Thursday, January 1, 2009

Breathless in Vienna

I landed in Vienna with a bad case of the Lufthansa flu, probably contracted from one of the twenty or so people that bumped into me as I tried to sleep on the nine hour flight from Houston to Frankfurt. The seats were also tiny. In Frankfurt we changed planes and caught an Austrian Air flight into Vienna. The Hotel Herzherzog Rainer was beautiful. We checked in on Christmas Eve and tried to enjoy the mostly closed Christmas Market before meeting up with our oldest daughter, The Professor, who is taking a break from her studies to teach English in nearby Baden. She led me, my wife, and Indiana Jane into the subway and then the train station. Twenty minutes later she was showing off her culinary skills in her tiny basement apartment, and had just enough time to wow us before we headed back to Vienna and a few hours of blessed slumber.

We could have slept in, as it turns out. Vienna was mostly asleep on Christmas day, the cold I caught on the Lufthansa flight had strengthened to the point that I couldn't smell or taste anything, and all of the pharmacies in Vienna were closed. Oh, Vienna, you cold, heartless thing! Do the Viennese not get sick on holidays? And where was your Christmas cheer? I tried to speak your language through my painfully clogged sinus passages, but so many of you chose to be rude. A few of the souvenir shops were open and there were people milling about, so the day was not a total loss.

Tomorrow, Paris.

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