Thursday, December 11, 2008

I think Llama's legs are the problem

I went for a ride this evening around the Inner Ring – it takes about 30 minutes. When I say this evening – I left at 3.45 PM and it was well and truly dark by the time I got back home. Wien is a magical city at this time of the year and is worth visiting just to see the Christmas lights.

Cate went to the optometrist to get her eyes tested for new glasses. She has only one pair so we have to guard them very carefully. She really cannot see very well at all without glasses and there is always a mad panic when they are mislaid. This happens almost hourly.

Before we leave for work each day we have a checklist we need to go through. This includes keys, Mitarbeiter pass, BlackBerry Bold and Notebook PC – and yes at some stage all of these things have been left behind.

After lesson number four I can now say in German ‘what do you think of my apartment – would you like to see the kitchen?’. This has limited use – as we don’t have any visitors except workmen who come to fix things - and these are almost never in the kitchen – and I am sure none of them gives a rat’s bottom about the apartment.

Anyway my teacher says I am coming along nicely. She is very good and has accepted that there are some words that I will never be able to pronounce properly. I may get a slate and some chalk so that I can communicate better when I go out by writing the words I can’t say. I can say things like ‘Do you have any…?” and then hold up the slate. I asked for a Mouse Mat in a shop recently and the man laughed out loud.

Cate found some cloth mice in a drawer and thought it would be a good idea to give them to the cats so that they could play with them. It wasn’t. She now spends a lot of time shouting ‘for God’s sake stop it!” at them as the hurtle around the house with the mice and Muffy carries them around yowling. I sit in my study and smugly say ‘I told you this would happen’.

Rozalin says that Christmas Trees will emerge in droves on Friday so I will be able to go out and buy one and drag it home. If Rozalin says it – it must be true.

Everything usually happens when it is supposed to in Wien but we are going to break the rules and put the tree up before Christmas Eve. I imagine that there are rules against this and that time in the slammer is a possibility – but we are prepared to risk it.

We have a acquired (I think) a Saint Nicholas who graces our wohnzimmer. He has a very small head and is very badly dressed – with a rope belt - but I am trusting Interio not to sell me something that is not appropriate.

We may not find this out until we have some Austrian visitors - who will run out of the apartment screaming when they see Nick because he is the patron saint of Austrian parking police (only better dressed). Anyway – we know no better so he will do us for the time being.

We have also acquired some more owls and now have a flock of four. This may not be enough as there is a lot of spare space so we will keep an eye on it. Another small brown bear has also been added to our menagerie and I am eyeing some deer who are loitering in the flower shop over the road. As with most things here, they appear to be made out of twigs. With the number of things the Austrians make out of sticks and twigs I am surprised that there are any trees left.

In Australia we would have them made in China out of plastic that was made to look like sticks and twigs.

And by the way – the Very Gorgeous Llama (VGL) was supposed to visit us and now I find out that she is going skiing in North America. I mean – she works for a French company – has us to provide accommodation in Austria (with snow up to our armpits) and then goes to North America. What is going on here? I think it’s the way I looked at her legs last time I saw her. (Well she is Drop Dead Gorgeous and has legs to die for).

Still no word from Quolly.


  1. The biggest laugh I got was as a Heuriger when I asked for a "Hundschentasche". I learned a number of lessons very quickly.

  2. There now Christmas tress at Modenapark and Maybe even Stadpark. Good luck! Have you found a cat sitter yet?

  3. OK - I can't find out what a Hundschentasche is!

    Modenapark is close to me I will have a look tomorrow.

    We have a couple of possibilites for cat sitters - so they are much more relaxed.

  4. I had leftovers I wanted to take back to my hotel because my funds were running low, and in the States we ask for a Doggy Bag. All I could think of was Hundschen Tasche. The girl waiting on us about died laughing, not only for my choice of words ("You want a bag made out of a dog?"), but because in Wien one doesn't take food home after a meal.

  5. Ah - I see - I will add that to my list of words not to be used.

  6. When we ask to take things home we ask for a "box" in English and normally get foil or something like that.
    Hope the trees are too your liking.

  7. Hi,
    let me share some childhood memories with you:

    St. Nicolas visits children on Dec. 6th, along comes his companion, the devil-like "Krampus". Naturally Krampus scared the living he** out of us, because he was the one to identify the children, who had been bad throughout the year! He would dish out spanks and coals instead of praise and chocolotes, which the good children would receive from St. Nicolas.

    So the late afternoon of Dec. 6 was a dreaded, but yet longed for moment. Traditionally - during the night from Dec. 5th to 6th - children would put their highly polished shoes and boots outside the door or on the window sill to find the infamous charcoals or delicious chocolates inside. You got it: this depended again on how naughty you were during the year.

    Also, presents in Austria are not brought by St. Nicolas or Santa Claus, but by the "Christkind", the "christ child" on the evening of Dec. 24th. Dads and Granddads always go out with the kids in the afternoon to get them out of the way and to allow the moms and grandmas to cook Christmas dinner, set up the tree, decorate it, put the presents underneath.

    Children would not be allowed in the living room until after the ringing of a small bell has announced that the Christkind had just made his appearance (Usually the Christkind would leave the window open, as it had no time to close it properly before leaving! ;-))

    I will always remember standing in front of the
    preciously decorated tree (heaved again with chocolates :-) being totally in awe with gleaming eyes and blazing red cheeks.

    Despite the Krampus it is still great fun being a child in Austria... :-)