This paper has been hanging on the door of the bike room now for a wee while, and every time I take my trash down I’m greeted by it. We’ve had three break-ins since April, so I wasn’t exactly surprised when I saw it for the first time a couple of weeks ago. Well yes, I was: This is the first time that we’ve ever seen a note on the door afterwards! 😀 So, if any thieves are reading this post: OUR BIKE STORAGE IS PICKED CLEAN! There’s nothing of value in there anymore!! I have a bike that’s really cheap (paid 52 Euro on Ebay for it), and it has survived all the three raids. This makes me feel really proud somehow, haha. Bike thieves are abundant in Vienna, and really the best advice I can give is to make sure to get a cheap-ish bike (get a used one) and a MASSIVE lock for it. My friend had hers locked up outside for 3 weeks with a good lock, but then it too disappeared (it just looked too new).
I love my bike, because it enables me to move over a great distance, all by the power of my own steam. In case you’re wondering, I’ve never had a driver’s license, so I don’t know what it’s like to have a car. My bicycle therefore allows me some of the freedom that car-owners have, in moving where I want, when I want. The thought that someone might break in and steal it is therefore not a good one… Even if it was cheap!
The note from the police is pretty standard. I find it funny and slightly ironic somehow.. that they have no way of stopping the break-ins, once they even skipped investigating because when I called it in I was already at work, but still after the third break-in they write out a form that has the heading ‘Valued tenants.’
People of Vienna: Lock your bikes up with a huge lock, even when it’s in storage. I think that’s the only reason why I still have a bike – it’s cheap, with a huge, mean lock on it, that stays on when it’s parked in the bike storage.
So, I tried the cutest little Thai restaurant today. It was this really tiny place in the 3rd district not far from me – we went there on a whim, something that I cannot recommend! There were only four tables in the restaurant, and they were all reserved for the night. Apparently, it’s just the couple that works there, no one else to help cook, serve, cash up or clean. Thus, when people walked in from the street like we did, they were a bit overwhelmed. The general rule is to order takeaway one hour in advance, and make sure to book a table if you wanna eat there. However, we were lucky, got a table and ordered Pad Thai. Ok, a really standard meal, but it’s usually pretty good. But oh my gawd was the food good! The Pad Thai had this strange essence to it, that could possibly be fermented lemon (a wild guess), or some other kind of juicyness in the heart of its soul that my untrained palate could not place, but definitely loved! I swore to myself that I will definitely come back here.
Apart from having only four tables, there were also some rules for how to behave in the restaurant. We were told off because we were quite enthusiastically babbling away, but it says so clearly on the table that one should not talk loudly, not show affection openly (it’s a traditional Thai restaurant) and no children under 14 are allowed due to the open kitchen. Well, with food like that, it’s no wonder that the people don’t mind adhering to somewhat draconic restrictions. 🙂
Ok… so I love going to the cinema!
When I first arrived in Vienna, I was aware of the custom that German speaking countries have in dubbing movies. I suppose, that with globalisation and all I just figured that surely they would now be moving towards more original language movies. Boy, was I wrong… I’ve watched some movies in German, and to me it’s still extremely weird. The first movie I watched in German was Robin Hood, with Russel Crowe and Cate Blanchett leading. Speaking German… It wasn’t badly done or anything, but it just didn’t feel…. right. So, now I prefer to watch movies at Artis International or at Haydn English Cinema, where I am sure to get the original language. There are some large movie theatres around town which show original versions alongside dubbed ones, but that’s really only for the massive blockbusters. Otherwise, some of the small artsy movie theatres also play original language movies, but with subtitles. That’s really what I prefer… I grew up with subtitles, so I’m quite a fan of them. But I have many friends who just find them downright annoying. At Artis and Haydn, the movies are free of subtitles. 🙂
This is a piece that I’ve had a canvas made from. I really liked the artist’s expression; the soft touches and the slight resemblance to tikis. I had both this one and the one below printed on canvases, and they’re now hanging in my office to greet my students as they come to see mee. I haven’t been down to the canal for a while, but I know that the top one is gone already – covered by a new piece. Such is the life down there – any piece only lasts as long as it’s valued by the onlookers, and so nothing lasts forever…
(The two prints)
A lot of time during Autumn the world looks like this. Today was one, and the fog was actually at some points even thicker than this. I don’t particularly like those days.. I’d much rather have rain or wind or something. In the autumn, Kahlenberg can be stuck in fog for weeks.
