Thoughts and tales from the saddle - on my own in Europe.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Day 215 - Vienna - Austria

Justine is Australian. I'm talking to her in an Australian pub - I went in there to see what the local places were like (that's a joke, by the way, that I told myself. I know, a shit one). She's in Vienna for five days before going to Prague then back to London to 'get a job'. Jim is American. He's just got out of the navy after six years and is having a break before 'getting a job'. He's in Vienna for two days before going to Prague. Justine fancies Jim. She's been making eyes at him for the last hour and admits as much to me when he goes to the toilet. Jim seems to have noticed but doesn't seem particularly bothered. I don't blame him.

I take them to a small pub I found the night before. It's tiny - maximum capacity of about 20 people - but it's nice, cluttered, good beer, friendly staff. We drink in there for a few hours, talking, laughing. Justine is fascinated by the fact that weed grows at the side of the road in Hungary and Bulgaria and wants us three to hire a car and drive out there. I'm the only one with a driving licence. I agree, as does Jim, but I sense that we both know we won't be meeting Justine at the cathedral at 12 o'clock the next day, as is planned.

At about 2am we head towards a club the barman recommends, down by the canal. Now, before I continue, I am going to add a small explainer here: I don't know why, but it seems that I am always the one people turn to for things - information, plans, making things happen. I do seem to be quite good at it, but I still don't know why relative strangers seem to think I know things, or where to get things. I must give off some sort of knowledgeable aura. You'll see what I mean when you read on.

On the way the way to the club my new Australian friend decides she wants something to stick up her nose. It must have been all the talk of weed. They both look at me. I take them on an impromptu tour of Vienna's underbelly - seedy backstreets populated by men in hooded coats with shifty eyes. I find what she wants quite easily - as I said, I seem to be quite good at it - and we continue on to the club, which has about the same atmosphere as the small streets we've just been ratting around.

The club is packed, dirty, sweaty, smelly, loud, sticky-floored and beer soaked - just my kind of place. I lose Jim and Justine almost immediately - I think I last saw them snogging in a corner - and dance on my own in the heaving mass for a while before deciding it's time to go. I walk out of the club at about 6am and realise I have absolutely no idea where I am. I walk aimlessly away from the canal until I see the big cathedral spire appear above the rooftops and head for it.

I wake at 9.30am and phone reception. Can I have the room for another night, please? Yes. Thank god for that.


  • At 6:11 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Gruss Gott as they say, I thought we were going to hear about the coffee shops, the heisseschokolade mit shlagsahne, the schnapp chasers with the beers........but no... the guy is a dealer, well perhaps non profit making, a socialist dealer?

    auf weiderschaun,


  • At 8:50 am, Blogger Mike said…

    I'm picturing a kind of Challenge Percy reality TV show. 'We dropped Percy Herbert in a European City and given him 24 hours to get random Australian laid'

    I'd watch..


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