Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Is Frau Gumpendorfer the unhappiest person in Wien?

Sissi was due to go to the vet Monday to be deactivated in the kitten production department.

Well I realized just before taking her off to see Dr Schnauser that she hadn’t fasted (Sissi – not Dr Schnauser) so I had to ring and postpone until Wednesday. I am not looking forward to depriving her from food from the time she wakes up (about 4:00 AM) until we go to the vets at 11:00.

However – I have a massage so will be out of the house during the critical period. I need to tell you about these soon as it is very important and some really good things have come out of the massages I have started to have regularly.

(These – I hasten to add – are not the sort of Massages one can get in Japan Studio on the 2nd floor of our building).

If you are looking for the rudest Austrian in Wien you will find her at the Immigration Office in Modenapark – just near us. Well – at least that’s what our Immigration Agent Kristina tells us – and she is Austrian so would probably know.

The person in question in the Immigration Office – Frau Gumpendorfer - is certainly unhappy – clearly does not like her job – and gives the impression that it would be dangerous to let her anywhere near sharp implements.

I am sure she was much happier during the war as a high ranking Gestapo Officer.

The Immigration Offices in Wien (well – the ones we have seen) are ghastly places. They are post-war but look like they have been previously used as cells by the Communists before being turned into chicken runs to cope with the increasing demand for Huhner Schnitzel.

A modest rehabilitation took place prior to occupation by the Immigration people – but there are still feathers stuck to the ceilings.

They are crowded with throngs of poor sods – mainly from Eastern Europe - trying desperately to stay in Wien and to do this have to run the gauntlet of Frau Gumpendorfer who gives them hell before retiring to her apartment with her aged Pekinese to dine on cold Sacher Wurstel and a handful of gravel.

We passed the test (if you burst into tears you’re not tough enough to stay and are out!) so will get our new residency cards in a few weeks. Unfortunately to do this we have to go back to Frau Gumpendorfer for the second part of the endurance test. This will probably involve cold water and birch rods.

As we have now been here for 15 months we are tough enough to withstand anything the Austrians can throw at us.

Cate had her second visit to the Gym and her first major workout so is having difficulty moving about the house. Her third visit is tonight and she is required to take large amounts of money and pay well in advance - in cash.

The payment of money to a Gym usually triggers and adverse reaction in Cate (i.e. she never goes again) but she seems really keen so I am providing lots of encouragement. last night I even made her very favourite soup of all time (Thai Chicken and Rice).

Austrians are not taught to drive but they are give some ancillary training before they get a licence. The first is in horn blowing. They are trained to toot their horn at the car in front of them within a nanosecond of the light turning green. They have fantastic reflexes and I would not challenge any of them to a Whack a Mole contest.

I tend to drive at a leisurely pace – I mean what would I be in a hurry for? so have incurred the wrath of a few drivers recently. I never react badly and always give them my friendliest smile. I wonder if Frau Gumpendorfer drives. I would beat Jenson Button away from the lights if she was behind me.

In my quest to do anything to avoid studying German - last night I found another weird TV show. This one is called ‘Dating in the Dark’ and yes that’s what it’s about. I didn’t delve into it too deeply but did see that six people were sent into a completely dark room to sit at a table and talk to each other. I guess we could see them with night vision cameras.

I reckon that meeting someone in the dark would lead to some horrifying discoveries when the lights are finally turned on. I means it’s not likely that Brad Pitt or Scarlett Johansson is going on be on the other side of the table.

It is more likely to be Frau Gumpendorfer – and worse – she may have a hockey stick.

I am sure there have been more pointless reality shows than this - and I am equally sure that I will stumble across them and let you know.


  1. Reading your blog is much more entertaining than doing accounting. Thank you for the reprieve!

  2. Ha! Running late because of Sissi delivery.

    xbxmas: There is surely not much that would be LESS entertaining that doing accounting!