Tag Archives: dog

Kindness

22 Jul

It’s late and hot. Maylo and I were on our way home from a Heuriger. (Where else would we go on a hot Friday evening? ;-))

It was quite a long trip home with several changes and long waits. We were waiting the tram that would more or less drop us off at our door and Maylo was lying on the sidewalk looking tired. Next thing I knew a man, dirty and poorly dressed but with gentle eyes and a smile, was sharing his bottled water with Maylo, pouring it onto the pavement and watching while Maylo lapped it up.

I couldn’t tell whether he was deaf and that’s why he didn’t speak or simply didn’t speak German. He tried to communicate with gestures and I sadly couldn’t tell what he wanted to say. Then our tram arrived and I thanked him for the water and said good night. Just as the tram doors started to close, he slid the bottle in to Maylo and went his way.

I was sure he needed the wonderfully cold, almost full bottle of water more than Maylo did, but I also thought he perhaps wanted to give it to a hot little dog more than he wanted to drink it himself.

In any case, it was a very special exchange for me, especially in a world where ever more people push themselves ahead, never mind the others, and I wanted to share it with you.

A good start to the day

20 Feb

Just one of those fun exchanges with the men of the MA 48 (city sanitation) to start the day off well, including a good example of Wiener Schmäh:

Maylo and I walked out of our door and down the street this morning. There was a worker from the MA 48 in his distinctive orange uniform at the entrance to the apartment building next door. As we approached, he held up his hand to someone in the building. Maylo and I stopped, and then he encouraged us to carry on and made sure his colleague who was bringing out the trash bins waited until we had passed. I thanked him. A few seconds went by and he said, “Auf den Hund passma [passen wir] auf.” That is, “We’re looking out for the dog” emphasis on “dog”. What could I do but laugh, thank him again, and carry on.

That kind of humor is part of what is called “Wiener Schmäh”–a kind of humor that requires a winky emoticon.

“Magistratsabteilungen” or MAs are city offices. They all have numbers and you start to realize the central points of your life by which numbers you know by heart–MA 6 for pets, MA 35 for immigration, MA 42 for parks and gardens, and MA 48 for sanitation.