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17 Jan

Have I mentioned that it snowed in Vienna recently? This beautifully crafted and creative snow figure (below) was seen on a bench in the Votiv Park a day or two ago.


18 signs that you’ve become Viennese – Reblogged from vienna würstelstand

9 Jan

If you enjoy my occasional comments on life in Vienna, I think you will really appreciate this more regular blog with several people’s perspectives, starting with “18 Signs that You’ve Become Viennese”:

Three Kings 2017 (reblogged)

6 Jan

Just because it’s so much warmer this year 5°C (41°F).

There’s a draft today

19 Dec

Somewhere in an earlier post I mentioned that a fellow dogwalker in the park taught me the expression “Es zieht” (which is what you say when there’s a draft in a room). She used it to describe a Viennese and Lower Austrian phenomenon, when there is no visible sign of wind outdoors but you can feel one anyway. Today we have beautiful weather and it is supposed to be 2°C (or about 36°F), but my hands got so cold I just had to step into Caffè Couture for a hot chocolate. There’s only one explanation: Es zieht.


25 Nov

For the first time in ages, I am looking at the cinema listings in the newspaper and have been reminded that movies in Vienna are listed by district so that you can see what is playing near you. (After all, you wouldn’t want to have to leave your Grätzl!) I seem to remember that this is different in different cities. Certainly, one newspaper in Vienna lists films by title rather than by district. They–I think it is “Der Standard”–call this the only reasonable way to list films.

The other thing you need to understand when checking the listings is what OV and OVmU mean. The first stands for “Originalversion” (in the original language) and the second stands for “Originalversion mit Untertiteln”, or the original version with (German) sub-titles.

The cinema is a good place to go when there is “Hochnebel”. 😉

“Hochnebel” (High fog)

25 Nov

We have had several days now of “high fog”. I’ve lived in Vienna for coming up on 30 years and finally have put the terminology together with weather it refers to. It is not a very pleasant weather pattern. It’s unrelentingly gray, it’s sometimes accompanied by drizzle (as it was this morning), and, in the words of the German friend who taught me the term, it stinks. Literally. These are the days in Vienna that make me think of my time in Chengdu, that highly industrialized city in western China!

This, too, shall pass. Let’s hope it passes soon!

Get ’em young

7 Oct

This morning I had cause to walk past the university campus at about 8 a.m. I was simply astounded to see a group of what looked like students gathering at that hour on a Saturday for what looked like a kind of race, possibly as a team-building  activity. The semester started this week and various orientation efforts have been made by all the Viennese universities. One reason this made an impression on me is that such events are a relatively new phenomenon here, inspired, I believe, by what U.S. universities do for their new students (who, in contrast to the Austrian students, of course, pay quite a bit for their education).

Particularly interesting was the set-up activity. The students must be starting at the medical school because the sponsors of the event were clearly pharmaceutical companies (see photos below). A lot has been done in the last 25 years in Austria to break the grip of the pharmaceutical companies on doctors (in those days the presents–and the creativity with which the drug companies circumvented the, then much looser, regulations–almost defy description). Now the motto seems to be “Get ’em young,” before the regulations kick in.