the last few weeks,  was suddenly “not recognised”.   Are you kidding me? 

What wonderful “update”  did they send me??  And why did I need it?

Best not to panic.

Depending on how you search,  and your level of patience,  there’s probably an answer out there on the net somewhere.  It’s just a matter of finding it.   Don’t even ask me how I did it,  but we’re back in business again. 

It’s kind of like hunting in a way.  There’s the search,  with the possible location of the quarry, but then there’s the chance you just might get hurt.   There was one “download”  there that warned that I’d lose all the information on the drive.   *ulp*

See now,  that would not be good.

My butt still hurts from that clench.

Hunting squirrel.  Found a bear.  Almost got hurt.


I didn’t download anything,  but still managed to get it working.  It’s a mystery.  I really have no clue.




When things are simpler:


Summer Clean-Up

Reasonably certain these two aren’t concerned about losing files off an external hard drive…



In another mysterious area of this stuff that I’m not even going to try and figure out,  for the last couple months I would say,  I’m no longer able to see my “followers”.

I know they’re there,  since I asked my son-in-law back  home to take a look from there, and send me a count.   At the time,  there were 55.   If I haven’t thanked all the followers for following,  it’s because I can’t ‘see’ you.

So how is this possible you ask?   Well,  that other Mother Ship has decided that I’m no longer “” but instead I am now “”

Neither of those are links by the way.  Don’t bother clicking.  You’re already on the page?

So apparently I’ve somehow been “localised”.   Nobody asked me about this of course.  It just happened.  And it may very well be “.com”  from where you are.  I have no idea.

I do realise that I am,  in fact,  in Austria.  But now I can’t see my followers.   The latest scuttlebutt on the forums is,  this has yet to get “sorted out”. 

Well now,  isn’t that clever?   Wouldn’t that be like me going to the gas station for fuel,  but not having any place to put it?   When is this going to get “sorted out”?  Next year?  I’m going to be standing at those pumps for an awfully long time.


This probably explains why Daughter Number Two gave up on Blogger a while back,  and started paying a webhosting company $14.99 a month.   More flexibility,  and there’s no Mother Ship.


And yes,  I know.   Blogger is free.  Shouldn’t complain.   But really.  What’s the real cost?  Smashing my computer screen would also not be good.  And pricey.

Would you prefer to go to a free outdoor concert,  where you have to sit on the ground in the blazing sun,  possibly stung by wasps?  Or, would you prefer to pay to sit in air conditioned comfort,  in a comfy chair, and not be annoyed by somebody’s screaming kid or barking dog?    Think of that analogy when thinking about Blogger being “free”.

It’s gonna be time for a change.  But not just yet.  Need to bide my time, and wait until I’m back on home soil.   Those toll free numbers don’t work from over here.


Speaking of really smart people…  The clever bunch over in Texas who look after all our relocation cr*p recently decided that our “Home Leave”  funds should go to our Austrian bank,  instead of the Canadian one.  They say it was a ‘policy change’ from the Company that Cannot be Named,  but we’re thinking their just idiots.  

Their track record as idiots is exemplary,  so that whole “policy change” routine is just a bunch of fresh air.

What this means is,  apart from the annoyance of the transfer costing us €37,  (which we’ll never see again, since they “don’t pay that”)  is that I have to call our bank in Canada to try and get all their transfer information updated so that the regular expenses such as prescriptions and such,  can then be deposited there.   We’re full up here. 

And yes,  I said Texas.  If I knew why,  I’d probably tell you.  It makes no sense to me either.


If this had happened a couple years ago,  that would have been just fine,  since we would have had gobs of funds in our Austrian bank for the monthly stuff,  and would have quite possibly not had to put more money in there for a long,  long time.   Just go to the net,  look for flights from Toronto to Austria,  times two,  plus a decent car rental for about three weeks.  That’s more or less how much money we’re talking about.   It’s great when your cup runneth over,  but it’s the wrong freakin’ cup!  Gah!


Well,  I got stuff to do here,  so I’d better shut up.  

Have a fine weekend.


Thanks for stopping on by.



Thursday, August 16, 2012

This and that.

