Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Please jump on your phone before leaving the store

I have bought my iPhone. It took a while – all my documents had to be faxed somewhere while I sat and waited for the OK. I don’t know where they went – Interpol? the CIA? Anyway I am apparently trustworthy at T Mobile (but not at Drei next door).

While I was sitting and waiting the T Mobile people organised some entertainment for me. A man came in with a mobile phone and had an animated conversation with the sales assistant. I understood only a few words – one of which was ‘Kaput’.

After some discussion the customer threw his phone on the floor and jumped on it many times until it broke into a number of small pieces. He then collected these and left the store. This was clearly not an Austrian Advent ceremony as the customer did not look at all festive.

Finally the young lady gave me my phone, together with an instruction book in German – and said that she hoped I would have fun. I asked if I had to jump on my phone like the last customer and she said that it would not be necessary. I left before she could cancel the contract and call the police.

I stopped at Massimo for a Cappuccino and was of course the only customer. He always gives me the local newspaper so that I can look at the pictures and read the few words in German that I do understand.

I also read the local English language newspaper online so that I am up to date with current affairs in Austria. Breaking news today was that a woman found a frog with one leg in a packet of deep frozen spinach she bought from a supermarket.

She admits that she probably broke the other leg off while she was stirring the spinach. The story says that “The supermarket where she bought the deep-frozen meal has offered a few packets of free coffee in compensation and has promised to investigate the frog affair”.

Que? A few packets of free coffee? Where is the apology, counseling and €100 million law suit for pain and suffering? Oh that’s right – this is Austria.

What may happen is that the supermarket will sue the woman for the return of the frog’s other leg – and there will be a law somewhere that says that it is illegal to dismember frogs in spinach in Austria. She will be lucky to escape with a stiff fine.

It is getting cold here and the locals are dressed for an arctic winter. There are people with sleds being pulled by Huskies in Landstrasser-Hauptstrasse and snow is expected on the weekend. This will be very exciting as I haven’t lived where it has snowed so will be able to examine it carefully. The cats will certainly have a new adventure on the terraces.

There are many really big white dogs here – they may be Alaskan Malamutes. They are very beautiful but any time I see a dog I think of kitty litter and how this would be with a dog the size of a Shetland pony.

The Ice Skating rink near to us – at the back of the Intercontinental hotel - opened in late October but we have not been tempted. I can roller blade quite well but I have been ice skating before and know that ice is a lot harder and colder – and wetter – than a footpath.

I had my first German lesson with Helga and actually know quite a few words. It’s putting them in the right order which is tricky but I will be working hard to do this because when people jump on telephones in front of me I really need to know what is happening and how I can avoid this eventuality.

News updates:

Melissa has booked her tickets and will be here in time to do the tree on Christmas Eve.

I have received Anna’s latest letter with grateful thanks together with the many press cuttings and pictures.

I have spoken to Kerry-Ann and Michael. Felise is being naughty and Jake has had an ear infection and may need grommets.

David rang from Las Vegas this morning. He wasn’t too keen on Los Angeles because it is very big and very dirty - but the people are nice and they had some good food. They have some gourmet experiences planned for Las Vegas and for New York.

Ann from White Street has sent details about the activities in White Street and the adventures of a ginger cat in her back garden. She provided many details about this and I am concerned there may not be enough going on in her life. She may not be drinking enough red wine (although this has not been the case in the past).

Quolly has given me an email update and has assured me that she has never - as far as she is aware -run over any drunks in her car.

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