quarta-feira, 2 de novembro de 2011

Travel log - Europe - Day 19

Vienna farewell

So, it was our last day in Vienna. I wanted to take advantage of every minute I still had there and I decided we should wake up early in order to see more places. We left the house, went to the bakery to buy some cookies and some milk with chocolate that we had while we walked towards the center.
Joy wanted to see the famous watch. I had already seen one in Prague, so I was happy about watches. As I knew it was not a Big Ben, I just went for it because she had been so nice to go to the places I had suggested the day before. We got a little lost and ended up walking by an avenue with a lot of fancy stores. We asked for some information and managed to get to the cathedral. The clock, however, was never there. We did follow the directions but never reached it. We decided to walk to a museum, and Joy saw on a guide we were close to the Mozart House. On our way, we saw a stall and as I was a bit hungry, we stopped to have a snack. Lorenzo had mentioned the day before that there were some sausages with cheese inside and they were a kind of food symbol of Vienna. So, I had to eat one before leaving.

We got to the Mozart House. We were not allowed to take pictures inside, but the audioguide was included in the ticket. After so many museums, it was the first time I was going to use one. Let me tell you it was very nice to go from picture to picture with that cellphone and listening to the stories of people who were part of Mozart’s life and how the decor of that house had been reconstituted. The funny thing is, with the guide, you spend much more time than you would in the museum, and you interact much less than you should, talking about the works and the details. When we left there, it was more than one o’clock, all the morning had gone by and we had visited only the cathedral and one museum. Another thing which had been decided was that at night we were going to watch a concert or an opera. I had had the chance to go to classical music concerts in Prague and in Vienna but I had not felt so interested (maybe it was because I hadn’t felt like going on my own).

So we headed for the place to buy some tickets for the opera at night. I told her there was a station called Volkstheater and that this should be the place where we could buy the tickets. So we went there and it was a beautiful building near the center of the city. Nevertheless, as soon as we tried to buy some tickets for the opera, we learned from the attendant that we should go to Volksopera, on the other side of town, because we wanted to watch an OPERA. It made some sense and I had seen in small print there was an Opera House near a subway station. So we got the subway again and there we went to the opera house.
With the tickets in hand, we decided we should split and Joy would meet a guy from Couchsurfing who would give her a ride from Vienna to Budapest, her next destination. I had no plans or places to go, so I decided I would try to visit Katrin, the girl who would have been my host there and could not receive me. I took the subway and went to a neighborhood I had not been, Pilgramgrasse. I walked around and tried to call her. Again, problems with public phones. Would I leave Europe without being able to use a public phone properly? No way I could talk to her. Having her address, I decided to do something very impolite and unlike me: I would just drop by and say hello. I went to her building, rang the bell and nothing. Again, nothing. So I gave up. (Afterwards I wrote her an email telling her of my visit and she would tell me she was there, having a nap and it would be lovely to have me visiting) She lost the gift I had taken her and I lost the chance of meeting a nice person (she had helped me with the preparations of the trip).
With no other place to go, the cold afternoon made me want to go home and I went to Lorenzo’s and it would be a guess, for he could be there or not, I was not sure. With my luck of the afternoon, I took the subway and I tried. He was out. Again, nowhere to go and I would still have 2 hours before the meeting time for us to watch the opera. So I decided to go to the train station, just to see where it was and simulate what I would have to do the next morning, very very early.
Before going there, I decided to take the subway, get off in any strange station and walk around. I entered streets, shops, walked without a destination. A flâneur. It was interesting. I had a lot to think about and then that was the chance to look back on what had been happening in this crazy trip of mine. Far from friends, from home, from everything I cared about. Except from myself. When I could not handle it anymore, I went to the station. It was no secret getting there. However, I noticed the escalators were not working as they were making some repairs there and I would have to calculate some minutes more to carry the heavy suitcase all the way up. I bought some postcards and magnets in a shop. They were cheaper than at the stalls downtown.
It was already dark as we met at the station. Joy was pissed because the guy she had gone to meet was a dork. He had tried to hit on her and even open minded people like us felt a bit embarrassed by what he had said. I told her about how my afternoon had been boring and we went for the show. By the way, when we had got there in order to buy the tickets, the woman had informed us we would have different pricing according to where we chose to sit. There were some seats for 50 euros and there was a ticket, I guess it was about 2 euros and the person would have to keep standing behind the seat rows. We bought this one because Joy was one of my kind: let’s grab all the discounts we can. At the end, we stood there till 5 minutes before the show started and the lady who was organizing the seats told us we could sit on the chairs of the last row, as they would remain empty. If we had paid 19 euros, instead of 2, for the seats in the last row I would have been very angry. But thanks to our wit we paid almost nothing and we had all the comfort. The opera was in German, but the story was known, Hansel and Gretel.
We had a nice time, there was a break and we could check out the people in the audience. It was fun.

As we left the opera, we went straight to Lorenzo’s because we were cold and tired. Guess what? He was not there. But Joy sent him a text message and he told us he would arive home, in what, 40 minutes or so? It was time to go to Magistrat again and have some more food and drinks while we waited for him. I guess then we were already considered part of the club as we had been there the day before. The mafia atmosphere had disappeared or we had already got used to it. As we were finishing our snacks Lorenzo arrived and we went upstairs for the warmth of his place and to some deserved rest. I would be leaving pretty early in the morning, as my train was to depart at 7h30 or something. Joy would leave after lunch and she was taking the train as the ride with the freak was no longer an option. So we sat on the bed I was sleeping on and Lorenzo asked us about what we would take of Vienna, as impressions and all. We kept talking and although we had not drunk anything, I remember only some fragments of what we talked about. I remember we talked about so many things like threesomes, and gayness and I gave them a gift I had brought from Brazil. The sad thing is that when we bought the gifts before going, we had no idea who we were meeting. Joy for example was a total surprise and one of the best ones of the trip. We talked for hours, until about 2 am. We had some fun at the computer, as Lorenzo showed us a funny website called Chatroullette. It consists of a webcam chat in which the site connects you to random users in the world. Mostly there are people (men) in few clothes and low lights, but I remember we three laughed out loud as we tried to have a chat and people would disconnect on us and then we had to start again (or we would do that).
It was a bit before 3am when we turned off the lights and I knew very soon the alarm would go off and Vienna would be gone, but the memories... oh sweet memories would linger

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