My couple of days in Austria were for the most part overwhelmingly positive, (stay tuned for the single negative part in another post soon!) – I mean, the place is beautiful; filled with breathtaking architecture, some of the best art the world has ever seen, and people who are warm and friendly – especially when compared with their far more stern and stand-offish Hungarian neighbours. Case in point, in Hungary someone tried to have a go at stealing my trainers…in Austria a stranger saw me battling with a map and pointed me in the right direction…
Also the coffee in Hungary tastes like someone has put some coffee granules in their mouths, washed it about with a bit of luke warm water, and then spat it into warm-ish milk – making sure to stir thoroughly before serving to unsuspecting customers. Coffee in Austria is totally on point: espresso that makes you feel like it isn’t such a big deal that you haven’t slept more than four hours a night for a week straight…now I look at the situation with fresh well rested eyes, I am starting to question whether the caffeine situation has a lot to do with my (probably) terrible bias – yeah, probably – so apologies to both sides, but you do both have great cakes – so perhaps you can take solace in that? Joint first on the cake podium? No? Okay.
Anyway, I went into Austria with no preconceived notions – well none that serve any real purpose or credence when it comes to assessing whether Vienna is a nice tourist spot…my memory was conjuring up snapshots of The Sound of Music and the terrifying Josef Fritzl case that was in the news a while back…unfortunately, that was it – but in lots of ways this is a good thing, as you are not swayed by other people’s opinions or your own notions; you are going in with fresh eyes, and the first impression is a lot more vivid. And it was! Vienna is really up there with the top European cities in my humble opinion – it jostles with the likes of Berlin, Paris and Florence – both in sheer beauty and expense (a side effect of fantastic places usually!) I walked the streets staring like a gormless fool at the little intricate details of the buildings, wandering into churches, cathedrals, museums, galleries…just in total awe! It’s a wonderful place to get purposefully lost in, as there is always something to see, and if you get tired or frustrated – just plop yourself down in one of the many cafés and recharge your batteries with some of the best confectionery you will ever see! Doesn’t sound half bad ey?
But as I was walking around the high street I was stopped by a lady with a camera – “SHNIGLFLEEEGANSHLURGUN” – that’s not what she said, but honestly that is what the German language sounds like to me, there are a few words that are basically just English words with a different accent, and then the rest that I just can’t even begin to comprehend, sounds like my reaction to stubbing my toe! Anyway, all I could do was apologise for my ignorance:
“I’m so sorry, I am English.” Yeah, I know, I know – it’s a little odd to apologise for where I come from, not like it is my fault – but I find myself doing it at least one hundred times in every country I visit, so I have largely made my peace with it!
Anyway, she explained that she was taking photos for a fashion site, or something – and asked if she would be able to take my photo, naturally I would never say no…for a crippling fear of coming off as rude, so despite my brother running off and leaving me alone with this stranger, and the fact that I would have loved the world to swallow me up at this very moment – I nodded, as she began to keenly snap away.
I was an extremely awkward subject; if I wasn’t pursing my lips in nervousness, I was fidgeting with my fingers…I began to think about what I probably look like, and a flood of red flushed my cheeks until it burnt the tops of my ears – she pulled a quizzical look as she stared at the sweating wreck in front of her.
“Errr…can you…can you…do something with your legs?”
I didn’t have a fucking clue what this meant…I mean…something…what is something?! Tap dancing? Roundhouse kick? Putting my foot in my mouth and chewing so that I would be taking away to a mental asylum and the embarrassment would be over? The latter sounded preferable. Maybe it could work? Urgh. She gestured that she wanted some kind of cowboy leg on wall situation to happen…I wasn’t particularly tired, but I obliged anyway – nice to take a little weight off the feet I suppose…but no, she wasn’t happy with it – I guess I was doing it wrong…I tried to switch it up, almost lost my balance – she looked thoroughly pissed off with how shit I was at being a model – I mean how was I incapable of resting on a wall correctly? Surely anyone could do that? But no! Apparently all the other times I was leaning on walls I was making a fool of myself…
“No. No. NO!”
She would repeat at regular intervals. I could feel my cheeks were about to explode with sheer shame. She took about ten photos (at least), I am not sure if she decided I was a lost cause, or if she finally got a one she was content with, but eventually she let me go. This was the outcome, what do you guys think? Personally I think I look like a constipated hamster – but never mind, this was the hand I was dealt!
Oh, and here is the site, naturally full credit goes to these guys and the lady who put up with my disgracefully nervous legs and tomato face! :
Like this story? Then why not like the Facebook page? http://www.facebook.com/storytimewithjohn YOU KNOW IT MAKES SENSE!
More from this country below: