They call this schnitzel in America….

I am still in Vienna. I have one day left. At the moment most of that day seems to be taken up by trying to get a picture to load on this damn blog. I miss the days where I just wrote!

The above midget is Thomas, my first cousin once removed. He is my deliciously cute (an essential attribute when you’re going to drive someone crazy) host – among others.

Vienna has been a very different travel experience than Paris was – which is actually quite welcome. Some of my days have been spent shopping, some sight seeing, and a lot of time sitting around reading a book. I was feeling a little guilty on those book readings or internet surfing days but it is a vacation after all!
Lets start from the top:
Day 2) I accompanied Kirsten to get her hair lopped off at a salon called Bundy Bundy which we agreed was creepy. I also ate the best spinach and feta cheese crepe ever made while I was surrounded in high-tar cigarette smoke.
Day 3) Bank Holiday. For what? I have no idea. Needless to say Vienna, which is already a little empty and creepy at times was very creepy. These Euros take their holidays/Sundays very seriously and are sure to never leave the house! Later in the day I did a little sight-seeing on my own. I wandered downtown and saw a good chunk of the sights one is supposed to see in Vienna (the Rathaus, university, 3 churches including St. Stephens, sausages…) and started to like the city a little more. It was nice to explore and not have to consult with anyone on which direction to go or what to look at it. It becomes a problem of course when I wanted to be a part of my pictures. Enter poorly taken self portraits avec tourist attractions:
Below are some other funny things that I saw that day:

(10 inch LCD TV.. Seems Useful to me)

Day 4) Vienna Culture. First off Ikea. Sure it doesn’t sound very exciting, but now I can say I have eaten crappy hot dogs in two different countries (Canada’s are far less crappy). I’ve eaten a big mac in many more than that – can’t say I’m particularly proud about that one.
Some “interesting” Ikea differences: they have a curry mayonaise to put on the aforementioned crappy hotdog. It is not very good.
Ikea in Vienna sells bicycle reflective vests, luggage, and a limited amount of clothes and toiletries. (I’m sure all of this useless information will come in very handy some day).
We then had to lug all of our purchases back on the u-bahn which, as you can imagine, is totally awesome.
In the evening I got my unique Vienna artsy cultural experience at Cafe Kafka. It was an open mic for writers, many English speaking, to “perform” their work. It was definitely an interesting experience – not one I can say I ever have and probably never will have in Toronto. I just about died from the chain smoking people around me (get on cigarette ban band-wagon Vienna!), half of it was in German, and some of it was just insane (like the guy who recited the alphabet 3 times using each letter as the start of a name and activity) but it was neat. Not to mention my beer only cost $2.40. Put me anywhere with a cheap beer and I’ll listen to what you want to write about.
Day 5) Today. I’m almost out of days. Today we took Thomas (the midget from the beginning of all this) to see some fancy white horses at the Spanish Riding institute do a show.
a) Walking around a sandy arena with some classical music in the background is not a show
b) 12 euros for the aforementioned non-show is outrageous
c) I am incredibly allergic to horses – more so than I realized and that coupled with the sheer crappiness of the “entertainment” forced me to leave after 4 minutes
d) Those bastard horses made 3 euros a minute off of me.
In the afternoon Jason, Kirsten and I wandered a busy shopping area in search of… something. It was nice. More fun than Pari shopping for sure. We finished it off by purchasing a chaise lounge and 22lbs of weight-lifting weights which we again carried home on the subway. If anything I will at least go forth to Spain stronger from all this pack-muling.
Tomorrow? Who knows? Laundry is looking like a good time. Oh, and for all of you skeptics out there: 17.4 lbs of lugage is totally acceptable and efficient. Yes, I have had to wash many shirts in the sink and hang them to dry on the Paris balcony – but I am still 500% happy that I only brought this much. I can go and buy out all of H&M (which appears as frequently in Berlin as Starbucks does in Seattle) at that point …. but I might be calling one of you to meet me at the airport.
Barcelona on Monday. Madrid on Thursday-ish. Then Morocco.

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