I’ve been procrastinating today just a bit,  but managed (hah,  “managed”,  he says!) to do a couple little chores and such.  Thing is,  it’s mid afternoon and Travelling Companion just phoned to say that she’s on her way home.  Hazzah!

I had to check the time.  Thought maybe I had dozed off there in the midst of mopping the floor or something.  Sounds like Caretaker hours to me.   Don’t worry though,  she’s put in her time on other occasions.  She could leave at four o’clock everyday for the foreseeable future, and there still would be hours owing.

I just hope she doesn’t forget about the hair appointment I set up for her tomorrow at four.  That would be a bit of an irony.



The things I see.


This cute little car was parked not too far from our front door this morning.  I think it’s a Spitfire.  Possibly a 1500?  

Wait!  Stop the presses!   I just saw the little badge on the front.  It’s an Alfa Romeo.  Sorry.  My bad.  Carry on.

The only thing is,  couldn’t a person do something about that Gawd awful license plate on the front?  That’s just criminal.   I have seen little square jobbies,  but maybe that wouldn’t work either.  I envy those who own cars in La Belle Province,  at least in terms of having a neat little sports car, since they don’t require a front license plate.  Seems to work for them.  

I don’t think there would be any other reason to want to live there though,  in spite of my supposed ability to speak French.   I’ve been there in the winter time.  I’ve seen the temporary shelter type things they have to use over their driveways due to the amount of snow they get.   And it’s not even the Austrian Alps. 



Neat idea,  although slightly goofy looking.   I was in Québec city back in the 70s for the Québec Winter Carnival and I was amazed at the number of driveways that had one of these things.  


Anyway,  T.C. just came in the door,  so I’m outta here. 

I think she was feeling a bit like this mannequin I saw this morning,  so she decided to leave with the rest of the masses.


Keep those sticks on the ice.  And your mannequins on their stands.


Thanks for lookin’ in.



Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It’s a Holiday!

Big whoop.

With the exception of the stores being closed,  and having to make sure we had enough grub on hand for today,  my life isn’t that much different.  

There doesn’t seem to be any consistency when it comes to who gets what in the way of holidays in Europe either,  as parts of Germany are off today but, some regions aren’t.    I haven’t even bothered to figure out the rest of the countries.  Not really important. 

It does suck though if you’re a tourist and wander into town,  thinking you might do a little shopping on just any Wednesday,  only to discover that everything is closed.  The cafes are open,  if that’s any consolation.

Travelling Companion knew it was a holiday,  although she managed to briefly forget and plan a conference call for this afternoon.  No biggie,  as that’s something that can be done from home,  even though it’s a pain to use the Crackberry instead of the landline.  

Turns out one of her work associates managed to forget that it was a holiday,  and planned a little trip up to Denmark.  Seems there was some rumblings from the home front.  Been there.  Done that.  Just one of those things.  Something that most spouses don’t really ever get used to though.  They have these things called “calendars”,  you know? 


Anyway,  I’ve probably mentioned from time to time that we don’t seem to have a huge amount of bugs here in Wienerland,  although I have heard that there are plenty of mosquitoes out in the nether regions,  we’re reasonably immune here.


Then yesterday afternoon I discovered this guy.


Right,  no bugs eh?



Slightly larger version.   Some kind of hopper.  Grass or otherwise.  Hopefully not a sign of things to come.

DSC_big bug

Kinda cool I suppose,  if you’re into that kind of thing.   Travelling Companion most definitely isn’t,  and she had just called to say she was on her way home.  This is protocol by the way,  which gives me fair warning to start supper.  I had to get rid of my new friend,  but needed a picture first.   Thought it was worth the effort.

So I was struggling to take a decent photo,  and thought I’d haul out my auxiliary flash.   That should work,  right?

Well,  one of the first things they tell you when you’re a young doe-eyed photographer is,  make sure you take out the batteries from your flash if you’re not going to be using it for a while.



There’s a reason for this.  

I have no photo evidence,  since it would be too upsetting.  It’s not like there’s even that much corrosion,  but that sucker doesn’t work.

