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Book Briefs: June 2013

THE GLOBALISATION OF LOVE How far would you go for love? Would you emigrate, give up your cuisine, compromise on your children’s education? These are questions asked by Wendy Williams in her recent book The Globalisation of Love. Looking at the growing trend of multinational, multicultural relationships, she examines language, food, humour, pets and other […]

Viennese Types: The ­Romance and Reality of Work

Viennese Types: The ­Romance and Reality of Work

Copper engravings came first, depicting early street professions, the stuff of both legend and stereotype – canvas merchants, cheese makers, milk and egg sellers, tobacco peddlers, saucy laundresses that still titillate the imagination. Many are pictured with mouths agape, mid-call. Street criers were a common sight in any city of the pre-industrial age, and even […]

When Less is More

When Less is More

Film festivals are fascinating. They tend to uncover the unknowns, promote the unpromotable, putting on display pictures you would rarely see in a fiercely commercial medium. Yet their influence far outweighs their attendance. After all, innovation doesn’t happen in the mainstream, and today’s lunatic fringe may turn out to be tomorrow’s standard. And while Vienna […]

The Fifth Column: June 2013

The Fifth Column: June 2013

Soft Treat in Safe Hands? Good news, maybe, that a company owned by Julius Meinl V has at the last minute stumped up €5million to buy up the bankrupt, century-old family company Niemetz. Its troubles, and the fire-sale of its factory, struck at the heart of Austrian identity; in particular its chocolate, coconut-covered Schwedenbombe (“Sweden […]

Hot in the City

Hot in the City

Vienna has no sandy beaches like Cannes or Genoa, no romantic river walks like Budapest or Paris, no central harbour like Hamburg, Trieste or Marseilles. But don’t be fooled! There is plenty of water in Vienna, and lots of ways to enjoy it – particularly (but not only) along the Old Danube, where shaded walks […]

Waltzing On Water

Waltzing On Water

Going sailing was not on my agenda for my time in land-locked Austria. What I didn’t know is that the countryside is full of lakes, and in the city, the Alte Donau is full of boats. I arrived at the Hofbauer Yacht Club feeling a mix of excitement, anxiety and a little fear. I hadn’t […]

Touching the Middle Ages

Touching the Middle Ages

The heavy, bright red and blue curtains part, and a horde of children bursts through the double doors and on into the Middle Ages – passing through a time warp into a transformed world, familiar yet very far away. Before their parents have even gathered their bags and climbed down from the ampitheatre steps, two […]

France’s German Mirror

France’s German Mirror

NEWS ANALYSIS:  Berlin’s Tegel Airport, which still greets most of the passengers arriving in the capital of Europe’s leading economic power, is outdated and provincial. The opening of Schönefeld Airport, transformed into an international hub, has been delayed for more than a year for technical reasons (a somewhat reassuring challenge to Germany’s reputation for efficiency). […]

Jobs: Inside the United Nations

It often seems impossible for an outsider to get a job at the UN. But is it really? “No,” said Linda Starodub, who recently retired from 30 plus years in the UN system, half of it in human resources, “but… it’s complicated.” There are two basic strata of jobs: There is GS (General Service) and […]

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