Monday, September 24, 2012

Those little victories.

Sometimes it’s not just the fact that it’s a foreign language. Let me ‘splain.

I’ll admit,  there have been times when we were going about our daily lives back in Canada,  when finding a particular thing could be a challenge.  Not that often though.

Looking around or phoning around, at least I knew what the heck I was talking about. 

My little Melitta drip cone comes to mind.

Such a precious little item,  and I don’t mean the expense.

Melitta drip cone

Ever seen one of these?   Let’s digress for a minute. 

If you’re away from an electrical source and just want to heat up water to make coffee,  this is the thing.   Coffee filter goes in the top along with the appropriate amount of coffee.  Pour some boiling water through.  Bazinga!  You got coffee.    Just as strong or as weak as you’d like.


melitta with the filtre

The cone filters are easy enough to find.


It seems there are scads of pictures of these things on the net,  but do you think I could find one?   I ended up finding one at the “Reuse Centre”.  No stores had them.  See,  I can still heat up water on our gas range at home if the power goes out.   Need coffee.  Need back-up plan.  That’s all I’m going to say about that.


Fine,  back to today. 

Guests.  Tomorrow. 


For me of course,  that means another trip to the airport,  but it’s close enough that it’s not that big a deal.  Just the same, Travelling Companion has the never ending stream of issues to deal with at work,  so that then means we both have to haul it out of bed early enough to get her to work (which is in one direction, more or less northwest)  in time for me to then boot it back to the airport,  which is way over on the other side of the city.

Fun stuff. 

Which, if you’re remotely interested,  looks like this:

to the airport

Google Maps seems to calculate the travel time as 18 minutes.  I sincerely doubt that.  I’m counting on more like a half hour to forty minutes.  We’ll see.


Anyway,  just yesterday Travelling Companion was on the phone with one of the arriving guests,  and from what I could tell,  there was the admission that they “didn’t want to put us out,”  which is certainly in keeping with the theme of “Bob’s bed and get yer own breakfast”,  but then not that long after that,  there was some talk of what kind of breakfast there was to be had etc.   Oh, there’s supposed to be a choice?

So all of a sudden my task is to somehow find Flaxseed,  which is apparently something that a person can eat for said breakfast.  I suppose “getting your own breakfast”  doesn’t exactly mean you should first go to the store to get the ingredients,  but just the same,  we don’t have any flaxseed hanging around.  Go to your cupboard.  Got a package of flax seed in there?   I didn’t think so.  And if you do,  I’m impressed.  Just so you know.


Well,  I did manage to find it.  This took a bit of research,  not the least of which involved going to four different stores.  Oh,  and none of them were exactly close to each other.   Do you want another map? 

Again. Didn’t think so.

My first choice was the Merkur,  thinking that they just might have everything,  but there’s a very good chance that I was asking for the wrong stuff.   See, the dictionary calls it “Flachs Samen”.   Literally “Flax Seed”.   That would make sense.  Right?  But sometimes the dictionary doesn’t quite cut it, like when I was looking for baking soda.  It’s “Natron”.   I think I just guessed on that one.  Actually no,  I must have found it on line somewhere.  I’m not that intuitive.

See, those were two definitions on two different pages.  There’s no way of looking up “Flaxseed”  as one word.    So I naturally stuck the two together,  thinking I had the answer.

Apparently not.

Asking for “Flachs Samen” didn’t work.  I had a little consultation with a couple different shelf loading types,  and there was nothing of the sort to be found.  The thing is though,  the one fellow did mention that there were some “Bio” products that they didn’t get in.  The rest was mostly unintelligible,  as he was speaking the local Viennese dialect.  I can understand MOST of what anyone says if they’re speaking “Wienerisch”,  but sometimes there are gaps. 

Just for fun,  you’re welcome to listen to some “Wienerisch”  here,  which was taken down at the Naschmarkt.   Go for it.  Even the person doing the transcribing manages to misspell a couple words. 


Did you get that?   Right.



So after coming back home here and having a bite to eat,  I thought maybe I’d head over to the other side of the Gürtel,  where I had seen a rather nice looking little shop last week when I was looking for my nippel.   Remember the nippel? 

I took this last week,  and later realised I had a huge smudge on the lens. 


I’ve since wiped it off with my T-shirt.  I’m sure glad I do my upmost to look after my equipment.



I’m not sure why I’m sometimes compelled to take a picture of that new train station,  but there it is.   I do think it’s rather cool.


So,  although I had a pleasant little chat with the owners,  one of whom was kind enough to even look up some stuff on the internet right there, I still managed to strike out,  as there was a bit more research required.

