Translation for 140 languages by ALS
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowline.
Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sail.
Explore. Dream. Discover
---Mark Twain


They call it Wien in German (Vienna)

I know I should have been floored by Vienna but I wasn't. I spent four nights there and there was nothing remarkable or eventful about it. Won't go so far as to use "bored." More like frustrated.

For starters, getting around town is confusing. Judging by the three tourist maps I collected Vienna is chock FULL of sites that answer the interests of history, cultural arts, curiosity, and the simply worthwhile; but each of the maps were so congested as to be hard to trace one point to another. I got a headache from trying to find and then follow the subway line markings.

Perhaps he was a Catholic virgin who'd never seen a condom up close, or perhaps he was just racist

Many suspiciously shady, mostly swarthy, characters hang out in the subways. They mumbled things to me but I had the sense to just say no. Maybe they were offering drugs or sex or directions or cheap opera seats; I don't know and, judging by the watchful groups of pigs that patrolled the platforms, I wasn't trying to find out. (Once while exiting the train, something, unbeknownst to me, dropped from my back pocket. Rather than help me, the watchful pigs walked me back to the spot, had me pick it up, and then demanded, Let me see (this he pronounced in English as his cop skills deduced my lack of German), as I quickly tried to put it back in my pocket. "Here," I said, handing him the XL Lifestyle condom---no lie---which all the nosy bystanders could clearly see it was. "Jesus Christ!" Perhaps he was a Catholic virgin who'd never seen a condom up close, or perhaps he was just racist. Something "drops" from a black man's pocket has to be suspicious. He was rightly embarrassed by the mini spectacle and waved me proceed on my un-merry way. Imagine if I were a woman and that had been a diaphragm. Holy mother! I've absent-mindedly walked away without grabbing my sunglasses, vending machine change, pens, brand new shoes, hats, backpack, calling card and NOT ONCE has anyone called, Excuse me you forgot this; but drop a condom....)

Sad to say, but I did not manage to visit Sigmund Freud's house or Mozart's apartment or the opera house (that one I just plumb forgot about) or the funky Kunst Museum. In town there is also a tiny museum devoted to "The Third Man," which was filmed in WWII Vienna and has one of the greatest entrances portrayed on celluloid as well as Orson Welles' very quotable reference to peace and cuckoo-cuckoo clocks.

Oh and Vienna is zehr expensive. One thing that turns me off faster than expensive is zehr expensive.
"You know what the fellow said—in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace—and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

Austrian flag

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