Tag Archives: magistratsabteilung (MA)

This year’s flower pick

7 May

Every year the MA 42 (the “Magistratsabteiling” of the City of Vienna responsible for public parks and gardens) choose certain mixtures of flowers that they plant everywhere. The daffodils and red tulips are gone, but these have come out. I have no idea what they are (I am the kind person who is happy to work in a garden as long as someone else tells me what to do), but they are tall (about a foot and a half) and look like something out of Dr. Seuss, if you ask me. Fun.

A look back

15 Jan

I’m in the process of re-reading my journal from 2021 before putting it away and came across the following entry, from 6 July 2021:

This morning on our walk we ran into the MA 48ler [man who works for the city sanitation department and keeps our neighborhood clean] who loves to talk. We had a really good chat about how inconsistent the government is (“Sagt ‘man kann bei zwei Dingen nicht sparen — Sicherheit und Sauberkeit’ — und dann sparen sie trotzdem”*), how beautiful Vienna is, the oldest houses (apparently somewhere near Mölkerbastei), sustainability and not using coffee capsules, and so on.

This all came back to me as I was doing my gratitude session and I thought how amazing it is that I was allowed to experience that, in this city, in a foreign language I now speak well enough to follow almost all of what he says [he speaks a pretty thick Viennese dialect], safe, healthy, comfortable, on a beautiful not-too-hot July morning. What an amazing life I am allowed to live.

* “They say ‘There are two things one mustn’t try to save money on — safety and cleanliness’ and then they cut the budget for those two things anyway.”

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.