Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Austrian flag is flying high

austrian flagI didn’t have any idea that Austrians are patriots, too. I mean, just look at the Austrian national flag proudly displayed on every fifth car.

I have known the Austrians as a very reserved folk. They wouldn’t tell you how much they earn in a month or who they are going to vote. Thy wouldn’t play the national anthem in the cinemas before the last screening. And now look, flag euphoria is hovering in the air.

I am not used to seeing Austrian flags unless there is a Feiertag. Unlike in the United States where seeing Stars and Stripes is usual in many households, Austrians are showing that they are very proud of their country (or their national team, depends on how one sees it) just in time for the EURO 2008.

According to an article from Der Standard, the Austrians are also patriots.

Tatsächlich erweisen sich die Österreicher im internationalen Vergleich als besonders patriotisch. Bei einer weltweiten Umfrage des Meinungsforschungsinstituts der University of Chicago zum Nationalstolz aus den Jahren 2003 und 2004 landete Österreich auf dem vierten Platz, geschlagen nur von den USA, Venezuela und Australien. Besonders der “allgemeine Patriotismus”, der sich nicht auf besondere Leistungen bezieht, ist in Österreich stark ausgeprägt. Acht Jahre zuvor lag Österreich sogar auf dem zweiten Platz gleich hinter den USA – und beim allgemeinen Stolz auf Platz eins.

Sources 1 & 2

If we follow George Orwell’s definition of patriotism in comparison with nationalism, one can say that the many Austrians are darn proud of this Alpine Republic:

By “patriotism” I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality.

An Austrian told me it is the standard of living in Austria that makes life almost perfect. It could be the country’s highest ranking when it comes to security and cleanliness, or the social welfare, the culture, etc.

The Austrians are not as flexible as the Americans or not as cosmopolitan as the other nationalities. But they love to travel and see other places. Thing is, most of them would rather stay with their own kind. Like going to Turkey or Dubai, but rather stay in German-speaking clubs provided by the travel agency back home. The majority of Austrians are proud of their language, their culture, their food. They aren’t comfortable and often refuse to practice or learn other languages. It doesn’t matter if they can. They won’t dare talk to you in other languages (for example, in English) but their own mother tongue. The reasoning is they live in a German-speaking country. To borrow Stormtroopers of Death‘s song “Speak English or Die,” speak German or die???

To emigrate? No way! As much as possible they wouldn’t if they had the choice as they cannot imagine living somewhere else but Austria.

Of course, there are others who think that place is not important as long as they feel home.

If my observations are wrong, please be my guest to correct them.

In the end, a Viennese colleague finds the flag-waving just funny and should not be mistaken as bigotry.

Verkehrsmittel laut Plan unterwegs

Wiener Linien - Verkehrsmittel laut Plan unterwegs

(I really like how Wiener Linien are informing us that they don’t have anything to inform us about!)

Schunko, the legend

You are into gun replicas? Soft guns? Other forms of fake weaponry?
I guess you know Schunko (near Urania) already. If not: go there. It’s fake gun lovers kitsch heaven.

You are totally offended by gun replicas? Soft guns? Other forms of fake weaponry?
I guess you know Schunko (near Urania) already. If not: go there. It’s fake gun haters kitsch heaven.

schunko.jpg

Link

Are you pregnant?

And if yes, do you feel represented by this icon?

schwanger.jpg

(S-Bahn, Vienna)

Eine Straße der Wiener Lieblinge

Designpfad 2008 - Wiener Lieblinge - Waldi

Installation by Kaja Leierer at Stuckgasse; part of Designpfad 2008.

Schlauchomat

schlauchomat

Seen next to the tram stop in front of Shultz Bar/7*stern (Siebensterngasse 31, 1070 Wien).

More info: schlauchomat.de (in German)

New license plates

Our monochrom car — mostly used for transporting strange DIY stuff and getting posh internet celebrities to and from the Vienna airport — got new license plates.

monochrom-car-license-plate.jpg

More than fitting, we think.

[“KO” actually stands for the county ‘Korneuburg’, but please read it as ‘Keep On’. The ‘1’ is a bad capslock typo.]

Pfingsten, Pfingsten

The “winter of our discontent” is over and thank the Gods the weather is playing along so we can enjoy a long weekend until tomorrow, Whit Monday, which is a holiday for those of us who are living in Austria, Germany or Switzerland.

Vienna has been quieter since Friday with the absence of cars in our streets. Many natives might be basking under the Italian sun right now. The Viennese might be at the Neusiedl See in Burgenland or any other Seen in Austria or Europe that has more than 25 degrees!

Coming from a strictly religious Christian country, I wonder why the Philippines doesn’t declare the Whitsunday and Monday holidays unlike the more secular German-speaking countries mentioned above.

Don’t get me wrong, I am out of the Roman Catholic fold. And like the others I have forgotten why this or that is being celebrated. But I am happy that they exist.

During my first year I was really surprised that the Austrians do observe it. I just hope that it wouldn’t get abolished like in France, Sweden or UK. I mean, I admit I really love the fact that this country enjoys its free time/days. And holidays because of the Roman Catholic Church are considered very okay.

A few hours ago watching the news channel n-tv, a giddy reporter asked a few Germans what is Pfingsten or Pentecost. Sad (well, sad?) to say, no one knew and nobody understand why it is a holiday. A few answered that it is connected to the church. That’s it.

So what do you know about the Pentecost?

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia:

A feast of the universal Church which commemorates the Descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles, fifty days after the Resurrection of Christ, on the ancient Jewish festival called the “feast of weeks” or Pentecost (Exodus 34:22; Deuteronomy 16:10). Whitsunday is so called from the white garments which were worn by those who were baptised during the vigil; Pentecost (“Pfingsten” in German), is the Greek for “the fiftieth” (day after Easter).

So those of you who opted to stay in Vienna, you might have seen and/or heard the celebration of yesterday’s official opening of the new stations of U-bahn line U2.

And today you might be visiting your mums as it is also Mother’s Day. Or you could be anywhere in the city enjoying a scoop or two of Eis in any of the ice cream salons.

Or maybe you are just wrapping up the rest of the day at the Ernst Happel Stadion after stripping for Spencer Tunick.

There are lotsa exhibitions offered this month like the Wiener Bezirksfestwochen until the first week of June. It is for free, mind you.

Whatever it is, let’s enjoy this week as we are in for the nice sunny, warm days ahead.

Austrian Military "Krocha"

“Krocha” is an ultra-proletarian Viennese jumpstyle dance, and I frequently check YouTube for new “Krocha” obscurities. Here is a compelling video labeled “Bundesheer Krocha 07 presented by checki und leimi”… two Austrian military guys, two gas masks, a Catholic cross, a trash bin and …well… rhythm.

Link (thanx, Thomas Thurner @ IND06)

An Almost Freudian Door

freudiandoor.jpg

Spotted at Mariahilferstraße.

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