Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I spend a lot of time staring at meat

This is the helicopter putting the cross back on Stephansdom.
The registration plate went back on the QM today. It is a bit wobbly but I hope it last until we can return the car to the rental company. I imagine that when they get the QM back they will bear her on a gun carriage down Opernring - accompanied by a horse with boots reversed in the stirrups - and bury her with full military honours. I did tell them at the start of this ghastly business that it was too big and that I can’t drive a car with manual transmission. It’s not all my fault – goodness me – you have seen the parking garage.

Austrian motorists and cyclists have an enormous amount of faith in each other. The average motorist seems to always believe that the other car will stop in time. The average cyclist seems to think that the motorists will always see them and will always give way to them. And it seems to work. A couple of motorists have made a miscalculation with the Queen Mary and are still in therapy but by and large people seem to narrowly avoid killing each other most of the time. I have witnessed many near collisions – and lots of tooting and shouting (sometimes at me) but I have yet to see an accident. But it would be wrong to call it and accident in Wien – it would be an ‘on purpose’.

And they park anywhere. On Ungargasse this morning there was a car parked across a corner and sticking out into the street – so that all the traffic had to negotiate around it. It seems almost incomprehensible that a person who was not blind drunk would park a car like that – but in Wien anything is possible.

It used to take me ages to creep up Salesianergasse because the cars are parked on either side – and stick out - and there is so little room. Now it’s a doddle and I sail up there knowing that there is just enough room to get through.

I spend a lot if time staring at meat. There are many things I cannot yet identify by name and – to a significant degree – their appearance does not help me much. I have mastered chicken and pork but beef is a bit trickier because it seems to go under a number of different names and is also often camouflaged.

I am moving slowly and carefully as I don’t want another chicken ass fiasco. And I can’t stand in front of the meat counters in the market with a dictionary – I would look like a bigger goose than I really am – so there is a lot of experimentation. The markets at Landstrasser-Hauptstrasse are always busy so you don’t get much time when you get served. You have to nail it first time or suffer the scorn of the sales assistants.

I was taking the rubbish out. To do this I have to walk outside into Beatrixgasse and 20 metres down past our garage. A couple asked me – in French – if I could give them directions. This was the first time I have been able to tell anybody anything – admittedly in French not German – but it is a start.

We have to start the process of getting our driving licences. I have a long list of instructions from the relocation people – beginning with getting a medical examination. This will be a saga of epic proportions and I will keep you informed of developments. I hope that some of my driving has not been captured on camera or else I have no chance of getting a licence – but may get some time in the slammer instead.

I saw another picture of Sarah Palin with a dead moose. It surely cannot be hard to kill a moose - unless you have to do it with your bare hands. If she becomes VP and misses a moose with her first shot she can call in an air strike.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, Vienna definitely has an eclectic assortment of what I deem as scary meat. After 9 years, I've yet to find a steak that has the texture of beef jerky when you cook it. Even my cats wouldn't touch it. Have you seen Schmaltz? Nice spreadable fat on bread or in little crispy bits although I don't know what the latter are for - maybe to sprinkle on salads?