Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Imagine a €10 lunch in Vienna!

Saint Basil's Cathedral - Red Square

There is something about Sissi and 4.00 AM. We have a Doona on our bed which of course hangs over the sides. This means that cats could – if we facilitated the process – get underneath the Doona and do untold damage to our bodily extremities.

To overcome this particular problem – as we have a small and mischievous cat with VERY sharp claws – I throw another sheet over the Doona and tuck it in at the sides. This ensures that we get no unwelcome visitors – usually.

Last night I did not tuck the sheet in properly and at 4:00 this morning I had a nightmare that I was swimming in the surf at Manly beach and had been grabbed by a Shark. I woke up screaming and had to prise Sissi off my left foot.

I have a bad allergic reaction to cat bites and scratches so had to get up, scrub my foot with soap and a brush and apply anti-itching cream. It still gave me problems for an hour or so but instead of my usual CNN I watched some German ladies playing ‘spin the bottle’ and taking their clothes off. (I haven't seen the baked bean women for months).

The problem is that – as we now cannot open the windows at night – and we have to tie a sheet over the Doona – it is like sleeping in a fan-forced oven. I am not sure what to do about this but am working on it.

A week or so ago we went to the Liechtenstein Museum for the 11.00 concert on Sunday followed by a look at the Museum and then lunch. This is the only way you can see the main part of the Museum on Sunday – if you just happen to be a tourist who rocks up they tell you to either participate in the extravaganza or bugger off.

Anyway – we had found this out during our first visit the previous week so booked for the extravaganza. The total cost for the museum, concert and lunch was €30 per person - which gave us a clue in advance as to what we could expect for lunch. The concert was really quite good although we were disappointed with the lack of commitment by the Cellist.

She participated in the first piece by Schubert ‘String Trio in B-flat Major, D.471 Fragment’ which lasted 12 minutes - and then dumped the Cello and vanished. Jana on the Violin and Thomas on the Viola were left to their own devices – but did a remarkable job with Mozart ‘Duet for Violin and Viola in B-flat Major, KV.424’. (I admit there is not much scope for a Cellist in a duet for Violin and Viola).

She reappeared after her Mittagspause and did cracking job with the last piece which was by a composer with whom I was not familiar. I must say that a Mittagspause after 12 Minutes work is very Austrian.

Lunch was as anticipated. I estimate that the cost allocation for lunch was €10 and you can imagine what a €10 lunch in Wien looks like. My review? ‘It was edible’. 'I ate it'. We did not see the really unhappy guard in the Museum - the one who had terrorised us the previous week. She might have been out the back tearing the wings off pigeons and feeding the carcasses to her Rottweiler.

I rabbited on last week about bike riding in Sydney and the problems cyclists have with aggressive motorists – and this gives me today’s LOL moment. During the kerfuffle about bike riding our NSW Premier Kristina Keneally said that she had been riding to work for a year and had never had any problems at all.

It turns out that the reason Kristina has never had any problems is that she has a police escort riding with her. Sergeant Paul rides alongside her and waves the traffic away if it gets too close. I can understand how she forgot to mention this previously - who would notice a policeman riding alongside them to work every day?

The things that politicians say and do never cease to amaze me.


  1. Maybe you need a police escort to guard your bed (or window) at night.

  2. I was not provided with a handy little link to tell me what in the world a DOONA is. You are usually so good about that. Fine. I will wikipedia it myself. ;)

  3. We have one cat and it's one too many. Don't know how you do it!

  4. Dear *Katie*:
    I am proud to translate that "DOONA" for you:
    Australian for comforter. ;-)

  5. There is so much worthy of comment here and all I can think to type is 'oooh, you have a Euro on your keyboard - how European of you!'

    I miss the Euro symbol. I also resent having to type GBP instead of holding shift and pressing 3 like I used to.

  6. xbxmas - I may get a guard dog.

    Katie - sorry I forgot that Doona is not a word used in the USA.

    Thanks Simon

    Steph: We only have one problem cat and I am sure she will get better - or else.

    Thanks Merisi.

  7. Matthew:I don’t have a € key because I have a keyboard bought in Australia – but I type the € symbol by typing Alt+0128. I can type £ by using Alt+0163 and a whole bunch of other special symbols – including Umlauts which are very popular here. I will put the link in my Blog today.

  8. WOW! That's taking computer literacy to extremes. I always, painstakingly, go to the Insert Symbol and select the relevant 'symbol' or 'special character'. If I'm using the same one a lot, I do a copy and paste.

    But that's not really why I was going to comment. It only came up when I scrolled down through the comments to make my own.

    I am deeply envious that you saw St Basil's in all its glory. Visiting Mocba in 1979, just before the Olympics, St Basil's, as well as any other building of note, was shrouded in scaffolding - getting spruced up for worldwide display. Funny, I've never felt any need to return though!

  9. DOONA is WAY better than comforter. I am gonna start that here.