Sunday, October 19, 2008

Time for a paranormal slumber

We have started buying our Christmas decorations. Owly is our first.

There is a store called Bobby’s in Wien sells all sorts of stuff for Auslanders – and apparently has Vegemite. For those who don’t know what Vegemite is – it’s an Australian product that is made out of yeast – it looks (and many say tastes) like axle grease. (it’s a bit like Marmite which they have in the UK – but is much better/worse) Australians spread it on toast and sandwiches. It is a taste acquired at birth and there has not been any recorded instance of an American tasting vegemite and asking for more. So it’s off to Bobby’s next week because we only brought six months supply of Vegemite with us.

While waiting for Interio I turned on the TV to the Paranormal Channel. There I was able to watch ‘A thought provoking montage of images that will relax you into a paranormal slumber’. It would take more than a montage to relax me in respect of Interio. I gave it a good ten minutes but was still very tense so turned it on to nonstop floor fillers – which I think is a reference to dance music rather than to Bill’s vomiting.

I note in passing that there are 15 religious channels and 41 shopping channels – which just about says it all really.

I was really tempted by ‘Bricky’ which is a tool that ensures that it’s almost impossible to lay bricks other than perfectly. The Bricky tools plus the bits and pieces were normally 50 Pounds – reduced to 20 Pounds as a very special offer for the sad sacks who were watching shopping channels at 9:00 in the morning. Casting my eye around the apartment I couldn’t see more than two or three brick laying opportunities – so reluctantly let the opportunity pass.

I inspect the mirror on the back of the bedroom door daily. I now realise that perhaps I may have used too much double-sided tape. The problem is not going to be it falling off as much as getting it off when we have to. Rather than leave a badly damaged door – we may have to take the door with us. I will think of a suitable explanation.

We have discovered that the Viennese use mouse mats on seats instead of cushions. At a restaurant last week and at the Mozart concert we had on our seats – mouse mats. Larger than usual mind you and a little bit thicker – but mouse mats nevertheless. There must be an explanation – we will ask Cate’s assistant Rozalin.

The weather is wonderful in Wien at the moment. According to BBC News it is 13 degrees – and it is sunny. This is perfect weather for us and the city looks lovely. I feel compelled to go and buy something so will think about what this could be (apart from my semmel and coke for lunch).

The dude whose car I crashed into in the car park emerged from the gloom yesterday morning just as I was getting the QM out. He gave me the crocodile look and I was very circumspect in getting out of the garage as quickly as possible. I am actually getting quite good at throwing it around the narrow streets of Landstrasse and may take up rallying if they develop a division for Panzers.

Cate is much more settled now that she has Internet and a Blackberry and has stopped chewing her pillow. She happily beetles away each evening talking to people in Bangkok, Abu Dhabi, Burkina Faso and Minsk and many other places in her far flung empire. Just like the British Empire when it existed – the sun never sets on Cate’s territory and there is always someone out there causing havoc – and who needs to be stopped with a withering burst from Cate’s Blackberry Bold.

OK nearest local restaurant is called Pizzeria Grado – it is just a few metres from our back door – and we go there at least once each week. Then food is very good and relatively cheap – I say relatively because nothing is cheap in Wien.

The only thing we don’t like is the smoking – and in this case it is not helped by the fact that all the staff smoke inside the restaurant. There are four kitchen and service staff and during slow periods they all sit at the same table inside the front door and all smoke. It is an amazing sight for people who come from a country where you cannot smoke inside a restaurant or hotel. Austria seems to be the last bastion of smoking in restaurants in Europe so I hope that the new laws – which I think come in on 1 January next year – start to have some effect.

There are of course the dogs which owners bring to restaurants but as long as they don’t howl or fart (or smoke) we can deal with them.


  1. Another good pizza place is down the street from The Spar. Across the way from the Dry cleaners but can't think of the name. When I do I'll let you know!

  2. Yes, the laws are supposed to change but I will believe it when I see (or smell) it. Although the gov't makes laws/regulations that, in theory, are great, such as not smoking on the U-bahn platform, actually enforcing are another matter. Hence the 8 trillion cigarette butts tossed onto the U-bahn tracks! But you never know, we may all be pleasantly surprised next year!