Something that can be really frustrating for someone moving to Vienna/Austria from a somewhat ‘normal’ country where shops are open on Sunday, is just that: Shops are not open on Sunday. Not even supermarkets. Nix. Nada. Even though I grew up in a country where the situation is similar, I had become accustomed to do my grocery shopping on Sunday in New Zealand, when I finally could find the time to do so. Stress free, no fuss. So, I often ended up without food on Sundays when I first got here, and it took a while before I found the shops that are open on Sunday. There are five supermarkets that I know of: Billa Franz Josef Bahnhof (in the picture above), Westbahnhof supermarket (really small), Spar Pronto at Landstrasse (small), Spar Pronto at Hauptbahnhof (small to medium but pretty good), and Billa Praterstern (Quite decent even on a Sunday but crazy full of people). Perhaps you can detect a pattern there… (Train stations!). There are also Turkish supermarkets around the place that are open on Sundays, so you’re lucky if you end up living next to one of those.
The experience of Billa Franz Josef Bhof though is one that always fascinates me. The place is always full of bogans, with a lot of dogs. The proliferation of people with bright coloured hair, piercings and collections of dogs don’t always go well with the streams of people pouring into the supermarket on Sundays. I’ve never felt threatened or unconfortable, but I have seen those who have got into arguments with the bogans when they’re asking for money. Some people just don’t want to look at things that aren’t “pretty” when going shopping, I suppose. The worst thing that’s ever happened to me here was that someone asked me for 10 cents. Can’t say that that’s scared me off! 🙂
Pictures are from the Christmas market in Altes AKH, 8th district.
Already last week the Christmas markets opened here in Vienna. There is just about one Christmas market in every district, all with their own little flair. Mostly though the stands sell the same sort of things: Soaps, candles, christmas ornaments (of course), tribal decoration, purses…. and the fooood! That’s like the best part of it. Lebkuchen (<3), roasted nuts in many varieties, ham, potato wedges, sausages… more cookies, Brezen… so many things.. In December I’ll upload more shots from the markets, but this is the startup: Lebkuchen! yummy, delicious, Lebkuchen.
We were also completely overwhelmed by the choice in Punsch that we were faced with.. I had no idea that they could come up with so many various combos! Very happy friends in front of the Punsch Stadl (one of which has a very beautiful smile, but refuses to have pictures of her put online): The Punsch-Stadl is a pretty hilarious place. If you’ve ever gone skiing in Austria, you’ll know their after-ski party traditions: Terrible music, alcohol and traditional and/or terrible music. This place was just like an Apres-Ski party. Amusing!!
Sheep! Why do everyone always HAVE to be right by the door, thus making it impossible to get on the ubahn? This annoys me on a daily basis. Go further in and let people on! You will be able to get off on your station anyway, just 10 seconds later! Grrr!
Warning: Explicit footage!
This is something that I’ve shared with my friends on Facebook before, but I reckon it can stand a repeat. It’s maybe not extremely Austrian or Viennese, but I started buying MAOAM when I got here, and continued not so much for the taste (which is totally good), but more for the novelty. The novelty was provided when I was alerted to a lawsuit that took place in 2009, where a father sued Maoam for having pornographic images on their candybars. The bar in question is that of the LEMON.
This text is from the Daily Mail, 28th of August 2009:
A father-of-two has spoken of his disgust after spotting fruity cartoon characters appearing to have sex on SWEET wrappers. Simon Simpkins was buying Haribo MAOAM sour candies for his children when he noticed the ‘pornographic’ illustrations of limes, lemons and cherries romping with each other.
Mr Simpkins, of Pontefract, West Yorkshire, said: ‘The lemon and lime are locked in what appears to be a carnal encounter. The lime, whom I assume to be the gentleman in this coupling, has a particularly lurid expression on his face.’
He said: ‘I demanded to see the shop manager and, during a heated exchange, my wife became quite distressed and had to sit down in the car park.’
A spokesman for Haribo said the ‘fun’ packaging of the sweets was introduced in Germany 2002 and added: ‘This jovial MAOAM man is very popular with fans, both young and old.’
Read the original story here. There are also quite a few comments underneath the article that tend to be amusing..
