I AM NOT DEAD I AM IN VIENNA. More to come when I get the internets in my dormitorium.
Two Hours Later Edit:
To reiterate: I AM NOT DEAD I AM IN VIENNA. I AM IN VIENNA. I AM IN VIENNA. These are the things you forget when ansteigening and aufsteigening on the Strassen-Bahns and the U-bahns and pretty much every Bahn you could ever dream of. We got in on Thursday night, after a long, lovely bus ride where we bid farewell to Dear Old Schwaebs, took a plane from Stuttgart, were thrown in a cab and deposited in our respective dormitories all over this glorious city of ours. And now it's Tuesday. I mean daaaamn.
On Thursday, I threw my ungodly rolling luggage (Dear Ariel Weaver: if you are reading this, many thanks for the use of that big blue beauty of a suitcase) into my room, left a note for my anonymous roommate, and flew through the streets to a strange venue in some random sector, because, babies, I had to get my indie on, and I'm not sorry because it was awesome. Showed up halfway through Frog Eyes' set - after seeing the first half of a Frog Eyes show in Chicago, I can successfully say I've seen an entire set - ran outside for a Doener during Six Organs of Admittance (though the chick in the band is admittedly intensely hot, my ears couldn't take it), had unnecessary front row viewage for Dirty Projectors (too many notes! but still pretty sweet), scooted upstairs for Deerhoof and Final Fantasy. My new mission in life: join Deerhoof. The poor drummer spoke some ass-backwards German and the Viennese just lapped it up - meanwhile I was asking every passerby for a light, AUF DEUTSCH, because I wrongly assumed the entire crowd would be Europeans. Not so. This merits a new paragraph:
The Anecdote of the Indie Grandma commences like this. I'm hungry, got a new shirt tucked in my purse, so I buy a Doener outside, and while my dinner is being prepared, some 70-odd year old woman in a white sweater and trademark old lady glasses asks me, in perfect American English, "What is that?" So I explain. "It's chicken?" she says. "Where does it say chicken?" "Huehner means chicken," I say. And then I sit and have myself a Doener and ponder - is this lady lost? Clearly this is an event for 20-somethings with asymmetrical haircuts and clothes bought in the wrong size on purpose. Not only that, but you can't be in a German-speaking country for 10 seconds without encountering a Doener - like going to the U.S. and asking what a McDonald's is. Also, shouldn't she be in Florida? Retired? So I go back inside, and who do I see but Indie Grandma, sitting in the midst of a crowd of chain-smoking indie kids, with a cigarette in her hand herself. If anyone can explain this, I'll give you a shiny 2 Euro coin, which is worth about 15 American cents given the exchange rate.
Another night, following a dinner of sushi and broken German interactions with Asian waitresses, Robinson, Annie, and I took to the streets for a night wander, where we discovered that Vienna, like the name itself, is IMPERIAL itself. Look up "imperial" and there is Vienna. Every corner there's something huge and ornate - Germany was all about castles, but Austria is all about palaces - and we spent a good hour just sitting on an oversized statue of some Kaiser or another, looking at this big old palace and hoping to see some ghosts. We didn't. And apparently it's just me, but all these buildings look like cakes, with the exception of the Rathaus that looks like it should be full of bats and shadowy figures and maybe a wayfaring mummy, so every time I pass a church or the hyper-secured American Embassy up the road, I just want to slice that building up and eat a piece.
And though this entry is already bordering on "Rachel please shut up" (ala DOING THE COCKROACH MEREDYTH I'M LOOKING AT YOU), I have to announce that I am SO AMPED about my internship, which, from what I gathered from my visit today, involves me sitting at a small table and speaking English with TINY VIENNESE CHILDREN. The enormously tall Principal of the school took me through the classrooms, and a sea of little faces just stared at me, and a few brave ones actually waved. It's going to be awesome.
The whole group went out to dinner and racked up a 600 Euro tab, which is pretty impressive, but not as impressive as the mere existence of a 500 Euro bill, which is green and which I doubt I'll ever see again. We visited the zoo and a giraffe got all up in my grill. I've already begun my Third Man tour of the entire city, because THE Harry Lime doorway is all of ten minutes from where I'm sitting right this second, and because the main cemetery is always good for a quiet wander.
I mean, all in all, this is pretty legit. I'm broke, I'm tired, I'm happy.