Friday, September 26, 2008

Boiled beef and Cate's internet

We had a magnificent meal at Plachutta in the Wollzeile. Plachutta is a famous local chef (in fact a brace of chefs) who own a number of restaurants – which specialise in the Austrian delicacy of boiled beef. Cate has had this at another restaurant – and John had it at Plachutta – and they both say it is terrific. I have not had the courage to tackle it yet and am also unlikely to have the Boiled Calf’s Head until I have become acclimatised.

We are testing a number of local wines and there are some very nice whites. We have joined Wein and Co which enables us to buy large quantities of very expensive wine and get a 3% discount. This is a fabulous reduction by Viennese standards and means that for every 34 bottles we buy we get a free one.

The big problem with buying anything is getting it home. If we are at the Naschmarkt and get excited we end up with an enormous pile of meat, cheese and veggies which we have to carry home. Even if we take the U-Bahn this is a struggle. We end up shopping very carefully indeed.

We acquired an expensive and fast wireless internet connection so that Cate would have a fast connection at home. We have since discovered that the software Cate uses on her work PC will not allow her to connect to a home wireless connection – although she can connect to the wireless network in the local cafĂ© because it is not secure.

Not only this – her work provides a separate home internet connection – but which of course takes some weeks to have installed. The upshot of this is that Cate does not have a connection – does not have her books – and does not have TV.

Of course the people at work knew when Cate was coming and knew where she would be living so could have ordered the connection well in advance. They did not - it is still weeks away - so Cate roams the house like a caged lion roaring occasionally and scaring the life out of the cats.

John and I went cycling around the Ring and saw some fine buildings. Wien is indeed a magnificent city and it is simply a delight to be able to cycle around on dedicated cycle paths. Cyclists even have their own crossings with traffic lights that show green bicycles when it is time to cross. In Sydney they have pictures of cyclist with targets on them.

AEG responded to my queries about washer and dryer manuals in English. They do not sell my models outside Austria and Germany so there are no English equivalents. They suggested that I could use Google to translate the German into English. Gosh I hadn’t thought of that. The problem is that many of the words and terms are not in German dictionaries. e.g. the designers made up a term like ‘fast spin with 1 ½ tuck and pike’ and people in Germany know what this means – but you won’t find in the dictionary. I will have to pester Christian at Lefkowitz.

Cate’s podiatry conference has been cancelled so she will join me on 2 October to greet our long lost furniture. It will be like seeing old friends again.

John and Christine are unhappy with the accommodation and are checking out early. Apparently they were disturbed by the toilet paper with the duck motif. They are off to Paris and I will prepare the guest room for Melissa and Henri who arrive on Saturday.

There was a frisson of excitement when someone left a comment on my Blog. It turned out to be a spammer who wanted to sell me a coffee machine.

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