Another holiday in Austria

9 Jun

There is a period in May and June in Austria when almost every week seems to have a holiday in it–Easter, May 1st, Ascension, Whitsun or Pentecost, and Corpus Christi. Today is Pentecost Monday (so one more to go :-)) and Mylo and I are in the park. Gradually we have been joined by the women, mainly from Hungary this time, who live rent-free in the miniscule porters’ lodges in the gracious old buildings around us in return for cleaning the stairwells, halls, and pavements in front of the buildings. I write this not out of speculation, nor because I am able to eavesdrop in Hungarian. They are women I have seen in action, wearing their cheap house dresses in synthetic materials, wielding their buckets and mops. This could almost be Vienna of 100 years ago, at the tail end of the monarchy.


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