Sunday, April 13, 2008

Oh Vienna!


After my pleasant stay at my sisters l was woken and shuttled off to the airport by Gran's sister who sounded exactly the same as Gran. The plane to Amsterdam was delayed before l had even checked in so l was rather worried about my tight connection in Schipol. The air hostess on the plane was nice and told me where to go. We also got some great biscuits on that flight called "Prince". l did get a bit confused in schipol, the bus dropped us off at the D gates and l ended up in the passport control to get to the arrivals section and l had to leave the airport and come back in again. After asking at an information desk and rushing through security twice l got to my gate (B26)just as the plane was boarding. Thankfully there was still a queue so it didn't seem l was too late, except from the meaty smell l was giving off because of all the running.

The food on the flight was better than expected as l got veal sandwich in that really brown, brown bread and cheese and pesto sandwiches in white bread. Unfortunately KLM were let down on the beverage front as the coffee was foul. Either the sugar did not work or somehow the powdered milk had gone sour. All l had was the residue of the sweet biscuit from before left in my teeth to provide a barrier to the sour liquid. l did a lot of thinking on the plane. Aviation amazes me. How they manage to get something that big to fly, yet fail to allow a human being to fly unaided l shall never understand. Maybe if l do get a degree in German and the translation/journalism/teaching paths fail l could just become an air hostess as l am sure that you need higher maths and/or physics to become a pilot. Wow, nobody would believe that l just considered that as that job does not seem to suit me. Well l like traveling and to get the more interesting flights you need to know many languages. Well l suppose l shall just have to get through the Art/linguistics/Writing/meteorology careers done first.

l arrived in Vienna at about 8pm and l was dreading to see if Aunt Var had done the expected and left me to get a taxi by myself. Thankfully she always does the unexpected and she was there with Esti and Maria. lt was strange to be back and it was gonna be different(in a good way) now that mum was not with me, especially as Esti informed me that l was going to experience the Viennese night life. . .


I woke up on my first day in Austria and appeared to have the apartment to myself. So I had a shower and turned on the TV(reasonably loud) and went on with the morning duties. While happily watching Scrubs in German Esti emerged. There was a mutual state of confusion between us as we both thought she was at school. By now there wasn't really any point in her going to school for the ten minutes that were left of English. With our free day we went down to the Spar and bought some baking goods. Lets say our attempt at making cakes turned out to be more like biscuits. However our pancakes were works of art.

On our way back from the Spar we went into Tabak and bought a scratch card. My first expierence with a scratch card was a (reasonably)good one as we got the 2€ we paid, back! We also wandered out to the columbus centre and visited many junk shops.Esti thought that she had a doctors appointment and just as she was ready to leave she asks me "Rose, it is the 3rd right?" So Esti did not have a doctors appointment today.

That evening we went to see "Afrika, Afrika" which is not easily described. the closest I can get is a African circus. On our way there we had to walk through the Prater and l was shown The Republic of Kugelmugel. This was a ball shaped house surrounded by a barbed wire fence. A guy called Edwin lipburger had a dispute with the Austrian goverment, so he declared independence in 1984 creating the micronation which consisted of 390 citizens.
Afrika Afrika itself was unreal, the tent it was in was unbelievably impressive. There were these chandeliers made from junk, but they were far from junk! The show had some amazing people. There were these people who climbed on each others shoulders there was a human pillar in every corner and they fell in and everyone in the audience thought they were falling by mistake. Though they fell into a neatly choreographed somersault. There were also some very talented tap dancers and two gymnasts that can't have been older than me My favourite person was the guy who had a pet tortoise. He was funny. At the end of the night there was a moroccan or a member of the Tuareg tribe who was giving out free liqueur to everyone. 

The rest of the evening was spent in Esti's bed reading her msn conversations and unconvincingly pretending to be her online. l also decided l would go to school tomorrow....


Today l got up reasonably early as l was gonna head into school at 10 with Esti. l thought l would don' some reasonably nice clothes. This was a bad choice. l had a less graceful Marilyn Monroe moment on the escalator. Getting past "security" was easy and l briefly met some of Esti and Maria's friends, a few of which l remembered from last time. Afterwards my aunt had two free periods so she gave me a brief tour and l was introduced to most of the staff members as "my niece." l envy the pupils of this school getting these teachers compared to the ones back home. l can't quite imagine Mrs learmounth quoting "mean girls" when being introduced, as well as swearing casually. Before lunch Aunt Var had a grade 10 drama class and they were the equivalent of 4th year, so they were the same age as me. l sat there revising music concepts until they asked my opinion on whether there play should have Michael Jackson as a character or Cinderella. 