How could you not like Maoam after this?! 😀
I think I’ve already described the Viennese people’s love for their dogs. They bring them everywhere. But, on the subway they have to wear a muzzle, and be on a leash. However. Last night as I was almost too tired to stand up, this peron walks into the subway with his dog, tells the creature (quite sizeable) to sit, and then sits down with his dog to fasten the muzzle. The dog is obedient and does what he’s told. Then there is this looooong while, where he just sits there with the dog, petting him and talking sweetly to him, while the dog is looking lovingly back at him. He is obviously oblivious to losing his pants (I believe this is a better angle for the picture than say, 2 o’clock from here). Often when I see people who are considered to be on the ‘outskirts’ of society interact with their dogs, I think to myself that they can’t be such bad people. If they can love and care for a creature that is dependent on them for food but cannot give anything but love in return, then they’re already doing a lot better than many rich people.
In Karlskirche they have weekly concerts during summer where they play a random piece followed by Vivaldi’s four seasons. For just 12 Euro you can land a pretty ok seat. It’s actually the price for standing tickets, but unless it’s totally packed they let you sit down once the others are seated. The sound isn’t the best, and the seasons seem to pass extremely fast (!), but it’s an experience that’s well worth it. 🙂 I’ve already been twice, and enjoyed it both times. During winter they have fewer concerts, but still it’s possible to get some through their web site.
I arrive home today – mum is doing fine, and will be looked after by a family friend from today. All in good hands. 🙂
This thing looks like the Orthanc! Hoping to get a closer look when I return to Vienna tomorrow. 🙂
Allright, I’ll admit that I’m the perfect customer for this kind of thing. Although it’s totally a scam, and the paper has no more value than if it’s plain white, I just have to have funky toilet paper and kitchen rolls. I saw this at Spar just before I left, and a parcel is now waiting for me to come home and do my business… haha 😀
This is my favourite subway station in Vienna: Volkstheater on the U2/U3 lines. The display and the area is just really nice. Admittedly this is an old photo, as I’m currently home in Norway taking care of my mum after an operation – will be back in a few days! Until then I’m using some old photos, but photos that are of things that are still in Vienna and still look the same! So, they won’t be outdated. I assure you, it’s not warm enough right now to be walking around in shorts and t-shirts in Vienna… but the subway station still looks precicely like this. 🙂
On my way to the airport today I rode past one of my favourite railside tags in Vienna. Someone has sprayed a little subway train onto the side of the rails, which depicts the U4 subway going towards Heiligenstadt. It’s super cute! I’m on my way home to Norway today, as my mum has had surgery, and I’m gonna be there to take care of her during the first days home from the hospital. I’ll be running some old captures, but I promise they’ll all be representative of Vienna today. (Things don’t really change that fast here…). 😉
I often walk past this little advertisement on Schwedenplatz, and it still cracks me up, looong after I first captured it. I suppose it’s a TOTALLY innocent picture, but somehow it just makes me chuckle… 😉
So after all the magic has happened, this is what it looks like.. A bit creepy!
My favourite little shopping street in Vienna! It’s between Mariahilferstrasse and Gunpendorferstrasse in the 6th district. It’s got small funky shops and my fav jewellery store, Fantasy Schmueck, which sells pieces made with natural stones. It also has a hippie store, funky little design stores and cafes. But mostly I like it because it is super cute and has a great atmosphere. 🙂
Austrians really really love titles. I’m still one of those who have to snigger when I see titles that are longer than names, even though I know that they have done a lot and probably have the right to be proud of it. However, when one reaches the state of Dr, that doesn’t mean that they don’t feel the need to say that they alos achieved a master, or a ‘Dip Ing’ or other things that led up to the Dr. It’s really so that the more titles, the better. This business card I got from a fella who has done a lot in his field and is quite capable. I was however pleasantly shocked to see the lenght of the titles, compared to his name. So far, this is the longest I’ve seen. 🙂
When (I’m still saying when) I finish my PhD I promise that’s ALL that I’ll put on my card!!