Anyhoodle,  after checking out a couple companies on the line who import the stuff,  it occurred to me that I was calling it by the wrong name.    Well,  there’s a fine howdy do!  It’s called “Leinsamen”.   All I know is,  when I was surfing around,  I noticed there was another name, did some more snooping,  and that’s what I came up with.

I have no idea where that name came from.  Maybe some sort of Latin derivation?  Don’t know.  Don’t care.


As it happens,  there’s a somewhat large oriental grocery store over on Zieglergaße,  and one of the young ladies there knew exactly what I was looking for!   Of course,  they didn’t have it,  but she told me where to go!  So nice of her to tell me where to go. 

Usually when someone tells me where to go?  Let’s not go there.




So that’s the stuff.  I’ll be interested to see just what the heck it’s like for breakfast.   There was some mention of “using the microwave”,  so that would be the first little hurdle,  as we DO NOT HAVE ONE.  

So,  I’ll let you know.



Oh,  and so where was this store?   Certainly not hidden.  Right out on Mariahilfer,  not much farther than about 100 metres from our front door,  there’s a place called DM.     That’s it.  Just “DM”.

“DM” in this case stands for “Drogerie Markt”.   Anytime I’ve gone in there,  it’s usually to look for make-up removal pads or cotton swabs. There’s a difference between an apothecary, (Apotheke)  and a drug store (Drogerie).    The drug store carries stuff for personal hygiene,  along with a bunch of other products along the lines of a “health food store”.     Mind you, it never occurred to me that they have food.   That’s not why I go in there.

Just so you know, in the Apothecary,  you get your prescriptions filled along with all other things of a medical nature that your little heart desires.   Of course, you do have to go up to the counter and ASK for whatever it is you might think you want.   So, that can be a bit of a challenge too.   I’m sure you can think of salves or ointments that you would just as soon not have to ask for over the counter?  Within earshot of one and all?  That’s always fun.   

Next time you’re in Walgreens or wherever,  just go up to the cashier and say in a loud enough voice,  “Um, I have this blister on my ASS,  whatcha got?”    See how that flies. 

Thankfully I’ve managed to not get a blister on my ass so far in Austria.  That would truly suck.


Go easy on the salve.


Thanks for lookin’.




  1. About that flax seed... I hope you have one of those little spice/coffee grinders. The stuff has to be ground up if you're going to get the Omega 3 benefit. It probably just passes through a person whole otherwise. I know... TMI..... Bill adds flax seed (yes, he grinds a few tablespoons every morning) to his cereal each morning. What a gracious host you are to go searching for things to make your guests happy. Maybe we'll come visit... but we'll place our orders first ;-)

  2. I know some peeps that take the flax seed whole although personally grinding it would make more sense. These peeps soak the flax seeds in water and then drink it. But you can use a mortar and pestle if you got one. Don't let anyone who can't have small seeds have them lol. Although alot of people add flax seeds to yogurt, cereal, that kinda stuff. I'm interested to know what she's doing with them!
    Have fun with your guests tomorrow... I'll call you soon!!
    Daughter #2

  3. Well now, we have flax seed!! And my better half says that according to Dr Oz you are supposed to grind the stuff in order to get its benefits..... So now how do you say grinder in Austrian?

    1. Well, you just have to think of a "mill", and then you end up with "Mühle". See? Simple.

  4. I think it's amazing that you can understand anything that that guy was saying. I had to quit after 24 seconds.

    1. Don't feel bad, I could only get about 90%, and I found I was just reading the script anyway.

  5. We have flax, so be impressed! Thanks you sir!!

    No idea what it will be used for by your guests, looking forward to part two of this story.

    We add it whole to our bread dough, which hasn't happened at all this year. It is also good for cleaning out the colon!!

    1. Hmm' "C" I thought your were cleaning out Colin, but then realized you were not talking about him!

  6. Certainly a good way to keep yourself busy for the day!

  7. Well.... I thought we capers could talk fast...that guy has me beat!!!!! Glad you found the flax now to just jog yourself out there to get yogurt and various breakfast cereals in case they Re using it as an additional item...also a grinder!!!

  8. Sure glad you found out about "Leinsamen being Flachssamen. Could have told you that if you'd asked. But how would you know that we knew. Right? Though to me that "Wienerisch" sound slike cantonese chinese. I'd have to talk "Platt deutsch" to that guy to make him shut up.

  9. Been eating ground up flax seed for a lotta years now. Used to put it in my morning soy shakes. After about 15 years I quit the soy shakes about 3 months ago so now mix the ground flax seed in with my oatmeal while it's cooking. And yep, ya gotta grind it for sure. I use a coffee bean grinder. Needs to be kept refrigerated after grinding it too they say.....but I've never done that.


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.