Noi6 means "the 6 of us" in Romanian.

We are five, you are the sixth one.

We thank you for joining us in our trip around the world...

Friday, September 7, 2012

Teacups, Operas, and Kinder

I have a friend who frequently gives us all kinds of tips for our trip.

My favorite is this one, about New Zealand:

"Watch out for hobbits!"

Or mothers taking pictures of fire hydrants.

When I asked him about Vienna, this was his answer:

"Vienna... The only person I know who was famous from there was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Did you know his sister was as good as he was (if not better)?"

To be honest, I knew about the same amount of information (as long as you only read the first sentence). On top of that, Dad told me that when he was young his grandfather told him that the budget for the arts in Vienna was higher than the war department's budget.

I think that's very good governing.

And, on top of that, I knew that my second cousin, Victor, and his mother lived in Vienna, and that we'd be living in their house for four nights.

Thank goodness I have my dad who's willing to look up history and places to go and all that. If it was up to me I think I'd get a handle on some German, show up in Vienna without a clue, check into a hostel (maybe I'd actually have a hostel reservation?), and then ask the locals (in bad, broken German), where I can go for a half a day or something.

In the end, it turns out that seeing Vienna in 5 days is quite enough. So maybe it would take me ten, because I'd be doing everything very slowly, and then I'd probably walk around and see the rest of Austria, or bike, or whatever.

That would be quite interesting, actually. But that's not what this is all about.

The first thing we learned about travel in Vienna was that most people miss their stop because they don't know how to open the train doors. Dad told us to feel free to kick, punch, and pummel the doors into opening.

Very nice. But we weren't able to do that. Instead, the doors were opened by one of the other commuters, and we all filed out very quietly with no kicking or punching involved.

We ate Romanian food…

This is German food. But it's a flattering picture of everyone.

Talked in Romanian…

And I, at least, started thinking in Romanian again.

But, on to things of general traveler interest.

There are apparently two things that must be seen in Vienna (I know this because these were the only two places Dad was adamant about me leaving the house for).

The Hofburg Palace.

And the Viennese Opera.

More importantly, in the Hofburg Palace, the silver display and the Sisi museum.

Personally, I think I could have done quite well without the silver display, since all I saw displayed was a gross exhibition of how rich the royal family wanted to appear to be. There were about five forks for each meal, not to mention the various forms of knives, and most of them were made of gold or silver.

What is the point of all of this? Status?

I did like the teacups.

But that was about all that I liked.

Otherwise I was relieved to reach the Sisi museum. We weren't allowed to take pictures, which is a shame because there were some very beautiful hairstyles I would have like to have tried to copy (which is probably a fruitless wish seeing as Empress Elizabeth's hair was from her knees to her ankles, depending on whom you ask. Ileana's hair is just to her shoulders.). And she had some beautiful dresses!

But then, at about the middle of the exhibition, I started getting really annoyed with her. Yes, she had hardship in her life, but apparently all she thought about was herself. And how badly she felt because she'd lost her personal freedom by marrying the emperor.

I got quite sick of it, despite the fact that she had beautiful dresses and hair-dos. Rather, I started feeling quite bad for the poor emperor Franz-Josef, who woke up at 4:30 every morning and worked from before sun-up to after sun-down. And on top of that he loved his family. As opposed to Sisi, who had pictures of poets in her most-used rooms, he had portraits of his entire family near him at all times.

Dad, for some ridiculously crazy reason, is still eager to see more museums.

I don't understand the amount of energy he can bring up for these things. I just don't. I cannot work up the energy to eat if I'm tired, let alone see a billion museums and actually enjoy myself at them.

And yet, Dad has been doing that this entire trip. WHERE IS HIS OFF BUTTON??

Anyway. We went to see L'elisir d'amore. It's an opera about Nemorino who is in love with Adina. Adina doesn't love anyone… she's proposed to by an important military man… and accepts. Nemorino gets a love potion (actually red wine) from a quack doctor… in the end most of them live happily ever after. It's a very fun opera. 

Made funner by dressing up. Note the ubiquitous skirt.
Victor, who'd never been to the opera before, was bouncing around and enjoying himself famously. I think he liked it. At least, he looked as if he liked it.

But then, he enjoys everything. Maybe even homework.

But despite the fact that I'm not being coherent or doing Vienna justice, it was an enjoyable experience. Certainly different, looking at a sign and thinking, "Oh, I know what that says!" And then looking at the translation and finding out that it's something completely different than what you thought it was.

"Kinder," by the way, means "children" in German

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