Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Day 56 - From Salzburg to Vienna - 25th Jan 2008

I got woken up early again by the 2 jap chicks who though waking up at 6:30 would be a great idea. So they got up and decided to turn the lights on and I was like Muthafucka!!!! ARRGH. Anyhoo so I didn't get up till about 8:30, had breaky, finished packing, checked out and some quality internet time. I also realised it was raining and I groaned at the prospect of lugging my shit across cobblestones in the rain. I guess this is when backpacks come in handy.

Luckily once I got to the train station the rain had stopped and it wasn't as arduous as expected, however getting a seat on the train was somewhat more difficult. I entered on the wrong carriage and had to lug my shit through the reserved cabins before finally finding a free seat opposite an old lesbian lady and across from two German skanks, one of which shouldn't be allowed near any more make up but still managed to keep applying it throughout the journey whilst being on the mobile the entire time.

The train trip was nice again, saw a bit of snow here and there, lovely little villages. Makes one all warm and fuzzy until you realise you won't ever fit in the village since a. you don't speak german and b. you're asian.

In the 5min from Vienna West Station to Wombats Hostel I already had the feeling that I was going to really like this city. I had the same feeling in New York. There were heaps of supermarkets, food stores, a Miele shop ...hehehe Miele. I also discovered that Wombats also had a kitchen. I haven't seen a kitchen in about a month and I went nuts. I hit the nearest supermarket, bought some pork, pasta sauce and pasta and went cooking and had a very late lunch at 4pm, but boy was it satisfying. I also had a good chuckle been put in the "Pink Wing"...sigh...ghei4life!!!

I went for a night stroll down Mariahilferstrasse to the inner ring (aahahah, sounds dirty doesn't it but I promise I didn't make it up). Mariahilfer is my nightmare, it is one of the main shopping streets and I got distracted on every block. I went to the sports department to check out ice skates and they also had hockey equipment and ski and snowboard equipment. I was like dude I want this entire store.

Anyways, I make it to the MuseumQuarter which is like this district full of arty people and art and media students (like me) and newish museums and exhibits etc. I guess like Newtown but with class, structure and much better architecture? It rates extremely highly on my coolness factor, but again I was distracted by the gift shop. Have I become a compulsive window shopper or just developed a weakness for kitschy pieces of modern art?

Through the MuseumQuarter I duck into the Hofburg which is a collection of buildings and parks forming the centre of imperial governance and residence and although it was dark it was still freaking huge and awesome and a testament to imperial excess.

Having heard that the Vienna State Opera was one of the best in the world (and yes I do like a bit of Opera now and again) and hearing also that they had cheap standing tickets, I though what better way to enter Vienna than with a night at the Opera. Except finding the opera house took several wrong turns, roads which I couldn't find on my map, a stop at the tourist information office and then the realisation that it was in front of me the entire time.

It was 6:40pm and the performance was at 7pm. I rushed to the standing ticket booth and asked for 1...2 euros please...WtF??????? 2 euros to see the best opera in the world? Is this real? I didn't even look at the ticket I just threw my 2 euros at him and ran. Because I was late I couldn't nab a good spot and instead got stuck right at the top on the left hand side and only managed to see about half the stage. But like who cares, it was 2 euros. The performance I finally found out was Manon, I wasn't familiar but the coolest things this theatre had was small screens attached the railings which had the subtitles in both german and english, awesome.

Manon was one of those tragic love story operas were boy meets girl, they fall in love, get separated, find each other again and then bad things happen. Quite universal really. But the main male lead was just phenomenal and every time he finished a solo, the applause would go on for at least 2-3min and he would just have to stand there. His voice was seriously smooth, had power but full of emotion and unlike a lot of opera singers, he had some pretty awesome acting chops too. Nevertheless it was obvious that the entire female population (and some male) of the audience fell head over heels for him, I know I did.

It was a bit soap operaish and not knowing what to expect I told myself that I could leave at intermission if it got a bit boring or I was too tired. But I found myself really drawn into it the longer it played out and soon I was giving it my own commentary. Cursing the stupid girl and the bad men wooing her and feeling sorry for the guy and his anguish...yeah I'm a sap, sue me.

In the first hour I had a group of dipshit hongkies in front of me, one whose mobile ran mid soprano solo and he just froze, he didn't move or turn it off or walk out the door, and it ran FOUR times, with one of those incessantly annoying and loud repetitive ringtones. He was holding the phone between his hands and thighs probably hoping that it would turn itself off, or he could muffle the sound or for him just to disappear into the ground. But EVERYONE just looked at him and collectively wanted to headbutt him. Seriously I was so close to throwing him out of the door, but he finally moved outside after the 4th ring. The rest of the hongkies couldn't stand, cause obviously standing was too hard for them, Some chick dropped her camera on the ground really loudly (and theatres echo man, you can hear shit from the stage easily). Thank god they left the act before intermission. I was about to move away out of sheer embarrassment.

So the opera finished, and now I'm in love with another opera and the leading man...happens a lot really. I know I'm so going to die old and alone half eaten by alsations, I'm heading towards the solitary female lifestyle expect for the fact that I hate cats.

I walked back to the hostel, took a shower and hit the sack, all mind you without turning on the main light, because I'm highly considerate of my roomates. But then by 12am, some chick in the bunk above me gets in, turns the main light on and proceeds to pack her suitcase for about half an hour, I'm like wTF???? 3 people are sleeping have you no brain at all? I was so close to telling her off.

1 comment:

John said...

All I can say is, thank fuck for free accommodation when I got Europe in March.