Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Is it worth the risk?

Rathaus Christmas Markets

Good grief! It’s almost Christmas. How did that happen so quickly?

The Christmas markets started a few weeks ago and we will visit them soon. These are generally places where you can buy an amazing of array of arts and crafts - and of course masses of overpriced crap – but they do serve excellent alcoholic drinks and the lights are nice.

Unfortunately – as with everywhere else in Austria – you have to hack your way through dense clouds of smoke so it is impossible to linger. Cate and I will scuttle through a few of them just to have a look.

Still – as the Austrian smokers on various sites I visit say – “if you don’t want to experience smoke – don’t go where there are smokers”.

Sound advice indeed. Now let’s see – that leaves our apartment and the Flughafen – we might go there for Christmas and watch the planes taking off and landing.

As I said last year – it is an amazing sight for someone new to Europe to see a city lit up like Wien is at Christmas. Of course we are old hands now and this is our second Christmas – but we are really looking forward to it.

After my wood acquiring expeditions over the last few weeks Billy is just a mess and there is sawdust all over the place.

I can take him to my local Tankstelle (which is a few kilometers away) but the vacuum cleaner there is asthmatic and would not suck the skin off a rice pudding.

Theoretically I should be able to vacuum Billy in our garage – except that I have examined it from top to bottom on more than one occasion and there is no power outlet.

I just do not understand this. There are all sorts of motors and electrical boxes to drive the hoists – so what happens when they need to repair these. Or indeed – when they clean the garage as they do regularly – what do they use for power?

After pondering this problem for a while I have come up with a tentative solution. The garage is next to the Müllraum (rubbish room) which has a power point. I can run an extension lead from there along the footpath into the garage – a distance of about 15 metres.

I am now in the process of doing extensive risk analysis. This is important for me as I tend to bring out the worst in electrical things.

There are endless possibilities for electrocuting and/or incinerating dogs and children and I need to weigh these up against the benefits of having Billy clean again.

On balance I think it’s worth the risk so will probably have a go in a day or two. You may read about it in the Austrian Times buried amongst the other gruesome stories of the untimely demise of local citizens (for example this week “Cyclist's frenzied axe attack on pensioner”).


  1. Thankfully, in England it has been illegal since a couple of years to smoke in ANY public place (not just drinking places). So you may see poor addicted people looking pathetic standing in pub doorways in the rain getting their nicotine fix. It must feel humiliating, and quite a strong incentive to give it all up, I imagine.

    Nice blog, by the way.

  2. Badger,
    I visited the Rathaus Disney Park last night. It's a glorious shrine to gaudiness and kitsch, but there are a few gems, like
    stands #42 and #42A: One sells wooden Erzgebirge folk art Christmas decorations, best prices in town, the other one cookies/biscuits from the Bretagne (Brittany, France). Next time I go there hungry, these biscuits are so good! Go there while the crowds are light and the evening balmy.

  3. P.S.:
    Not to be misunderstood, I love the Rathaus Christkindlmarkt and the fact that Vienna offers so many Christmas markets, each with its own theme.