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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.” 🙂

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. 😉 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! 🙂

Vineyards

23 Aug

Vacation? Nope, just an ordinary Sunday afternoon walk in the 17th district of Vienna. 🙂

Georg Kapsch: The departing head of the Federation of Austrian Industries

13 Jun

This is something that really struck me when I moved to Austria – how the relationship between management and labor was more collaborative than in the U.S.A. There was a sense that Austria as a whole could only do well if everyone was doing all right, that economic success could not happen on the backs of one group.

In this interview, it becomes clear that Georg Kapsch is of the old school. A departing president of the body representing (big) business talking about how to close the gap between rich and poor and how to make sure everyone gets the education they need to be a contributing member of society? Seems pretty radical these days. I hope his successor is on the same page!

A link to the interview is below. Unfortunately, you do have to subscribe to the digital edition to read the whole thing.

https://kurier.at/wirtschaft/georg-kapsch-diese-sommerschule-ist-zu-wenig/400938857

Schau dir “Winterreise, D. 911: No. 5, Der Lindenbaum “Am Brunnen vor dem Tore” (Mässig)” auf YouTube an

10 Jun

It’s that time of year again. The linden (or lime) trees are in blossom and seducing all with their powerful and sweet fragrance. In their honor, here is Schubert’s song “Der Lindenbaum” sung by my favorite Lieder singer, Olaf Bär, accompanied by the inimitable Geoffrey Parsons. Ah.

Eating out

16 May

Yes, you read that correctly. As of yesterday our restaurants are open and people are allowed to eat out. There are, of course, certain restrictions, but they don’t seem that tough.

What is really interesting and, I feel, particularly Viennese is that the city of Vienna is issuing gift certificates to each household for use in a restaurant. EUR 25 for single households and EUR 50 for families. Gives new meaning to the expression “Put your money where your mouth is,” doesn’t it?

Much ado in the Trafik

16 May

Maylo and I have already been out and were, of course, at the Trafik. Great consternation this morning as they had RUN OUT OF DOG TREATS! And it was too early to go to the supermarket and get more.

After many apologies and much distress, they realized they had some Manner-Schnitten (waffles made in Vienna) and asked if that would be all right. They were so distressed, what could I say but yes? So Maylo started his day with dessert and seemed, not surprisingly, quite happy about that.

May your Saturday also have such happy moments!

A beautiful original image of Vienna’s districts

23 Apr

A friend sent me this from one of her colleagues and I liked it so much I immediately asked for (and received) permission to post it.

The artist is Paul Talbot, a trainer and consultant with a hobbyist eye for design.

Enjoy!

Runners

28 Mar

Not me! I’m just a dog-walking observer. And as an observer I can’t help noticing how many more runners there are than there were just two weeks ago.

The other thing I’m noticing is how fast some of them are running. I still remember walking through Central Park in New York with my then Austrian partner, about 15 years ago, who couldn’t get over how fast all the runners were moving. Vienna was in the throes of the “slow running” fad, and until now I hadn’t really thought about it, but Vienna was still in the throes until the coronavirus lockdown started!

Clearly, there’s currently a lot of energy out there that is not getting used up in other ways.

The ORF reporting in the time of the coronavirus

25 Mar

As I was listening to the news this morning I was impressed and grateful for the ORF coverage and general approach to reporting on the coronavirus crisis. One thing they have done is set up a toll-free number where people can call and leave their questions on an answering machine. The questions are then grouped according to concern, the ORF has people getting definitive answers, and the answers are announced on the news. After that, the questions and answers are available on their website. A real service in a time when clear and reliable information helps people take the steps they need to take.

The ORF, by the way, is the national broadcasting corporation in Austria, rather like the BBC is in the U.K.