Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Loibner Gruner Veltliner kills laptops

Sign on the Landstrasse Flak Tower (no I don't know what it means)

Cate found amongst her cupboards full of clothes an ancient pair of cotton pants with an elastic waist.

I mention that there are walls of cupboards in the bedroom and the hallway into the bedroom - and access is denied to me completely.

I keep my clothes in and old tea chest under the stairs.

So Cate thought these ancient pants would be great to take to Zambia (I have no idea why) – but the elastic had given way so I had to take them to person who replaces elastic.

There is a little shop in Ungargasse with a sign with a pair of scissors out the front and Cate said this would be the place to go. The man examined the pants carefully but without interest and sent me on my way to another shop around the corner which is owned by his brother. His brother was much more enthusiastic and leapt at the opportunity to relieve me of €10.

When Cate tried them on they had shrunk. This has happened to other clothes since we arrived in Wien – I think it was the heat in the container in which they were transported.

So back I went to explain that I needed the elastic to be a bit longer. Instead of saying ‘well pull it’ he was very sympathetic and charged me only €6. I have not collected them yet but await with interest Cate’s verdict.

Annie says I can count the ducks by taking a photo of them and then counting the ducks in the photo. Well as if I hadn’t thought of that! The problem is that I need to take a number of photos because I can’t get all the ducks in the one photo – and run up against the issue of them moving about and all looking much the same.

I broke a pair of glasses and as they are rather unfashionable (that is not quite the word Cate would use) I have decided to get new frames. So I went to Hartlauer Optik to see if they had an Optiker on the premises (I think this is the word for Optometrist but am not positive).

Hartlauer is the same place I buy my camera gear and they do glasses as well upstairs.

Incidentally I have bought so much from Hartlauer that I have amassed 9,600 bonus points. 10,000 will get me a packet of red Gummy Bears.

It is a vast emporium where I was greeted by a very young man and after I had explained that I wanted to buy Brillen and needed a Rezept he introduced me to an even younger man who took me into a room and gave me an eye test.

If it wasn’t for the stray scraps of fluff on his face (I think it was supposed to be one of those cool ultra thin mini-beard thingies) I would have thought that he was a child on work experience.

At the end of this process he wrote my Rezept on the back of an old cash register receipt - gave it to me and invited me to select some frames. I know you don't believe most of what I say so have included a copy of the Rezept!
I said I would come back on Saturday with Cate as I am not allowed to buy glasses (or indeed much else) without Cate’s steady hand on the wheel.

The Rezept indicates that I don’t need any assistance for my left eye – and this is true – unless I want to read with it – in which case I need reading glasses.

I don’t have much confidence in the process so far and may try somewhere else.

The health system here is very interesting. My Doctor always shakes hands with me when I see him – but apart from that has not laid a finger on me – even when lumps were involved.

He has managed to diagnose all my ailments so far from behind his desk. He wears a white coat and looks very professional so he must know what he is doing.

He has a long stick in the corner of his surgery and I assume that this is in case he has to poke me at some stage. He can do it from behind a curtain while wearing rubber gloves.

Not that I see him very often as the new Rezepts are issued by his receptionist – who is also his wife - who as far as I know may also be a Doctor. They don’t actually issue repeats so every time I run out of something I toddle along to the surgery and Mrs Doctor writes out a new prescription and gives it to me. This can take as little as one minute for the entire transaction.

I then take these to the Apotheke where they put the box of pills on the counter and charge me something like €4,70 – regardless of what it is I get.

The sign on Massimo said that he would reopen on 16 February – indeed I saw him in there last Friday cleaning the dead critters out of the ice cream tubs so I assumed that he was girding his loins to do battle with the good citizens of Landstrasse.

So after my eye test expedition I trotted down to Massimo – he is still closed.

The holiday sign has gone but the lights are off. Maybe after cleaning up on Friday he was exhausted and needs some more down time to recover.

You will be interested to know (I am sure) that an online poll conducted by the Austrian Times shows that Arnold Schwarzenegger is considered (by the people who read the Austrian Times) to be the most influential post-war Austrian.

The Herminator (Herman Maier) came in 5th.

Adolf Hitler would certainly take the biscuit for the first half of the century.

I have received a lovely card from Molly – a neighbour in Sydney who is 80 odd years old. This was to thank us for our Christmas card. Molly’s card has ducks on it so I think she knows what I am doing here.

Also received a letter today from Anna and an email just came in from Quolly.

Cate has proved that if you pour a glass of 2007 Loibner Gruner Veltliner on the keyboard of a laptop it will kill it stone dead. But - you will get the same result by dropping it over the balcony - and you would still be able to drink the wine.


  1. Very interesting about the eye exam.. gave me a good chuckle! I have seen the place on Ungargasse that fixes clothes. I have a pair of pants that need adjusting as I washed and DRIED them opps. My Doctor has acually toughed me so maybe that is a good thing?!?!
    My lovely child has again shared his cold with me so I am struggling with that right now. KIDS!

  2. The first place I went to was one on Ungargasse near the Dry Cleaners. He sent me around the corner in Neulinggasse. Cats are easier than kids - I have had both and I know!

  3. Since this is written in text, I do hope you were not mocking the great Arnold!

  4. Most certainly not - one of my all time heroes.

  5. Yes I am going to visit the one on Neulinggasse..
    Bought Angel kitty some Katzen grss today. We'll see how she likes it.

  6. Lucky you to be in the Austrian health care system (says she who thinks her private insurance is subsidizing it, judging from what the good doctors bill her - I am almost afraid of needing a doctor)!

    I accumulated some Hartlauer points too - then I realized that they are only good to twist my arm. I moved my camera business to a nice little place on Praterstrasse, where customer service is old school and they know my camera better than I do.