Vienna, Austria

Another fantastic Joe Posnanski blog entry. It immediately reminded me of my trip to Vienna, Austria. I was outside the entrance to a museum. The sky was one of the prettiest shades of blue I can ever remember seeing. I walked up to a street vendor and I ordered a bratwurtst. It had to have been the best bratwurst I had ever eaten as the sun shined down on me and my park bench. If I close my eyes, I can still feel that sun. Unfortunately, the taste of that brat escapes me.

I just went back and read my journal entry from that trip. Man, was I verbose. The bratwurst still sounds tasty, but not nearly as much as I remember it now. Instead, the entry focused on a Van Gogh exhibit and a student protest. (As a side note – I was traveling on $30 a day – which included money for food, lodging and entertainment in each city. I had my Eurail pass and my two legs which provided all the transportation I needed.) So, here are excerpts from that journal entry…

March 28, 1996 7:10 pm
What a fantastic day. First off, the sun shone all day and there was not a cloud in the sky. That kind of weather definitely perks one up after the rain in Italy. Plus, no scooters. Those have to be the most annoying inventions known to man….I started to walk around the city center when I saw all these signs for a Van Gogh exhibit. Well, I couldn’t find the location on my free map, so I put it out of my head and began to just wander. Well, my wanderings took me to a street that I recognized from the Van Gogh ads. I looked to my left and there it was. I walked down to it, when all of the sudden out of nowhere came a girl with blonde hair, blue eyes and freckles that started to speak to me in German. I shook my head to say I didn’t understand, when she then said in English that she had an extra ticket to the museum and I could have it. I barely was able to thank her, I was struck so speechless. I just watched her turn and go with her mother… I’ll never know this kind benefactor’s name… I went to this Van Gogh exhibit which would have cost me $6 if not for mystery girl…I was just about to go home when I came across some marchers for the second time today. Noticing a hammer and sickle on one of the banners, I thought maybe the idea of communism was making a comeback. I stopped a girl along the way to ask what was up. Apparently it was a student group (thousands strong) who had been on strike from school since the beginning of March on protest over a proposed government bill (named sparpaket) to cut funding for students and salaries for professors. Her name was Andrea and she asked me if I wanted to join the parade. I said sure.

Yes, the bratwurst still survives in my memory the best. Remind me to tell you of the cannoli in Boston sometime…


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