Working in Vienna

Monday - Day One

I owe an eternal debt of gratitude to Bank of Ireland for leaving their Bureau de Change in the airport open on a bank holiday. The problems I had trying to lay my hands on some Schillings during the week meant I was wary of actually being able to change any money at all, betting as I was on the off-chance the bank would open for business.

I owe a smaller, but just as heart-felt, debt of gratitude to the soul who replaced the Burger King with an O'Briens. Mmm, triple-decker...

Whoever heard of 'Tyreolean Airways'? (Christ, these German keyboards are murder. They've moved all the blasted keys around) Affiliated with Aer Lingus, you say? Part of the Austrian Airways Group? That's nice. I was expecting the worst; Aeroflot in Lederhosen. After all, UCD booked all this, and 'College' is renowned for its "thrift". Thankfully I was completely wrong.

The flight was more rollercoaster than relaxing - that's the Alps for you - but that suits me fine. It usually shuts up the nervous overtalkers. If only the two ladies beside me could have taken a breath once in a while. Anne Rice, however, came to my rescue. I didn't want to read all of the Dilbert book, having gotten through most of it sitting at the gate, so I started into Interview with the Vampire. Airport bookshops should be banned. Thay catch you at in a weakened mental state; those times when you know you're going to be bored out of your brain. Result: one Dilbert book and a vampire novel. I've been had.

Interview is totally engrossing. I struck me only when I stopped reading, to be offered *another* glass of wine. I guess those children must have been screaming all the time only barely drowning out the conversations being had along the length of the cabin at the tops of voices. More wine? Ja, danke...

Vienna Airport is very like Dublin. In the sense that it's an event of note to see an aircraft not sporting Aer Lingus (or Tyreoloan Airways) colours. There was one mammoth Aeroflot beast. Are they Lederhosen..?

I've always found it insulting to visit a foreign country and mangle their language. My German should be passable, but I'm suffering a severe bout of verbal misconfidence (see?). If broken German is insulting, mumbled broken German should be criminal. I don't think anyone understood me first time. I tried, and failed, to convince myself it was only my accent.

Having to resort to a phrase book before getting into a TAXI didn't help matters. Quittung. I'll need a Quittung, bitte (for my expenses claim).

Before I leave I need to get back to Denzel. It's a car dealearship stretched over three blocks. The first block the TAXI passed housed the Maserati showrooms (Ooohh) followed in quick succession by Mitsubishi and Daewoo (Ah). Across the narrow street is the Ferrari centre (*faint*) How can anyone, of sound mind and body, sell a 456GT then turn around and flog a Nubira? They're obviously quite mad.


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