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Wie ist Wien?

What is Vienna like, that is? It's great. My visit made me so happy. People there just seem to enjoy life. While I was surfing the web yesterday I came across a page that said the city is consistently rated as the number one place to live when compared with other European. It has such a rich cultural history, the Imperial palaces in the center, and, reportedly, has relatively cheap prices when compared with other European capitals. (I don't know whether this last is true as it seems expensive compared to Brno. But then, that's a matter of perspective.)

There are a lot of ways that you can tell you've left the Czech Republic. You know you’re not in Brno anymore when

-you don’t have to pay to use the toilet
-you do have to pay to use the coat-desk at the concert hall
-you can use credit card to buy your metro tickets
-only fancy cheeses are fried, and they come with cranberries on the side
-beer costs more than mineral water
-some trams are completely barrier-free
-all of the information booth employees speak English and are happy to tell all about the city (they even give free maps!!)
-people might actually look around while on the street
-people make way for each other rather than running the other party off the sidewalk

It's the little things that just make a person feel happy. One of my favorites is the sound of the the ticket stampers. In Czech metro systems (Prague, Brno, Olomouc, etc.) the ticket stamping machine goes "bzzzzzz" when you validate your ticket. It's kind of like, "Hey! Go away! I stamped your ticket already! NEXT!" In Vienna they go "ding." You think, "Ah, my ticket has been validated. Thank you." The ticket stamper indicates, "Have a nice day. Next, if you please." It's such a luxury when we find life in the details.


Blogger amy7252 said . . .

Well, don't confuse Paris with Brno ... the people here will gladly run you off the sidewalk into oncoming traffic if it means that they will get ahead of you!

By the way: I'm one of them now! (Hey, it's survival of the fittest.)    

10:31 AM, March 05, 2006

Anonymous Dawn said . . .

"bzzz!" vs. "ding!": I love it!!!    

6:02 PM, March 05, 2006

Anonymous Liz said . . .

I have fond memories of Vienna, although they're over 25 years old. I had Sachertort in the Sacher palace! Yum! Accompanied by strange modern vocal music coming from upstairs; there was a concert going on. Oh well. It was still lovely. You're seeing much more than I did--congratulations.    

11:54 PM, March 10, 2006

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