Amazingly,  (or perhaps it’s really not,  since we are living in the internet age)  I found a great “how-to”  on line to help with the disassembly.    Didn’t matter,  since I still couldn’t get to the actual area where the batteries go,  and I had no luck trying to resurrect the thing.   Sad and painful.   Or painfully sad.   Slightly mad,  with myself. 

It was a perfectly good working flash too.   

If you’re remotely interested,  you can see the guts of the how-to article here:  Very cool and almost helpful tutorial that I wish I didn't need.


So that was the “highlight”  of my day.  Hopefully yours was better.


Sure would be nice to wear things out before breaking them.  Just saying.


Thanks for stopping by.    Oh,  and thanks for the Anniversary wishes.   Duly noted and much appreciated.



Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Speaking of priorities…


It seems as though there’s always beer on sale in these parts.

I’m OK with that.

One week from Saturday we’ll be getting more company, so I’ve been slowly stocking up.  I might have to round out the wine assortment as well,  but the rack and the cupboard are both quite full,  so we’ll see.   Depends on what goes on sale.  I’ll be back to making my own wine once we’re back home I suspect.  I just won’t be able to justify paying some of the scandalous prices for wine back in Canada.  I might even try making some home made beer.



Merkur did have some brands on sale this morning when I was in,  but only if you were willing to schlep off a case of 24.   I have no huge desire to cart 24 cans of beer down the street.   That’s 12 litres,  since each can is a half litre.  I have no clue how much that weighs,  even though I could probably find out on the net and report back to you.  Suffice to say,  that’s just a wee bit too heavy for any distance more than the local corner store.   Merkur is half way to the Ring from here. 



Tomorrow is a holiday here in Wienerland,  and Travelling Companion had every intention of staying home and chilling out for the day.   That is,  until she realised she had set up a conference call.  Nobody else to blame.  I’m guessing it’s not with any Austrians, unless they too will be calling in from home.   At least she won’t have to face the traffic in the morning and then at night,  although it’s been pretty light in the last little while,  since half of Vienna seems to be on holidays.   I went by the cafe downstairs just before lunch time,  and it was kinda empty.  Like,  when the owner and one waitress outnumber the customers kind of empty?  They’ll do better in a week or so,  since the kids go back to school before the end of the month and everyone will be back from the mountains or wherever the heck they go.


I think that’s about it for the big report.  I don’t even have to make dinner,  since we’ll be having left overs from yesterday.   I did some sort of pineapple/meatball/veggie thing over rice.  Not bad actually. 


The thing about rice of course is,  it’s good for a couple days,  since it can be fried, heated, whatever.   Having “fried rice”  is a good fall back type of dish if you have a good handle on just how lazy you’re going to be the next day,  or find yourself ‘cooking for one’.  Cooking for one pretty much sucks,  which usually means I won’t bother.  Probably not the healthiest choice.

I’m trying to contain my excitement.

Try to contain yours.



Thanks for looking in.



Monday, August 13, 2012

Not just any weekend.

This makes me think of that old riddle, “Brothers and sisters I have none,  but that man’s father is my father’s son.  Who am I?” 

If you figure it out, fine.  If not, it’s no big deal.

Here’s my version.  I’ve been married twice,  both times on August 11th,  but to how many women?


Just one.

Long story.  Not really blog fodder.

Couldn’t have really planned on getting married twice on the same date, it just worked out that way.  We count the Anniversaries from the first one,  which makes it 22 years. Travelling Companion and I actually met in 1978,  and there were a few extra years in there,  but Anniversaries are only counted from the date of a wedding.   We probably would have got hitched sooner,  but we had to scrape together enough dough for the whole thing first.  Times ‘was a wee bit lean’, if you know what I mean?   We’ve all had them.


So Saturday night was going to be a “night out”.  Only dinner,  no movie.   Why is “dinner and a movie”  considered a “night out”?   Where did that come from?

The original plan was to go to Zur Alten Kaisermühle,  which was the place where T.C. went on Thursday night with the big group,  but I was having some issues.  I figured Friday would be early enough for reservations,  if we needed them,  but nobody was answering their phone,  and then all the reviews I read weren’t really all that glowing.  Most of them were in German too,  so it wasn’t like they were only treating the tourists shabbily.  My thoughts were that,  the “big group” had received decent service and food since it was a big company after all.   Not only that, but someone “signed for”  the bill on Thursday night,  since it turns out they don’t take credit cards.  

