Thursday, December 4, 2008

Do you have any bananas?

I have purchased from Morawa in the Wollzeile the 2009 edition of the Gault Millau restaurant guide – which lists 646 restaurants, plus hotels and cafes.

Also included with the package was a book of the best gourmet food providers - and a book about Austrian wines and beer.

The more perceptive among you will have realised already that these books are in German and that this is not my mother tongue.

However, the restaurant book gives all restaurants a rating – which even I can understand – so I just have to make sure that they have an acceptable rating and that they serve something we can eat.

Austrians eat a number of very scary things which we try to avoid. The boiled calves heads at Plachutta – for example – are things which are unlikely ever to be ordered by us.

I hope that by the judicious use of Gault Millau we will avoid a repeat of some of the horrendous experiences we have had in the back streets of Landstrasse and Innere Stadt on Friday and Saturday nights.

Morawa is a wonderful bookshop and makes me wish I could read German. But it won’t be long – I am up to lesson 4 in my Schritte textbook and can now say many useful things such as ‘Do you have any bananas?’ and ‘I come from the Ukraine’.

I am waiting for an opportunity to use the first phrase and hang about in the fruit and vegetable section in Spar waiting for them to run out of bananas – so that I can ask.

‘I come from the Ukraine’ could be a bit trickier but I will try to work it in somewhere.

I love being able to order things online and get Billa to deliver all the heavy stuff including kitty litter and mineral water. It works fine except when they don’t have what I have ordered and ring me to tell me that they have something else instead. I just say ‘Ja, das ist gut’ and wait for the surprise when the stuff arrives. As far as I can tell – the prices are the same as they are at the Billa market and the delivery costs only €6. It sure beats the stuffing of having to cart things back from Billa or Spar down the road - especially 10 kilo bags of litter.

The Mercedes has not yet had a gallop as I have been caught up with Herr Stumpfchen, a Billa delivery and a visit to Wein and Co. I went to Wein and Co just near Stephansplatz and there seem to be just as many tourists around that area as there are in the middle of summer. I guess there is not a time when people don’t want to see Wien – and a lot probably come to see the Christmas lights.

Of course now that I live here I am offended by tourists and in my spare moments I go down to Am Heumarkt and shout ‘I live here!’ as tourist buses go by. Cate usually stops me from doing this and takes me inside and gives me a glass of warm milk and a cracker with vegemite so that I will settle down.

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