Wednesday, October 1, 2008

How do you pronounce Brno?

Leaping Lizards these Austrians are amazing. I discovered yesterday how the letter boxes work in the apartment building. As you can imagine, there are hordes of these boxes and I had assumed that the Postie had a key that fitted each one. Not so. The front doors of the letter boxes are all connected to a series of bigger doors. The Postie has a key to the bigger doors and just opens up the whole lot in one go – leaving all these inviting openings into which can be stuffed the mountains of advertising material which we receive each day.

The printing presses in Austria (or more probably Slovakia) must go nonstop as each and every day I get a large pile of brochures about every conceivable household article (with the exception of roller blades for macacque monkeys).

I got up at 4:00 AM (Shriek!) to take Melissa and Henri to the Flughafen to catch a flight on Struggle Air back to Paris. This was not a happy experience especially as Tom Tom insisted on the way home on more than one occasion that I drive into the Donau canal. This blog is being written before dawn – which let me tell you is a seriously ghastly experience and one which is unlikely to be repeated.

There is something seriously wrong with the Austrian education system. They call the Danube the Donau – who ever heard of the Blue Donau Waltz. Not only that – not content with one Donau they built another one next to it and called it the Donau canal - and they are both stuffed full of water. People in Australia would kill for one river with water let alone two.

It is by the way a very big river indeed and apparently goes for a very long way – Melissa says there are parts of it in Budapest. But then she has been telling us for days about Bratislava and this morning confessed that she had not really been there and was probably talking about Brno.(What kind of a word is that!)

Thank goodness I took no notice of her when she was explaining the key geographical features and scenic wonders of Bratislava. All I know about it is what taxi drivers have told me - there is a large Tesco and it is much cheaper than Vienna. But then I imagine a corner shop on the moon would be cheaper than Vienna.

We have our eye on a bronze devil in shop on Opernring. He is fantastic - with a spiky tail sort of winding around his neck and with the face of a gargoyle. We believe that he would be perfect on a stand on our larger terrace overlooking the Ingeborg Bachmann courtyard below us. We are confident that after the initial shock the neighbours will grow to love him as well. The sticking point is the asking price of € 914 which is a bit stiff even for such a fine piece of sculpture – so we are thinking about it.

As a consequence of being rammed at high speed by my spouse some small but not particularly vital pieces fell off my Stevens bike yesterday and I had to make some running repairs with my tool kit. This consists of, in no particular order, a pair of scissors, a small hammer, a nail file, some very small screwdrivers, a pair of multigrips, some Allen keys and sticky tape. With this I have achieved quite a lot – but I am looking forward to getting my own stuff very soon. I need a larger hammer for some of the more stubborn stuff.

The telephones I bought don’t work for some very obvious reasons which would be evident after even a cursory glance by the average macacque monkey - so I have to find a work around. We do have one telephone in the lounge room and I figure this will be enough if we don’t give anyone the number. However – Cate has broken the code by giving the number to Will and there is no telling who she might blab to next - so I will need to find a solution.

There is a man coming to try to fix Cate’s internet. We have no confidence at all that this can be achieved but it is one month today since we left Australia and had never imagined that there could be a country anywhere in the world except Australia where you could not get an internet connection within a month. We had not counted on the combined and strenuous efforts of the Austrian Telcos and Cate’s employer. Sol Trujillo is a pussycat compared to these guys. I imagine that I will be reporting in a blog soon that the attempt has failed and that Cate has started chewing Betel nuts again.

1 comment:

  1. fxklHighly amused by the blog - although I am a little concerned by your preoccupation with exploding ducks ......I can't work out if you can receive emails or not, and have previously messed up comments, so I hope this might make contact.

    NSW politics is certainly duller since the departures of some its most colourful, although teh SMH regularly runs pictures of a Verity Firth grinning at school children, which is pretty scary ..... but wee miss Michaels rants.