Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What if Donald Rumsfeld was black?

Cate in Beatrixgasse (Our back entrance)

Klaus Emmerich, the chief US political reporter for Austrian broadcaster ORF has said that Barack Obama is ‘not civilised’ enough to be the US President. He said that ‘blacks are not as far advanced in the civilisation process nor in their political progress’. (Imagine what he would have said about a black Donald Rumsfeld!)

Klaus is 80 so we can accept that he is on the way to Ga Ga land - but this is still a disturbing statement – and is consistent with other evidence of racism in Austria. ORF has not sacked him – so they think its OK for him to say what he did.

In the recent elections the right wing parties in Austria got 29 percent of the vote - which is indeed a scary number. However, God was so displeased with this result that she allowed their leader, Jorg Haider, to get blind staggering dunk and drive into a tree at 140 kilometres an hour. This was very decisive – but may have been an overreaction on her part. Perhaps she was watching FOX and was having a bad start to her day.

I have discovered the most expensive way to buy firewood in Wien. This is to get it from Hornbach and have it delivered. The delivery costs were more than half the cost of the firewood. It seemed like a good idea at the time but this is another case of defective reasoning – instances of which of abound in my life.

The delivery man rang me and said something which I assumed was that he was about to arrive. This is because the delivery window I got from Hornbach was from 8:00 to 12:00 and when he rang it was 11:40. Apparently what he rang to say was that he was stopping in to see his grandmother in Simmering and would be having some coffee and Guglhupf - because he didn’t turn up for some considerable time. I am not sure why I am always get the scrag end of any delivery window. If it’s 8-12 why can’t I ever get 8?

On the subject of wood - apparently the compressed sawdust is environmentally friendly because it is made of waste material. Cate says I can’t give it to the cats and have to use it in the fire. So they will miss out on this valuable source of roughage and Bill will have continue to chew my shoelaces.

We still haven’t hung the pictures because Cate can’t make up her mind what ones she wants and where they should go. Last night I got her to tell me which ones will be hung and which ones go back to the basement. This is progress. The next part is harder as she has to decide where they have to go. Then when she has done this – and I have put them up – she will tell me where they should really go. This process will take a while and if I can hang on long enough we will change apartments and can start again.

I realised today that by leaving Sydney in early September I missed Fathers Day so got no cards or presents from my children. OK – I can deal with that – but I didn’t get my usual card from the Cats - and they were here with me. Cate says it is because they immediately adopted the local Vatertag which is in June. I am not sure I believe her and in any event that still means that I missed out completely.

The German teacher rang today and said we can start next week. My first lesson is on Monday and I would like to start with meat.


  1. You may be interested to know that in 1786 Johann Pezzl reported in his Skecth of Vienna that fuel (which included firewood and tallow candles) was the greatest expense in Vienna, ranking even higher than mutton or flour. More money was spent on beer than all of these, however.

  2. hey! i gave you a fathers day present before you left! it was the john irving book. oh and a classy going away present. is someone forgetting they own a boxing kangaroo pen??

  3. Yes, well, I have the same excuse as the cats... la fête des pères in France is in June rather than September...