Monday, December 8, 2008

Muffin is glad that Obama won

Cate brought me a men’s jumper that was not mine and said that it was with her dry cleaning. I believed her. I took it back to the dry cleaners and said – in my very best German ‘I come from the Ukraine – this was with my dry cleaning but it is not mine’.

The lady I spoke to had no English at all but was able to make me understand that the jumper was not hers as the dry cleaning tag on the did not belong to Putzerei. She also did not believe that I was from the Ukraine. We didn’t make much progress until I realised that Putzerei was the name of the dry cleaners I was in – and then things started to fall into place.

I was going to try my latest German phrase ‘do you have these pyjamas in my size?’ but I could see that she was not in the mood so left before she called the police.

Closer analysis revealed that it had what was clearly an Australian dry cleaning tag and we had brought it from the other side of the world four months ago. Our local dry cleaner in Sydney was Chinese and spoke as much English as the lady at Putzerei – so I imagine he had a very unpleasant conversation with the former owner of the sweater which is now in my possession.

The sweater is very stylish and does fit me quite well - so I will able to wear it in Landstrasse safe in the knowledge that the owner is not likely to identify it and give me a beating for stealing his clothing.

It is strange to be in a place and know that wherever you go you will not see a single solitary soul that you know – other than people like the owner of the coffee shop and the sales people in Spar. This is not daunting and is in fact reassuring. As one who spent my entire working life being badgered by my many people about all sorts of things it is nice to know that the only person who will badger me is Cate – and of course Muffin and Bill (who rarely give me a moments peace).

I am by nature a solitary person and am happy with my own company. I would like to meet Kylie Minogue one day but am prepared to let things take their course. I would like to know how someone who cannot sing at all can be so successful – and of course I would like to see her bum up close.

My intellectual stimulation while Cate is away comes from my conversations will Bill and Muffin – which are very one-sided. Neither of them is intellectually gifted but do provide a measure of support. I tried to explain the US electoral college system to Muffin during the presidential election but she just couldn’t get hold of it and kept falling asleep.

She was pleased that Obama won though because both she and Bill are (or were) black. They have sort of faded to a brownish colour and are officially listed on the Austrian cat immigration documents as ‘dark tabbies’.

Bill is interested only in meat and it is pointless trying to have a meaningful discussion with him.

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