Sunday, October 29, 2006

Vienna 1

This blog´s gonna be hard to pull off since the keyboard I´m working with ain´t English...or angol as they say in Hungarian.

Backtracking a little, last Friday night, Lan and I were just taking it easy, chilling in Budapest, taking in all the sights we hadn´t seen. Since the beginning, Lan has wanted to get her hair cut while she was here. Every time we passed a salon, she would say, "Oh, we´ll do it later. No big deal." Well, the more we saw places, the more I wanted to get mine cut too. She went so far as to get a picture out of a magazine in order to make it easier for the stylist to understand, just in case there was a language barrier.

So as we´re strolling leisurely down Raday Street, a famous little nook with bombin´ restaurants and cute little shops, we drop in on a salon. We have no idea whether you have to make an appointment, so we just sit around until someone approaches us. Surprise...they knew we were American and the girl who spoke English finally came over to ask if she could help us. Lan was nervous about getting up to bat without the pic, so I volunteered to go ahead. And the woman totally understood. She had great English, and I had no problem trusting her. And it turned out okay. All the nasty, dead ends I was tired of seeing are now gone and my hair´s a little shorter. Lan has an appointment with the lady next week.

Saturday night Lan´s friend Jackie arrived at our hotel, and she was so excited to see her best friend. It was so neat that the two of us have gotten to spend time in Europe with our best friends our last two weekends. We all got settled in and packed for Vienna, which we arrived in today.

But not before drama...we had purchased a pack of subway tickets and were on our way to the train station via the metro. We had to change lines, and Lan had read that one ticket was good for 30 minutes even if there´s a transfer. So we didn´t think much of it. When we get off at the train station, there are "controllers" there checking tickets. It´s not like in the US where there´s a physical barrier to get to the metro. They just let you go and fine you if they catch you. Luck of the draw, I guess you could say. So we´re coming up the escalator, hand a guy our tickets, and he pulls us aside. The guy pretends he´s speaking English as he explains that these are no good for the transfer, and sure enough, it´s written on the back of the ticket. Great. I tried to explain to him that we thought they WERE good for transfer, and I´m pretty sure he either didn´t understand what I was saying or didn´t care. I´m probably gonna go with the latter. So homeboy fined us each about 12 dollars. I was livid. And we´re not even convinced he didn´t keep it. Ugh. But we finally got on our train.

Where I had to sit by a European that either doesn´t own deodorant or doesn´t find it necessary to shower every day. It kills me. I will never understand. I cannot believe that people enjoy that smell or don´t notice it. No way that´s possible.

But we made it to Vienna. As usual in a new city (just like in Prague), we have a hard time making it to our lodging. We had directions from the place from an email, and I tried my best to follow them as I knew how. And basically we´re about 8 miles and 30 minutes away from all that is Vienna. BUT we are on top of this hill beside a castle of a hotel with a beautiful view of the city. This is Lan´s and my second hostel experience, and it´s worked out okay. Our main requirements were no mixed quarters, shower and toilet en suite, and decent price. We got all that here.

We´ve done limited traipsing around the city center. This place is beautiful. St. Stephen´s Cathedral stopped us dead in our tracks. It´s amazing at night; we can´t wait to see it tomorrow. More to come...


Anonymous said...

Looks like you had another busy weekend.I never dreamed you would get to see so much.I didn't see Fri.&Sat. blogs until tonight.I've been texting you but I don't think you're getting them.I so glad we atleast have this to hear from you.Ready for you to be back in TN tho.Love you & miss you

Anonymous said...

So I can't wait for you to come visit Memphis and show me all of your pictures, along with the stories behind them of course. I am so glad you are finally coming back...heck, without you there are only about 3 other people that call me consistently. Hurry home and be careful!