Friday, September 19, 2008

I have scaled Mount Jura

I think they recycle ducks here. There are recycling bins with what look like post modern representations of ducks - but as far as I can see there are only bottles in the bins. Maybe all the ducks explode before they can be recycled.

It took me three hours but I finally made some (awful) coffee on the new Jura machine. The instruction book says basically:

1. Turn machine on
2. Make coffee

This is not how it was with me (what a surprise). It was more like:

1. Turn the machine on
2. Why isn't the machine on
3. How do I turn the machine on
4. I'll try turning it on and off again
5. I'll try another power point
6. Perhaps it is on and the light is not showing
7. Oh the light is showing - I have to remove this piece of plastic
8. It says turn the dial to one or two cups and press button to make coffee
9. There are no cups showing how do I turn the dial to a cup that is not showing
10. Perhaps if I push this - whoops! not that one apparently - Damn - where are the paper towels.

And so it went - and it took a great deal of time and patience before the first drops of coffee sputtered forth. I have a bad affect on machinery and I am not sure that Jura likes me. Putting water into the hopper for ground coffee did not help.

Extensive testing is now required to ensure that we have drinkable coffee when the rental machine goes. This is most important because surprisingly enough the don't sell Bushell's tea here so now start my day with coffee. I no longer drink the Viennese Artery Cloggers and when I go out have a Verlangeter mit Milch which is a black coffee with milk.

This morning I had what I thought were croissants but turned out to be croissant casings filled with marmalade goo and araldite. I made heavy weather of these but remember what they were called so will not fall for that one again.

We found a very nice local restaurant tonight where we were probably the only Auslanders (foreigners) and the food was good and not expensive. Also - very important - a separate non smoking area.

I went to the post office to send some letters to Australia and conducted the entire conversation in German. I was dead lucky that a section in my German course covers sending letters so all I had to do was memorise the sentences.

Fortunately I was asked no questions as this would have elicited my usual pathetic response 'Enschuldigung, mein Deutsch is nicht sehr gut' actually its almost non existent.

The only thing I didn't know how to ask for was where the post box is. These are not readily apparent in Austria and I am not sure that actually wants the business. It is certainly hard to find a post office. So I may well have put my letters in a duck recycling bin.

I bought some vacuum cleaner bags to replace the one that exploded and covered most of Wien in a fine cloud of dust. Naturally they are the wrong size but with scissors and patience I have managed to fit a bag into the cleaner.

It took me hours to clean the dust out of its innards but now when it is turned on it blows out an enormous cloud of dust. This will be a nice surprise for the next poor sod who gets hold of it and finds that after they have vacuumed the house they have to - well - vacuum the house.

Now about the girls next door. When we were here in June we looked at the apartment next door and it was empty. When we arrived in early September the real estate agent said it was still empty - but we saw two girls in there. Then after a couple of days they vanished. The papers (German - Der Standard) have not been collected for more than a week.

A few days ago there was a cleaner in the apartment taking out bags of rubbish. She took away the newspapers - which are now piling up again. So who were these girls and where are they now - if indeed they are still alive. Some possibilities are:

1.They have been kidnapped by one of the mad Austrians who keeps people in basements (I have checked ours - they are not there).

2.A duck exploded in the apartment and made in uninhabitable.

This is the best I can do at the moment - I will make further enquiries.

News flash - the papers delivered Saturday morning have been removed! Who did this and why?

1 comment:

  1. I live in the 3rd as well and would be interested to know the name of the local restaurant you mention here. Thanks!