After lunch Esti did actually have her doctors appointment and we got there especially early, though there was a delay as l was mesmerized by the lift. We ended up sitting in the doctors waiting room for just over an hour before Esti got in, and she was only in there for about fifteen minutes. 

Afterwards we went for a food shop as there only seemed to be rice in the house. lt was going to become a routine, going into "Tabak" and getting our scratch card though this time it was a different man! And with him he took different vibes, as we did not win our 2€ back. lt was late night shopping that night so Esti and l went to Stephansplatz and visited what must have been 4 or 5 H&M's, yet it was an unsuccessful shop as we bought NOTHlNG! 

When Maria had returned from running we used her culinary skills to help us make a cake. After Esti and l's disastrous attempts yesterday Maria's help was defiantly needed. The cake actually worked dispite my thoughts on that 6 eggs was rather extreme. Then again l really didn't help much. When we took it out of the oven and saw that is had actually risen and was spongy, all seemed good. Though the best part was yet to come: Decoration. This included some of Maria's butter icing, Nutella, Hundreds and thousands and some Schoko-Flocken. The finishing touch was the sugar animals on top. lt was quite something, didn't taste that bad either. 
However, between the stages of taking it out of the oven and taking pictures of the final piece there was a (minor) food fight. To be honest l can't quite recall how it started but somehow we all managed to be covered in nutella by the end of it. Some of us had just had a shower and others had expensive jewellery on. l do know that Esti was the first to get nutella on me. So l smeared a message on her mirror. . . Mwah hah ha.


Today was my first touristy day as Maria and l were heading off to the Schonbrunn and l had to get postcards. Maria is known to like her sleep and she proved this today by not waking up until twelve. However l did not mind as l had a whole season of "House" to watch(though l only got through four episodes before she arose). She did get up rather quickly and so we headed to the very touristy area of Stephansplatz to get my 18 postcards. l did not want to/could not get 18 postcards in one shop so l had to trail through endless "mostly mozart" and other souvenir shops to find the perfect ones. l also managed to get Anna's birthday present and card(the card is fantastic). We met Mhari at the Zoo after we had walked through the gardens for a bit and tried some wildlife photography by chasing some squirrels. At the zoo we saw all the usual animals including; penguins, black bears, sea lions, Hippopotami, flamingos, antelopes, peacocks, polar bears, lions, giraffes, rhinos, bats, snakes, fish, lizards, red pandas, ant eaters and the panda everyone was talking about. My favourites were the peacocks, Red pandas and the penguins. Strangely enough l saw no elephants or alpaca's. That evening Maria and l made tea as Esther was going out and we thought we would give the adults a rest. The one thing l can make that is edible is Lasagne, so thats what we made. l finished that day how l started it, by watching some more House.


Today was our designated shopping day and Esther was determined to have and early start, though Maria, Meg and l were not so enthusiastic about this. . . We caught the 13A bus and got to Mariahilferstraße and Esti had a failed attempt at finding a dress for her Graduation ball(which is on my birthday). Natuarlly our fisrt stop was H&M and we met Alex in there. After about an hour in H&M we headed along the street, ate at Mr. Lee's and went in some dodgy alley way market. Before we saw it, we heard a protest and Alex and l were excited and wanted to join in. Then we saw it was merely two people and soon enough they were drowned out by an oncoming protest that had at least 298 more people than them. After along walk up and down the one street (we didn't even reach the end) it was time to head home as today was the day l was to be shown the Vienna night life.

