Wednesday, April 1, 2009

But there are no gnats on the moon!

A few weeks ago I a had an email asking me if I would write a blurb on Vienna for publication on a website. I was offered $100 which I accepted with alacrity – I can use this as a down payment on our next dinner at Bauer.

The publication date was yesterday – and I am pleased to say the Wien made the cut. Here is the site:

I went to collect my barbecue from the Miele shop. They sell only Miele electrical goods – but also Weber barbecues.

Last time I was there I paid a deposit of €100 in cash as their Bankomat machine wasn’t working. Today it was working – but wouldn’t accept my card. Of course they don’t take credit cards so I wandered off the bank to get cash (I had to go the bank as the cash machine has a small limit).

I am surprised that any commerce takes place at all here. It is really difficult to buy anything expensive as so many places don’t take credit cards.

Last time I said that if I ever bought anything else in Wien I would have it delivered. I am saying it again and this time I mean it.

They wheeled out quite the biggest box I have ever seen and I trundled it home on my little trolley. It was too heavy to get up the steps so I had to take it down the steps and across the courtyard to the elevator. It sort of fell of half way down and crashed down about a dozen steps (sounds familiar) but did no damage.

Oh Dear! It’s too big for the elevator.

So I unpacked it and took it up in four separate loads. I must say though that it was really easy to assemble - which is just as well because the assembly instructions were in four languages – none of them English. I have only a couple of bolts left over and don't think these are vital.

The operating manual is also not in English but I think I can manage using the following procedures:

1 Light barbecue

2 Cook meat

Now – I just have to find where they sell Gaz.

I got many strange looks today as I went out and about and covered up as much as possible with my hat and sunglasses. When people stared at my battered face I just said ‘Meine Frau’ and they nodded understandingly. Well – they wouldn’t have believed me if I had said ‘Meine Katze’.

I went to tell the man in the optometrists why I was not there for my 10:00 o’clock appointment and he said I should be in hospital. I though this was an overreaction but perhaps he is a bit frail.

Cate is agitating about her new camera. She doesn’t know what kind she wants except it has to be ‘a big one that does everything’. I have told here that I will get her telephoto lens so big that she can take pictures of gnats on the moon.

(This will also be excellent for Bee pictures).


  1. A bbq - and bought in early Spring, clever you. To help you I've found a few links.

    To help you with cooking times:
    and a page where you can select a pdf manual depending on the model of your bbq:

    But as soon as I arrived on the Weber Australia website I began to wonder about the calorific value of the GAZ you will use in Wien will in any way equate to the gas you would use here in Australia. Now, I don't have a scientific mind, so at that point I decided to give you the links and leave it up to you! But at least you've got some info in English and been warned.

    Glad to hear you're on the mend.

  2. Thanks Annie. I will have a look at those.

  3. Great article! Interesting photo material posted next to it too!

    I empathize about the paucity of credit card acceptance here - which has actually improved over the past few years. I still can't get my head around the concept - I once had to cough up cash to purchase a €3,000 piece of furniture. I was very self-conscious withdrawing the sum from my bank as I was convinced they would think I needed it to close a drug deal. Some of the large furniture chains only accept a Bankomat card. On the other hand, Spar and McDonald's accept credit cards - what's up with that????

  4. Yes I have had the same problem. They accept Bankomat - but my limit is €800 - so when I bought the bikes I had to use Bankomat and then go next door to the bank to get cash (using Bankomat) to pay the balance. Like many thing Austrian - it's not supposed to make sense!