Day 18 - more of Vienna, or if you don't go to the Philippines...
The morning was sunny and we woke up ready to paint the town red. Well, at least we were eager to go to the places we hadn’t been able to enter the previous day. Joy was quick to get ready and so we left. We stopped by a grocery shop and bought some breakfast. Lorenzo had stayed home so we would have to keep some contact with him so that we knew he would be in when we had to go back. The first place we decided to go was the Freud Museum. We already knew how to get there and now, going there first thing we would not have any problems entering. As we arrived there, about 10 am (yeah, tourists should be up earlier, but I guess I was too tired to try catching the best worms - the average ones were just fine). We would not be able to get in. Why? It was too crowded. One would have to wait some people to leave to enter. The museum is not a huge building or anything. It is the house where he had lived part of his live in Vienna. I found out later there is also a Freud museum in London where he lived the last part of his life after fleeing from the Nazi regime. We left the museum without entering and this failing was a nice way to practically demonstrating what castration or repression was. I was never a big reader of Freud, some essays, one or two complete books, but Joy was very curious about him so I was teaching her about his ideas, I mean, up to the limits my memory helped and as far as I had then managed to know about him. We went to a square nearby and there was a church there. The church inside was nothing special. But on the outside there was something quite peculiar. They were repairing the façade of the church and they used some wood to cover it and the ongoing work. But there is nothing special about covering whatever. The wood would simulate what it was covering so it was a kind of poster reproducing the façade, probably as it would be after the repairs. But that was not everything. A poster as big as the façade of a church would not be a the perfect billboard? Wide, visible. And so it was. But what could be advertised there? Well, it was a church, after all. Why not some coke, which is something every Catholic should be thankful to (I would be ironic here but decided to leave it to you). Well, should the Coke ad be sufficiently unexpected on the eyes of God, there was some other smaller ads. Near the entrance there was one which made us laugh. One of an alcoholic drink (by the way, their website is has a wonderful design - it is more a show) . We laughed and commented the Alcoholic Anonymous was probably in a different parish. Here you can see what I am talking about:
Then, we decided to go back to the museum. Now we were admitted. There were some rooms with pictures, some manuscripts, some letters, some signs explained some biographical facts. We talked about projection, about dreams, about psychoses. It was a very interesting visit and it would have been half the fun it was with Joy and her thousand and one questions. After that, we looked for another museum we could visit. We headed for the Academy of Fine Arts or Akademie der Bildenden Künste where we could see and discuss some art. Here I got in contact with a part of myself I didn’t even know it was there: the fine art critic. I started quizzing Joy about what made one portrait different from the other and who had painted it. We talked about style, color and when we went to the other rooms, the historian in me made his appearance. I would tell her all the biblical stories and Greek mythological situations I could remember (and some details I had to invent to fill some gaps). What could be a boring stroll on the museum was a funny and challenging adventure through history and art. There was a reprimand from a huge security woman because she said Joy was touching the painting, but she wasn’t. It was only her impression, but let’s keep a distance. It was past 3pm and we were starving. Before leaving, one more thing happened. We started looking for a toilet and as I found one, I saw something I hadn’t seen anywhere else in my trips. Only in an art museum they could have made something like that: it was a urinol. But any any type. It was a glassy wall with some sprinkles on eye level. There was a movement sensor so as soon as you passed in front of it, even if it was to enter the booths across from it, the sprinkle would go off and some sprays of water would run down the wall. Tell me if it was not a water waste as I didn’t use it but as I entered and left the booth, the sprinkles went off.
So, we had to think about where to eat. We went to the subway station and it was quite different from others we had been. There were many messages written in German in mirrors, with some counting devices. There was a fame sidewalk, some stars and autographs, but we could not really make out if those famous people had been in Vienna or not (I, for instance, took a picture of one star with the autograph of Claude Debussy. Anyway, we found one McDonald’s in the station and although I am not a big fan of fast food (or I thought I wasn’t till this trip) and we had a combo each. The funny thing I noticed then was that according to the country we were, there would be something different so the homogenizing impulse of globalization permitted some local variations. The fries were different: they were in the format of springs or pigs’ tails. No pics here because I would feel like I was making free advertising. If you want to see it, leave a comment and I send it to you. =) Well, the day could have ended there. No more tourist places. In my notebook I wrote there was an intermezzo and there are no pictures of anything. So, if Joy does remember anything that happened at the end of the afternoon, she will be the one to tell you, my dear readers. I have no idea. The next thing I remember was that we were back to Lorenzo’s place and we were checking emails, writing postcards. Oh, that’s it, we spent some time buying some postcards and magnets of Vienna and I remember we went to a bakery where the walls were pink. Or had it been the day before? Well, it doesn’t matter. It was a nice day. The thing is, as we were checking emails, I remembered one guy who had said he could not host me but was kind to invite me to his party of New Year with his friends. It would be a Latin party, but I ended up doing what my host had planned. But I wrote him a message I was in Vienna and would love to have some coffee with him so that he could get to know me and regret not hosting me (or be sure I was a crazy person and he was safe lol). Lorenzo had left for some reason, we were there using the net and I got a reply from the boy. He was suggesting us to meet later and giving his phone number. It turned out he lived very close to where we were so I wouldn’t have to cross the city to see him. I called him using my Skype and I told him we could meet later at the station. I told Joy what I was going to do. She said she would stay home waiting for Lorenzo. So I got ready and left. I had no expectations. People from couchsurfing tend to be warm and friendly, full of adventures and stories so i was sure we would have a nice time. As I arrived, he was already waiting for me. It was cold indeed and I was eager to go to some place, not to be walking around. His name was Enrique. I asked him where we were going. I hoped he didn’t suggest Café Magistrat because I had been there and I was curious about other bars in the neighborhood. He told me if I minded going to his house. I said it was no problem. Of course, I was a bit suspicious, but the part of me who is curious how weird things can get (it seems never to get enough) won the battle. We were talking in Portuguese, in which he was not so fluent, so I had to be careful to speak quite slowly and avoid using idioms from Brazil. Sometimes, when the conversation got jammed, we would resort to English or some Spanish. But it was not that bad. We talked about life, trips, pictures and films. He was drinking water and I was having a beer. Then since we were talking about movies, we decided to watch one. He told about one he had already watched: Intimacy . It was about the type of link established by the internet. Very convenient as a kind of metacommentary of our meeting. After it was over, I called the guys to see if they had gone out. in fact, they were home and were waiting for me to watch a movie together. I thanked him for the lovely night, took some pictures with him and went very fast back home. We decided on watching Wall-e, both Joy and I had already watched it but the movie belongs to that kind one should always go back to from time to time. We were tired but it was so nice to be there, watching a movie with two strangers who I had learned to respect and admire. Sleeping came fast and all was dark again.