After our tiring day at the shops we were beginning to doubt our energy levels. However Ana phoned and we were spurred on to get out on the town. Yet we didn't leave until nine(ish). We caught the U-bahn to Stephansplatz and we went to Rupert's house. l was told this place was rather nice and they were far from wrong. Highlights of the apartment included the 128 year old rocking horse, the bidet(huhuh) and the electric grand piano. Esti, Ana, Rupert and l all stayed until Stuart arrived(we were all going out to celebrate his birthday that was on Monday) and in that time Esti managed to get stuck on the horse. Once Stuart arrived and received his pina colada in a bag we headed out to Waxys. Me being the "baby" of the group l had Alex's id as she looked, a bit like me. l memorised "my" address and birthday but that was not needed as a check of the same hair colour and l got in! Wayhay! We met Will there(it was actually his 19th Birthday) but we didn't stay long as it was so crowded and there were creepy Austrian guys coming onto Ana. We headed along to ,as it is known, 'Dicks.' lt was pretty crowded upstairs but we got a whole room to ourselves downstairs, with a pool table :) . After a few perrys and orgasms we looked up and our room was filling up. Fast. Though some of us couldn't even see very clearly by this point anyway *COugh*Est..ei..*COUGH*. At this point l had a traumatic moment that l shall ignore. However when l returned there was very little room so Ana, Rupert and l made a nest for ourselves in an, now thinking about it, oddly placed chunk out of the wall. From there we could observe everyones antics while slowly getting drunk unnoticed, well to everyone except Esti who shouted over every two seconds asking if l was ok and we were going to stay at Rupert's. lt was strange being in a bar in Austria a) l could get served b) People could smoke and c) it didn't shut at 1 am unlike those in Orkney. After most people had disbanded our posse headed back, though only after a stop for hotdogs a shoe exchange and a dip in an empty fountain.


After about 3 hours sleep people began to arise. lt must be something in Scottish blood as Stuart and l seemed to be the perkiest as we went round attempting to waken the dead. l made some pancakes(though they were terrible compared to my usual attempts, l blame the milk) and then fleeted as Esther was knackered. The weather that morning was glorious. l managed to create some tension between her and her mother and so the morning was rather awkward. l was determined not to sleep during the day so Maria and Meg shuttled me off to the Prater as it was the only thing open on a Sunday.The glorious weather from earlier in the day had left and it was overcast and windy.Esti went straight to bed and we were meant to wake her but decided it was better that she stayed in bed. We went on a roller coaster and the space shot(the one that shoots you straight upwards) and thankfully l had drunk a safe limit last night as l did not feel sick. . . Sunday was then spent in watching friends and reclining on the sofa as it should be.


l had my first lie in in ages this morning, though it would have been longer if Esti had not phoned me. Though l was meant to meet her at the DZ at 12:45 and it was now 1 pm. An hour or so later l headed out to Kagran by myself and l was rather impressed l managed to get there with no hassle, hassle is always a regular visitor to me. l met her in a cheap shoe shop but we soon stopped at the crepe stand l met her at last year(l always have crepes when l am away). lt was here where l began to hear about what was the full extent of her HORRlBLE day. After our Schoko-nuss creme crepes we headed to my second home H&M. We had quite a successful shop and l spent the remainder of my loan. Esti saw her hoodie on sale in the DZ yet it was not in her size so we went to another H&M nearer to home and it was not there and so on until we reached the 4th H&M even nearer to home where we found it and bought a ridiculous amount of jewellery and accessories. Such shopoholics we are. 

That evening the family minus Esti watch "Across the Universe," a film written to the stories in the songs by the by the Beatles. Now this sounded good. lt was a chance to educate Maria on music and the importance of the 1960's. lt was fun trying to guess the next song coming up and spotting the lyrics, for example the main characters where (hey) Jude, Lucy(in the sky with diamonds), Maxwell(silver hammer), Jojo(from Come together), (dear)Prudence and (sexy)Sadie. Yeah. Visually and artistically it was rather impressive.


As my aunt's back was sore she stayed off school today and l spent the morning chatting to her before Esti returned and we went to a classic Viennese café. lt was very different to British cafés; the greasy impolite waiter was replaced by an old man in a tail coat, everything was made from mahogany or covered with mirrors, there were no notebooks and the waiting staff could memorise the orders. lt was very strange. l had a Schoko-mousse Torte and a melanege(typical viennese coffee) just incase you were wondering.
That evening we were going to attend "We will rock you" and since Aunt Var had an appointment for her back we had a spare ticket and had to attempt to sell it. We all set out early to catch any potential buyers but our lame attempt and saying "ticket for sale" left us stuck. So l got on the phone to Will and he decided to come as we offered it for free. lt was 7:20 and the show started at 7:30 so Esti and Meg had to search for Will. l am not to sure how they went by doing this as Maria and l just sat in and waited. They made it in time and they began playing some original Queen tracks. The curtains rose and the first lines were delivered, in German. Oh dear. This could be interesting. Well this was aimed for a german speaking audience as l am in Austria after all. 

The first song performed was "Radio Ga Ga" which was in german though then it was" l want to break free" which was in English. To my surprise l managed to understand quite a bit of the dialogue, but when/if l see it in English l can find out if l really understood it. . .

