I did make a couple of token visits to more conventional museums, but I have to admit that the bloody sheets from an actual murder were more interesting than the paintings of bowls of fruit by little-known Austrian artists. I did not make it to the museum that is entirely dedicated to funerals and death (yes, there is one), but I did manage to have dinner in one of Hitler’s favorite cafes. I didn’t see the National Library, but I did see a priest’s robe that had a 2-foot tall Jesus-on-a-cross in deep relief (about two inches deep) on the back. No opera or carriage rides, but I had a good snicker at the ticket machine that, during payment, advises you to, “Be aware of strange looks.” Heh heh, I really shouldn’t laugh, since I wouldn’t be able to say that in proper German, but what can I say, me likes English funny.
So in Vienna it is getting towards Christmas (well, I suppose it is getting towards Christmas everywhere), and around Christmastime, there are lots of booths in the street that serve hot mulled wine, and people buy a mug of wine and sip it in the cold before going on their way. The wine is doled out in mugs. Real mugs. And no one steals them or walks off with them accidentally. Wouldn’t you think that plastic cups would be wiser, both in terms of minimizing losses and cutting down on labor, since the mugs need to be washed after each use (I hope)?
Switzerland still beats out its neighbors for politeness. I had forgotten that the rest of the world isn’t as meticulously proper as are the Swiss. While I was waiting to disembark in Vienna, a jowly gentleman reached over me to get his briefcase, with which he swiftly conked me on the head, apologizing only after I delivered a furious New York-style scowl at him. Apparently believing that his briefcase blow had stunned me into stupidity, he then tried to push past me in the aisle of the plane. I’m skinny, but he was not, and there was no way we were fitting into the aisle together. So then he tried to push in after me, cutting off my friend, who like me, is a New Yorker at heart, and unlike me, is fluent in German, both textbook and gutter, and gravely told the man exactly what he could do with what and where he could put it and how. We then exited the plane, feeling that we had won one for the good guys, spreading peace and goodwill towards men, except for those men with the chutzpah to whack little Asian girls over the head with their hard briefcases, to which we say, !@#$%& to all, and to all a good night. Ho, ho, ho, and bah humbug.