This is 2012 right?  What restaurant doesn’t take credit cards?  I mean,  we tend to pay cash anyway,  since credit card charges in any foreign currency are pretty much highway robbery,  so we’d sooner get nicked a bit on the bank charges when we withdraw from the ATM.   But who is going to want to pony up that much cash for a group of 20-25?   No wonder there had been an account set up.  Funny business.

We might stop by there one day for a coffee,  since the place is situated right on the Danube,  but as it was bit cool and raining off and on Saturday evening as it was,  I had no huge desire to sit outside for a couple hours.

As it turned out,  I ended up make a reservation at Frank's.

Seems to me the full name is “Frank’s American Bar and Restaurant” although,  there’s not much in Vienna that’s truly “American”,  with the possible exception of TGI Fridays.   Well,  there’s McDonalds and their ilk,  but really?

We’ve been to Franks a couple times before,  and I knew I wanted a burger.  They do make a decent burger.  And the beer is cold.  Curiously enough too,  they served “Löwenbräu”,  which is brewed by Anheuser-Busch InBev.    Different pronunciation,  and hugely different taste from the stuff that got stepped on a little by the Miller Brewing Company back in the 1970s


If you’d like a brief (like,  12 seconds long) tutorial on the pronunciation of Löwenbräu,  I’ve included a handy little YouTube video.   Get practising.



It’s very accurate.  Trust me.




I took this picture on the way back,  since it was the way we should have gone to get there.   One section of the subway that I needed for our journey is closed for the summer,  as Wiener Linien is doing some revamping,  so we had to make our way through the rabbit warren that is the centre of Vienna on foot.   I took ONE WRONG TURN.    It’s a rabbit warren I tell you!   I hadn’t been there in a while,  and I got confused.   It meant T.C. and I had to walk an extra couple hundred metres,  and we made it to the restaurant at the prescribed reservation time,  but with T.C.’s knees as they are,  an extra couple hundred metres after not very much walking at all is just a little too much to bear. 

I think a couple glasses of wine helped deaden the pain,  but still…

Talk about ‘leading someone astray’.


This was the way we were supposed to go.  Even Google Maps had it right.


I probably should have taken a minute or two on Saturday afternoon and prepared this little helpful map to get us from the Subway stop to the restaurant.  *sigh*


Lucky for me Travelling Companion doesn’t hold a grudge when it comes to these minor “brain farts” that I have once in a while.  I think she’d have quite a list.  

Hm,  maybe there is a list?  Gah! Let’s hope not.


Sunday?  Meh,  Sunday was more or less the “Movie” part of the “Dinner and a Movie” scenario.   Didn’t do too much else but gaze at the tube.  No ambition whatsoever.   My idea of having a “Celebration”.    Maybe when we hit 25 years,  we’ll have some big splashy thing, but it’ll be catered methinks.


Keep those sticks on the ice.


Thanks for stopping by.



Friday, August 10, 2012

Do I look helpful or something?

Können Sie mir helfen?


This was the question put to me this morning by what appeared to be a Grandma out with her two Grandkids on Mariahilferstraße.   This was right around 9:30 a.m., just as the shops were starting to open up,  and it was starting to get a little busy. 

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind helping.  I just couldn’t figure out how she picked me out of the passers by.   Seems she was having some issues with her high fallutin’ new fangled baby buggy.   Well,  I don’t think it was actually hers,  but she was at the wheel.
Talk about being out of my depth!   My guess is that her yuppy offspring were busy working,  she was in charge of the kids,  and naturally there was no training manual with the thing.   They didn’t have these kind of high end buggies when our kids were young,  which we wouldn’t have been able to afford anyway.

The wheels wouldn’t swivel,  and there was some sort of secret code involved to get them to spin again.  I did mention at one point as I got down on my hands and knees (always painful) that my “kids”  were approaching middle age,  so this could take me a couple minutes.

