Archive for May, 2005

VIE?

I flickred around, using “Vienna” and “Wien” tags and I found this nice picture of the runway of Vienna International Airport. Almost looks like a swamp out of concrete.

schwechat-flug-flickr.gif

(Source)

Nobody calls the airport “Vienna International Airport”.
If you talk about VIE, you talk about “Schwechat”. Why? The correct geographical name of the airport is Wien-Schwechat.

Here is an interesting collection of old airport postcards.
There are even some wonderful postcards of Wien-Schwechat, too.
Postcard 1 // Postcard 2 // Postcard 3 // Postcard 4 // Postcard 5

Urban Art 028

Large sticker (or glued xerox).

sticker-naschmarkt.jpg

Location: Naschmarkt, Wienzeile, next to Hanil Running Sushi.

Vienna Ghost Town 003

One of the most beautiful German words…
“Kunststopfen” (invisible mending).

kunststopfen.jpg

(Rabengasse, 3rd district)

City Trivia 6

“Vienna stripe” presents ass art at Wein&Co (corner Naschmarkt/Getreidemarkt).

assart.jpg

What’s the name of the artist?
(BTW: Overly-hyped one.)

Old joke, plastic version

This rather rat-like styrofoam creature lacking hands (or at least lacking tshirt-compatible hands) is representing the oldest tourist-related joke in Vienna: the Kangaroo.

kangaroo-rat.jpg

Location: 1st district, near St. Stephan’s Cathedral.

City Trivia 5

Because the last trivia was too difficult here’s one that’s possibly too easy.
What letter is missing?

moretrivia.jpg

Metal Toilet

I like Napalm Death.
And I like toilets.

tribal-toilet.jpg

Spotted at an

Europe? Non, Merci.

France said NO to the newborn European Constitution.
Is this the end of the “European Dream” or the starting of a true democratic new Europe ?
Why some countries has voted for the new Constitution while others not ?
Is the EU based only on economic and monetary rather than a real communitarian spirit ?
What’s the sense of an European Union when there’s no common foreign politics ?

All the European countries’s citizens should spend some time to reflect, tomorrow morning.

(picture: Kurier)

europe.jpg

Biscuit roulades, currency and plastics.

Biscuit roulades are a local speciality. Well, actually, it’s nothing more than buiscuit covered with marmelade, rolled together and topped with icing sugar. But they are damn tasty, yes they are. In an optimal case, they look something like this:

biscuit roulade

Mouth-watering, isn’t it? But something was odd about it.

2
2,52€? What kind of sick and twisted price is that? Didn’t the economy as a whole agree that you either have round prices or subtract 1 cent/pence/whatever-small-unit from the price to make it look cheaper dozens of years ago? My friend Heinrich, who was with me at that time, suggested it was a leftover from the schilling-euro conversion, when most shops converted the prices down to the cent to soothe consumer’s fears of price spikes. But that conversion was YEARS ago. Most people would be hard pressed to remember what our old coins and notes looked like exactly, but still, it’s in their heads. Weird.

On the up side, the idea of “plastic money” is gaining ground in said heads, up to the point where I only carry coins to buy cigarettes nowadays, although that can lead to some pretty weird situations.

This afternoon, at the supermarket, I bought a drink and some bread rolls, paid with my cash card and wanted to leave, when all of a sudden someone behind me yelled “STOP THE THIEF!”. I turned around to see if someone was getting robbed, but all I saw was a very, very, very old lady pointing her finger at me. The cashier asked her what was wrong, and the old woman said, “That boy tried to steal! He wanted to sneak off without paying!” When the cashier informed her that I had indeed payed, she was ticked off even more. “But he didn’t give you any money! How can he have paid, ha?” The triumphant smile she offered to the world with that “ha!” froze and broke away with the mention of the words “cash card”. What followed was a look on her face that I only ever saw on infants, in the second between falling down and realizing that they hurt themselves. It was priceless, very funny and very sad at the same time.

I quickly left, but I have to assume the cashier had to introduce the lady to the wonderful world of cashless payments. Poor soul.

Where’s the free market when you need one?

Imagine a small, irrelevant city in a small, irrelevant country somewhere in a far corner of the Earth, with one or two million inhabitants. Let’s say this country is run by a semi-benevolent dictator, we’ll call him el Presidente for now. Since the country has no natural ressources to speak of, and only breaks the charta of human rights a few times per year, nobody really cares about it. Now imagine it’s a minor holiday, like the birthday of el Presidente’s sister-in-law or something like that. Naturally, on this day, shops have to be closed, because that’s probably best for the population. But still, in our little city, there are two or three shops that, through a dubious interpretation of the law or other means, are actually open on that day. Now, since the people of our virtual city may have forgotten to buy cat food or diapers, or simply want to get some food and drinks, they will all go to those few open stores. That would be quite a crowd, don’t you think?

Now imagine the city we talk about here is Vienna, and the day is the feast of corpus Christi, a catholic holiday. Then the supermarket would look like this:

I took that picture today at the Billa next to the subway/railway hub Praterstern. Since I wasn’t able to get high ground, it’s not very clear, but please imagine that those waiting lines are about 40-50 people each, reaching back so far that they actually bend off at the end. The waiting time was about 20-25 minutes, and instead of store detectives, they had some beefy guys in black that did crowd control.

I’m pretty sure that’s how it was like in the eastern bloc in the 80’s. But it’s a bit sad for a democratic republic that allegedly features a free market economy. Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to shop in Slovakia – they actually have 24-hour supermarkets.

P.S.: In other “Welcome to the banana republic of Austria” news, during the eviction of students from some vacant houses of our university campus, which is now becoming something like a weekly ritual between some students and the fuzz, journalists were banned from said campus by the police to “protect them from police dogs”, and two photographers stated that they had their cameras confiscated, and when they got them back, some of the pictures they made where missing from their memory cards.

Ah, democracy is a great thing. I hope I can move to one some day.

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