by Yussi Pick

There are a couple of things I realized when I came back from Wooster (1). One is that everywhere in Vienna are clocks. There are public clocks, provided by the city government (2). On every second lamppost there’s a clock. Is anyone still wondering, why Non-Europeans (and A. Schwarzenegger) think we’re a socialist country? Public clocks or barbarism.

But there’s another thing that is so typically viennese that I had to go abroad to find it strange. Imagine a crowded subway/bus/tram. Actually, it’s not even that necessary to be crowded for the scene to happen. There has just has to be a small jam in front of the door. Person A wants to get out. Instead of asking the door blocking Person B to step aside, A stands behind Bs back – it’s best done when B can’t even try to see A. A then looks grumpy for a while because rude B doesn’t notice A. Doors open. Suddenly barks A: STGNSEOS?!?! Which is Viennese for: Do you get out? (Steigen sie aus?). Don’t be mistaken by the questionmark. It’s never a question. It’s an order. It’s an insult. It doesn’t only say: Get out of my way. It says: Get out of my way you stupid, arrogant, knowingly door blocker. Especially sneaky As manage to bark it at the very moment the door closes again, barely making it out, so that B acually feels like s/he did something wrong. It goes without saying that tiny old ladies have a huge advantage hiding themselves behind Bs back. Die Jugend hat eben kein Ideal.


(1) Yes, I realize it’s been nine months – almost as long as I ever was in Woo Town.

(2) Actually the watches were just recently bought by an insurance company, since the city wanted to cancel this great service.