The Main Problem for Viennese

14 Nov

From Helmut Qualtinger, author, cabaret artist and more.

“The problem for every Viennese: One can’t bear it in Vienna anymore–nor anywhere else.”

The Second of Three Days of National Mourning

4 Nov

Curfew

31 Oct

Well, I didn’t see that coming, even though our numbers are terrible. As of Tuesday we will have the first curfew of Austria’s Second Republic. True to Austrian form it is early. We will not be allowed on the streets between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.

There isn’t much front page news that interrupts my habit of starting at the back of the paper and working my way forward (the last I remember was the announcement of Karlheinz BΓΆhm’s death), but this was one of the items that did.

Today’s headline, by the way, says that the government is tightening the screws. I’ll leave you to consider which ones.

The gloves are off – but the masks are on (we hope)

18 Oct

For months the public transportation authority in Vienna has been making an announcement in its vehicles along the lines of “Dear passengers, please cover your nose and mouth when in underground stations and using public transport.” (An aside: I imagined the pleasure of the translator that they were proficient enough to know that “nose and mouth” sounds more natural in English even though in German it is “Mund-Nasen-Schutz” or “mouth-nose protection / covering”.)

A day or two ago I realized that this announcement has been shortened and is now delivered in a more peremptory tone compared to the rather mellifluous earlier version. The current version: “Dear passengers, please cover your mouth and nose.”

What’s next? No “please”?

A very Viennese cartoon

10 Oct
From Wienzig

The man in the cartoon is on his way to a new course at the Volkshochschule (VHS). There you have the first point. Almost every district in Vienna has its own VHS, a school that offers all kinds of courses for a very reasonable fee so that “das Volk” (the people) can go on learning and developing themselves. The course is “Raunzen wie ein Wiener” or poorly translated “Complaining like a Viennese”. “Raunzen” is one of those words that is almost intranslatable. It is a particular kind of ongoing complaining about little things and the Viennese like to engage in it. The final straw for me was one of the comments on Facebook. One Wienzig follower had written “Des kannst net lernen”–Viennese dialect for “That’s not something you can learn.” πŸ™‚

And speaking of politics …

30 Sep

… I just saw the Chancellor of Austria walking down my street. He’s not my choice and for years I’ve thought he was overrated, but I am impressed that he was walking down a normal street, apparently alone (no security), wearing a mask. It seemed so unlikely to me that I asked a woman who was also watching him go by if that was “der Kurz” and she said, “leider” (“unfortunately yes”).

The Color of Politics in Vienna

24 Sep

I can’t help thinking that the choice of color here is not random. Vienna is voting on October 11 and I can imagine that many of the people who work for the parks and gardens department are at least originally Social Democrats. (As I have observed before, it’s not called Red Vienna for nothing. ;-))

Politics (with a dash of humor)

21 Sep

The guy on the left: This is a stick-up. Hands up and gimme your money. Dalli, dalli! [Viennese dialect for “fast”]

The guy on the right: Lucky for me, not a foreigner!

Caption: The priorities of the right-wing voters

(Vienna is voting on 11 October 2020.)

An expression of the Viennese sense of humor :-)

14 Sep

It seems the public transportation authority in Vienna is pretty happy about Dominic Thiem’s win in the U.S. Open. πŸ˜‰ The 1 tram usually travels between Prater and Stefan-Fadinger-Platz. There is not (yet), as far as I know a place in Vienna called “Thiem”.

Congratulations to Mr. Thiem! πŸ™‚

Measures of drink in Viennese German

30 Aug

My comment: For my German (Viennese)-speaking readers. Just a quick note for the others: the “erl” at the end of a word forms the diminutive thereby making each amount sound harmless or at least more harmless than it otherwise would. You’ll notice there is no “erl” on the last one. That’s because it’s “a double”–in other words a two-liter bottle of (usually very acidic and unpleasant) wine.