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… Always Ring Twice?

When my father drove to town to shop at nearby Ikea, he also planned to swing by and perform some minor Mr. Fix-its at our flat.   As he was leaving Ikea, he phoned to say he was five minutes away. Sure enough, five minutes later our buzzer sounded and I let Papa into the […]

Is the West Doomed? (or only Vienna?)

It had been a fascinating lecture (at the Gesellschaft für Außenpolitik und die Vereinten Nationen (ÖGAVN)) in the Hofburg/Stallburg (yes, up a small stone staircase right beside the Lippizaners’ stables.) And as we got up to leave, the young Chinese woman beside me noticed the book on my lap (Wien:Top-spot für Business).  Where could she […]


It was a sunny day (sunny for Vienna, at least), so on my way home I decided to stop in for a minute at the MQ, and soak in the rays. Back home in Portugal it had been raining cats and dogs, my mother had told me on the phone, and I found myself laughing […]

Divided We Ride

In our modern, progressive city, cycling is all the rage: Ever since the Green Party’s been running the traffic authority, designated bicycle lanes have been popping up on the city’s streets like veins on blue cheese. I have been on the forefront, weaving my way through traffic, imagining myself a big city rancher herding gas […]

Literary Power

Everyone has a routine when navigating the U-Bahn. Escalator down, take the stairs to the right, and wait on the far side of the platform. One morning as I headed for the out-escalator, I was walking behind a tall man in a dark overcoat. Suddenly he stopped, back-tracked, and crashed right into me. Startling out […]

Walk About

When you live abroad for a while, you sometimes stop noticing the differences between Vienna and your homeland – that is until you have visitors from home. When my parents visited recently, they found out the hard way how much extra walking is done in Vienna. Being from America – the Land of Cars – […]

Set Shotglasses to Stun

Every so often, my associates and I like to play a game that could be best described as mystery cocktail double dare; but we prefer to call it Bar Trek. This exchange happenend the other day while we were exploring Booze: the final frontier. In this episode, my companion was the designated redshirt, ready to […]

Young Romance

Viennese subway users are famous for being unfriendly. “… So that is why I don’t do subways,” a real Wienerin once explained to me. “It puts me in a bad mood.” I was inexperienced, and decided she was arrogant. Two years later, I am now an expert on the Viennese Öffis (public transportation). I got […]

Popular Opinion

Once upon a time my friends and I went on a field trip to a crumbling fort dating back to the 17th century and looking it. A fitting backdrop for the old-as-time dilemma every student of philosophy has to face sooner or later: Do we admit to studying philosophy and accept the consequences or pretend […]

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