At the interval we thoughts on the, ya know, German-ness. Maria, Meg and l also picked up the three t-shirts that had been reserved for us. We were so cool and bought three identical pink t-shirts that said "Killer Queen." Thankfully, l quote Esti, "We live on different planets, so we can all have the same." 

Though l was not quite sure how they got there they finished on" We will rock you"(obiviously) and had "Bohemian Rhapsody" as a sort of encore.They showed the band and there were about four guitarists and two drummers, though one seemed to be a designated alternative percussion drummer. Maria and l fell in love with one of the guitarists, especially when he came on to do the solo in bohemian rhapsody. . . What is it about long,styled hair and a guitar slung round your neck that makes you suddenly irresistible?


As my last day l wanted to do something cool, or just see all those l met to say goodbye before l left. Strangely enough to solve this problem my best bet was to go to school. l went in at break and although l thought security would be a problem, it was in fact a doddle. l came in at break and Esti or Maria did not have frees afterwards so l was thrown in the direction of Alex and she was going to show me "the cage" but it was locked. So the cage remains a (concerning) mystery to me to this day. We stayed in the Library and slowly managed to gather a group. At the news of my Aunt being in the school l should probably go and say that l was here. When she was found we were then instructed to find Esti as she had to hand in her script NOW(emphasis on the NOW). So she did get out of German after all. 

Soon afterwards Esti and Rupert discovered they had no classes left so we went on an 'adventure.' This adventure started in Burger king , where apparently Rupert lives, this appeared to be true as they did know his order before he asked. After some greasy food, brownies(that l ate so gracefully) and discovering how to burst straws we headed out on the U-bahn, without a definite destination. On that journey we managed to attempt to recite our "Mad World" dance to the whole U-bahn and land ourselves next to someone with OCD of chairs being brushed down. We got off the train to head back to the apartment to get money and so on but we had to stop off at Tabak. Both of the men who usually served us were in, double the luck? Why yes, we got our 2€ back, again! At first we all just wandered the streets of Vienna then we went to Bobbys. l had heard of this place, it sells British food. Now you call me ridiculous going all the way(to be honest it isn't that far away) to Vienna to go and eat British food! Well it was quite interesting as l realised this is how to make money as they were selling those large dairy milks for €4.10. Extortionate. Esti bought some cheesecake mix, after l said it tasted amazing, and some lrn Bru. On our way back we wondered what to do (after hearing Rupert's rendition of "big girls(you are beautiful)" by Mika) then came to conclusion the best idea was to lie back and relax. We did so on the sort of plateau outside the columbus centre. lt seemed as if we started a trend as soon enough there were many people lying back, though some were measuring it (?). When l had topped up my vitamin D for the year we went inside the Columbus centre and Esti was meant to get some pens but we left with a toy bomb(yes now thats how to teach kids!?) and began throwing it around through the street. Back at the Maclnnes household we made the cheesecake but it did not stay around for long. Then we began to plan what to do tonight though everyone seemed to be busy. . . :( We came to the conclusion that we should just go to the Prater. Fairynuff.

So we got on the U-Bahn and dumped Rupert off to get money and such and we headed off too Mr. Lee's(how fast does Mr. Lee deliver his food? QuickLEE). Maria met us after her running practice and then rupert strolled along. lt was already pretty dark when we got there and l advise you, when you go to any sort of theme park always take assertive people who can make decisions. lt took at least one walk around the park before we actually agreed on a ride to go on. However, early on in that walk l decided l would go on the bungee thing(the ball thats attached to bungee ropes and propels you upwards) and Rupert would join me. The first ride was the Sombereo, well Esther, Rose and Rupert didn't go on it but Edward, Jessica and Mary did. Then there was the roller coaster that Maria and l went on before, Esti loved it. . . Although it was probably just our terrible driving skills, Esti and l were convinced that our dodgems didn't work as most of the time we just span round in circles when not being attacked from behind. Jack the ripper was the haunted house. lt went by fast anyway though we could have stayed in for as long as we liked. The guy who controlled the lift was the scariest part anyway. We saved the bungee ball for last and that was a good choice. Well the getting strapped in seemed very fast and they kept you in suspense while they tightened the rope. Just as we were sitting there talking WOOOOOOSH! lt wasn't even scary, it was pleasant. Or as l was screaming "THlS lS FUCKlNG AWESOME!" After the initial throw it gets calming and not very many people can say they have high fived while being propelled vertically into the air at a ridiculous speed(see how l made that a complex sentence so people can't say "l've high fived on a plane!").

That night l tried to get an early night but failed. 

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