Caught this little combo while walking home. I kinda liked it, because you have the poster that says ‘movement is life’ and right under it someone drew a monkey on a bicycle, in front there are the bicycles, and just as I took the photo a little brat on a scootybike zoomed past me. Movement really is life… I can feel it in every muscle in my body after the visit to Manhattan yesterday. All good, but makes me very aware of moving at all today! 😀
I’ve now tried out both Manhattan studios in Vienna. One is in the south of the city, towards IKEA south and South City Shopping centre, and the other one (above) is in the 19th district, not far from Spittelau. I must say that it is extraordinarily nice there. But therefore also really expensive… to be a member here costs around 140 on a normal plan, but there is also a signup fee, which is above 1000 Euro if you don’t get a super special deal. Which I’m not even sure that exists… well, if I were rich I’d for sure sign up! They have 5 floors in each studio, usuall two to three devoted to fitness machines, cardio training and group training, one floor for spas, sauna, massages, solarium etc (at an extra cost of course) and one floor for doctors and treatments (and pool facilities). It’s real luxurious. Since their website is full of pictures of the interior and they’ve probably had a professional photographer do it, I’ll link the site for those interested in looking inside: manhattan north. I suppose I’ll stick to getting the occasional day-pass when I want to treat myself, which is affordable enough at around 35 Euro. 🙂
It was terribly windy a couple of days ago, so now a lot of the leaves are already gone. In Stadtpark however, there is still some colour left. 🙂
Today a new mall opened in Wien Mitte, which they very inventively have called ‘The Mall.’ I was feeling a bit crazy, so decided to go check out the opening specials at the electronics store. They did actually have some awesome deals (like a cheap superzoom camera from FujiFilm for just 88 Euro which had 14 megapixel and 18X optical zoom, the same one that I already own albeit the version from 2004… fortunately I came back to my senses thinking that I already have four cameras!), but the store doesn’t take credit cards at all… I find that pretty crazy. But it’s true; two of the biggest electronics stores in Austria just don’t take credit cards, even if they sell tvs and equipment that cost many thousand Euro… It’s a crazy country. Well anyway. It took me about one hour to get into the mall, and then an additional half hour or so to get into the store. And in the end I didn’t buy a thing.. 😀 Sometimes all the fun is had just standing in line.
This is such a contrast to all other countries I’ve ever been in. It says that no alcohol will be served to young people under the age of 16, which is the central age limit for drinking here. In New Zealand, they refuse to sell you anything if you LOOK younger than 25 and can’t prove that you aren’t. So the Austrians have quite a relaxed view on it! It’s also mostly tolerated to drink in public here… So you hardly raise a brow when you see people drinking on the subway at night. I do like it in summer when you can picnic in the park with wine. Different country, different rules I guess.
Naschmarkt is the biggest fruit/veg/food/clothes/everything market in town. It’s not far from Mariahilfer Strasse, in the 6th District. I love coming here every now and then to check out the colours of spice, candy, see all the cheese and sometimes to buy hummus and halal lamb mince. Even just peoplewatching is awesome.. This dude is in the candybusiness, so his stall is just bursting with colour. Love it! To check out opening hours, go here.
Not such a clear day today, although it cleared up in the end. I quite like typical autumn weather, rain and darkness bordering on snow. Bring it on!
b For some reason, machines like this fascinate me. They seem like a really old invention, that’s somehow stuck. They’re placed around the city, in streets with nothing much else in them, and also in busy streets with many shops. And normally they have these small chocolate balls in them, or other types of small candy that cost only 10 cents. You can also see a set of four machines in front of the butchers in my post Butcher. I once tried to buy one, just to see if they were edible. The little chocolate ball kinda tasted like plastic with chocolate flavour, but wasn’t too unpleasant… I wonder if there’s a lot of money to be made from this business… 😛
The Viennale is on every year around this time; it’s the main international film festival here. There are other small festivals too, smaller and usually with a much narrower focus than Viennale. This is from Gartenbau Kino, just by Stubentor. I really love how these old-school theatres can survive by showing independent films. I haven’t been around many of them before, but the Viennale is a perfect excuse for checking them out! Will definitely become a bit more high brow now and seek out more independent films… 😛 Tonight I’m watching Texas Chainsaw Massacre! Old school!
I had to test my ability to look scary like Leatherface.
Today it’s all soul’s day. I wanted to go out to the main graveyard in the cityb (Zentralfriedhof) to see all the lights on the graves, but I kinda failed… I showed up half an hour after the graveyard closed! But I was genuinely surprised that it would close so early on all soul’s day… so, I managed to take this semi-crappy picture through the bars in the door. You can see some red lights to the left of the chapel, where the graves of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert are. I even brought some candles for graves that didn’t have any… Next year I will be more prepared!
this is one of the best Korean food places in Vienna, located not far away from Naschmarkt. They have a real good kimchi pork belly, and the bulgogi is also pretty awesome! I haven’t tried any others yet, as I’ve only been there twice. Same as the rest of Vienna you don’t really get a proper Korean presentation with all the small side dishes (I think all of Europe is lacking this, really), but you can order small sides if you can’t live without them. I found this again now after having been there sometime two years ago, and I didn’t remember what it was called or where to find it. STOKED! 🙂