Day #131: Lazerhawke – “So Far Away”
I love traveling. I think it’s in our blood in our family. Gramma would take us on lengthy drives in the summers to the Midwest when we were kids. And once my brother and I were old enough, we got passports and started traveling overseas with Tom. I think that if I had the means and the freedom, I would probably spend most of my life wandering the globe, which reminds me of something a guy once said to me at a party, that I seemed to be more comfortable just being a spectator. Indeed.
I’ve been going through the tons of photos Tom and I took during our trip to Vienna last month, though I’m not yet quite sure how to post them, as I prefer to eliminate the practice of writing such ridiculously dense blogs that take weeks to finish. The trip kind of happened on a whim. Tom had plans for one of those guided tours around India this spring, and I had intentions of going, too. It’s a more ideal time for me to travel because these annual meetings at work tend to make most summer travel prohibitive. And, Tom always goes to a number of great places every year. Matt got to join him for most; I’ve missed out on quite a lot. With the possibility of work creating a scheduling conflict again this year, thus keeping me from going on the India trip, I begged Tom to postpone so I could still go somewhere with them, too (in that typical, baby-of-the-family tag-along fashion). Tom kind of said, OK, but asked what the alternative destination should be.
Where do you want to go? That is the kind of question that momentarily makes traveling anywhere possible till the realities of time and expense kick in. We rattled off some possibilities, and then our eyes strayed to Europe. Maybe we could go back to Rome. Or Athens. Or maybe we would finally see Germany. I suggested Austria. There were ads on the metro last summer and the stock photos somewhat resembled Amsterdam, another gorgeous city (although one unfortunately overshadowed by American’s fondness for its “coffee shops” and other rare permissions). It was sort of a mindless suggestion, like the way advertising puts certain inexplicable notions in your head; I just wanted to go, I didn’t really know why. Tom did a quick estimate of what it would cost to go and stay in Vienna, and we looked at lists of things to see out there. It became a viable contender and so for now, the trip to India would be put on hold. We were going to Vienna!
I hesitate to call it the Best Trip Ever, only because my brother wasn’t able to go at last minute. But, I really loved Vienna. A lot! It was like glimpsing a better way of life. Where the Dream hadn’t yet been squandered. Mind you, we were viewing everything through the lens of a tourist, but Austria’s capital city seems prosperous enough. It’s breathable. It’s not so overcrowded. There’s no fear of being trampled at any moment the way you might when trying to share a sidewalk with hoards of people in a place like New York City. The food was wonderful and wonderfully inexpensive. The weather was ideal. And the Viennese were so polite, I couldn’t imagine returning to the obnoxious slobs I frequently encounter back home. In fact, there seemed to be this strange, understood sense of civility and order in Vienna. Tom remarked how patiently people waited at the crosswalks for the signals to change, even when it was apparent that there was no oncoming traffic. And, the subway fares were collected on the honor system.
Vienna isn’t a place that Americans flock to as often as other parts of Western Europe, and because the dominate language is German, Tom and I remained pleasantly isolated. It was, for several days, our little slice of Heaven.
More words and pictures to follow soon.
Leaving the Naschmkrt at sunset.