Dear Vienna

by arianambrand

So I found myself friendless and alone, and I could have despaired, but I’m not really the despairing type, so I rode the train back into town and visited the Naschmarkt, a giant open-air food market. There’s actually also a flea market there, which is awesome if you want to by antique (aka moldering) fur coats and questionable electronics. I actually considered buying one of those dead ferret wrap things, but I was kind of put off by the claws.

So I walked through the market. Turns out, if you look hopeful, the vendors will give you free food. It was awesome. I basically got lunch there. Free dried fruit here, free falafel there, samples of speck and sausage and caramel.

Literally hundreds of kinds of fruits & vegetables. I saw lychees, dragonfruit, jackfruit, passionfruit, starfruit (called ‘csillaggyümölcs’ in Hungarian…so pretty), even rhubarb! No idea where they’re growing it, but it certainly looked nice.

Fibbonacci cauliflower, perfect for math-themed dinner parties.

The spice racks were nice too, but I don’t trust anybody selling suspiciously cheap powdered saffron.

I crossed the Danube again, too, just to see what it looked like so far upriver. Basically a lot smaller.

Back at the hostel, I met up with a bunch of the computer science kids, who had kind of accidentally bought scamm-y tickets to a concert that night. Having nothing better to do, I followed them across town to see if I could get a ticket last-minute. Well, they cost €50 and I had no cash but a €10 note, so I was leaving the building when the ticket-seller came running after me and let me know that I could have the ticket. And that’s how I got to sit in the third row at a Mozart and Strauss concert in Vienna.

This lady was the best part of the whole thing. Not only did I covet her dress, but she had a lovely big soprano voice and was hamming it up for the tourists. We had a lovely time, even with the dreadful Strauss polkas. Really, in a city that produced so much good music, you would think they would have better taste. (I kid. But really.)

Anyway, it was a successful day for all my getting lost. And I had Owl City stuck in my head the whole time I was there.

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