The buggy kind of looked like this one with the set of duel wheels on the back.  I guess that’s for extra payload.  Kind of like having a tag axle?

baby buggy no bumpers

It actually took me a good long ten or fifteen seconds studying the wheels before I realised there was a second little tab that you could lift,  and then they’d swivel right around.   Good to know!   Yessir,  gonna tuck that one away.    *pfft*



Can’t I just give directions to tourists?   Not as hard to get up off the ground I find.   My stupid knee still hurts.

Oh,  and I didn’t take any pictures of the old girl,  the young girls and their “rig”,  since I’m not overly keen on taking pictures of kids that would then end up on the internet.  Just one of those things.


Speaking of “helpful”,  I somehow don’t think this cop had being helpful in mind.   At first I briefly thought he was giving some sort of directions or whatever to the fellow with the bike,  but there was a bit of a lecture involved,  and then some writing.  Hm…




I wouldn’t have given that too much thought,  but not long after that, I saw him having a little chat with yet another bike rider.  


Do we see a pattern here?

There had been a third guy with a bike that he was having a chat with earlier,  which I hardly noticed in passing,  but then when I saw him with the next guy,  that’s when I hauled out the camera.   It’s not easy taking stealth photos either.

Looking for a stolen bike?   Doubtful.  Probably more like hassling some of the rogue bike riders in these parts.  

My first European bike experience was in the Netherlands.  It’s a place where they have pretty strict rules for bikes,  even though bikes and pedestrians are given a wide berth. It’s a rare thing in the Netherlands to be forced to ride with the cars if the speed limit is much more than “dead slow”,  and on the bike lanes  (“highways” is a better word)  there are separate traffic lights for pedestrians and bikes.  It’s awesome.

If you want a brief taste,  this little video is plenty short.


Now,  if you have another four minutes to kill,  I’ll burden you with yet another biking video from the Netherlands.  This was taken by a fellow by the name of David Hembrow,  who lives in Assen.  He writes a bike blog,   whenever he has a chance,  called A view from the cycle path.


I thought the music in this one was is kind of cute.

The paths they are on are a bit narrower,  as they are in a less developed area. 


You might have noticed that they don’t just paint a line on the road and call it a bike lane.  Really,  that sort of thing should just be called “bike lame”,  since it is.   Bikes in the Netherlands have their own space mostly to themselves.   I miss that.

One fine morning when I was taking Travelling Companion to work in Hengelo, we saw a cop car go right down a bike path (most are over two metres wide in the Netherlands)  to chase down someone on a bike and issue a citation.  Something I had never seen before.

Could it be that they’re starting to tighten things up here as well?   Wouldn’t hurt my feelings.  I haven’t been riding all that much lately since it’s too danged busy out there,  but when I did,  I stopped at the red lights and followed the rules as best I could.   Most of the time while everyone else rode on past me through the intersection.  Not a good way to get any respect for bikes,  I’ll tell ya much.

So if you did watch the videos, and before you say, “Oh but,  Holland is flat,  and they have nice weather!”  let me just say “No”,  the winter we were there I was out riding in -9°C,  and yes that was pretty damned cold to be on a bike,  but they clear off the snow and put down sand or salt for the bikes as well as for the cars.  For you Fahrenheit folks,  that’s easy.  It’s nine degrees below the freezing point of water.  Now you know.

AND, since it’s flat,  there’s ALWAYS going to be a head wind.  You might have a tale wind on the way,  but guess what?  you need to return at some point.    Why do you think they have all those windmills?

It’s all about making it safe to ride your bike,  and not just on some old railroad line that’s now been graciously turned over to the bikers and the knobs on rollerblades for a recreational outing on a Sunday afternoon.  I,  along with a host of others,  rode my bike every day.   Often making several trips.  It was how I got around.


Just going to take a deep breath here.


Didn’t mean to get off on a bit of a rant,  but once you’ve drunk that particular biking nectar,  you’ll never be happy with the vinegar that gets served up by your local politicians.  

Bike lame.  Pah!


T.C. just called and she’s on her way home.  Time to cut some cheese.   And that’s NOT toilet humour.


