Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Katzen and Bauhaus

The German designers and engineers must think about things a lot.

I had been admiring my toilet flush button for some days (boys get to do this) and had spent some time wondering why the button had signs (in English) indicating that you pushed the button twice to stop the flush.

I was not able to think laterally about this and was pondering the circumstances under which you would need to stop the flush. Perhaps if one's false teeth or glass eye fell in at a critical moment?

Yesterday I made the day of the man from Lefkowitz in Hauptstrasse. I lurched in and said that I wanted to buy a washing machine, a dryer and a coffee maker. Unlike Hans Peter - Christian set about me with some degree of enthusiasm and 10 minutes later had relieved me of €1,900.

I was at Lefkowitz after a chastening experience at Miele where the lower end of the washing machine range starts at €1,200. Fortunately the salesman there spoke no English so I escaped unscathed.

The best brand of coffee machine is Jura - made in Switzerland. Christian told me so it must be true.

Today I took the QM solo to Bauhaus to buy a mop. This was a scarifying experience for me and for a small number of other Austrian motorists. The problem is that they hang the traffic lights over the centre of the intersection - not on poles at the side where you can see them. Newbies like me park too close to the corner and can't see the lights. What happened today wasn't all my fault and they should make allowances for new drivers - perhaps they could have them drive red cars.

The staff in Bauhaus speak no English (why would they) so if you want to buy a thingy that holds book shelves up you have to know its name or describe it in charades. I did manage to buy a mop.

I also bought something yesterday at Spar that I think is fly spray except it is more spray than mist and sort of clingy. It could be olive oil. The flies here are very small and I think the droplets knock them unconscious and when they fall to the ground you can batter them to death.

The cats arrived to day and have spent the night roaming around the house yowling. They haven't said much about the trip and I'm guessing it wasn't up to much. I showed Muffy the balcony and she seemed to appreciate the lights of Vienna but was disappointed that there is scaffolding around Stephansdom.

The only bad news is the the Katzentoilette is in my bathroom. It is the size of a child's wading pool and contains about 100 litres of litter. I have rented a bobcat so I get get in there and dig out Casey Stoner.

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