Have a fine weekend if I don’t check back.


Keep it between the ditches.

Thanks for….you know.



Thursday, August 9, 2012

Fingers in the Cookie Jar?

I don’t usually comment on internet stuff,  since I leave that to the more learned individuals out there,  but I can’t help myself. 


Google fined over Safari cookie privacy row

Google has agreed to pay the largest fine ever imposed on a single company by the US Federal Trade Commission.

The firm agreed to pay $22.5m (£14.4m) after monitoring web surfers using Apple's Safari browser who had a "do not track" privacy setting selected.


You can read the article here, if you’re remotely interested,  but that snippet above pretty much sums it up.  I think fining Google 22.5 million would be like fining the rest of us a hundred bucks. That’s just my opinion, but I imagine it’s not much more than a minor annoyance for them.  They’ll probably appeal.  Doesn’t everyone?   Oh wait,  they said they “agreed”.  *pfft* They can still appeal.



Opting out of ‘tracking’ cookies in Apple’s Safari is supposedly the default choice (if I read that article right)  but apparently the Mother Ship thought it OK to add a little code to get around that.  Tut tut.

I know that we’re being tracked by the Mother Ship,  but just the same,  I have a little add-on called Do Not Track Plus that has blocked about 40,000 tracking cookies since I installed it a couple months ago.  I’m not paranoid,  but I don’t get those annoying ads in my Hotmail account anymore for some reason.  That works for me.


Not much else going on today in Wienerland.  Weather’s just about perfect,  and I apologize if yours isn’t.   No humidity,  no bugs,  and just enough clouds in the sky to keep it from getting too toasty in our lofty perch.

I think there’s a sky segue in there.



Ooh lookee,  see?  Clouds.


Always best to be on the lookout for potential falling objects.

The cranes (sorry,  State Symbols)  make a distinctive whirring sound when raising or lowering potential Bob-crushing items.   I haven’t seen anything fall yet,  but maybe I’ve just watched too many YouTube videos?



I don’t even know what the heck that thing was,  and the first thing that caught my attention was the Dude on the street with the walkie-talkie.   No clue where the crane operator is.  Probably in the courtyard.   Don’t say, “in the cab” either.   Most of the State Symbols are radio controlled from the ground.  Saves all that climbing up and down.


Travelling Companion is out to dinner tonight,  so muggins here is off the hook dinner wise.  They had some sort of training session for non-financial Managers to learn about finance.  Or something.  Seems like a good plan to me,  since the object of business typically leans towards the idea of making some money,  and that usually involves some sort of “finances”.   Seems blatantly obvious to the rest of us,  I know. 


Anyhoo,  she’s off to chow down with 25 or so of the participants in the course.  She was the impetus behind this whole “bringing everyone up to speed”  thing,  so she has to go along as a gesture of solidarity.   Plus,  I think she has to pay the bill.  That part is kind of important.  It’s always the highest ranking person at the table who pays.   Thems the rules.   I’ll explain that if you don’t quite get it.


Not a day goes by that I don’t see tourists hoofing it down the street after coming in from the airport.


Good luck I say.  These two were really booting it too,  or I might have offered some directions. By the time I got the camera out,  they were already into telephoto territory. They seemed to have a bead on where they were headed.

Youth is certainly on their side,  but just the same,  when I came to Europe for the very first time as a (poor) student,  the person I was travelling with and I made sure we had a few Francs set aside for a cab ride to our hotel.   The scrimping and saving could start RIGHT AFTER we got to that hotel.  We had no desire to try and find our way from the airport to the Fifth Arrondissement in Paris after an all night flight.  Youth might have been on our side,  but I wasn’t as brave as those two.   Screw that!

There’s something to be said for sitting in the relative comfort in the back of a cab,  knowing you’ll arrive at your destination.  I say “relative” as Parisian taxi-cabs are a might smaller than the somewhat spacious things we had in Canada at the time.  Still are, I believe.  And yes,  we had a vague idea as to where we needed to go,  so it wasn’t like Pierre or Louis was going to take us on a big detour. 


Hope you’re enjoying your day.


Thanks for coming on by.