Tuesday, October 19, 2004

austria, I rename thee

Austria, let me dip into your history and rename you Curse of Austria. I spent a week in your Alps, respecting your strange high-altitude customs and walking-stick ways, and nothing went right. Every morning came with a dismaying message, a customs issue, a sick/lazyass interpreter, an inacessible laundromat three towns away, a dialect of German so frightening that the rest of the continent dropped it circa 1500, an expert who consulted brochures during his interview, a heavy fog that descended from the clouds just as we reached the helicopter - and worst of all, utterly bloodless interviewees, survivors of an avalanche that took away their homes and families, from whose voices and eyes no emotion ever slipped. How did I emerge alive? Why am I not dead right now, a crushed mush of pulp under a downed helicopter (we went up a couple of days later), a bit of goo in a crinkled Saab, a weeping wounded mess in a Rankweil gasthaus downing Mohren Brau and pissing off the locals (not dead but good as)? How did I survive and escape to sweet civilized smokestacked Stuttgart? Oh full-day rush hour, oh jammed autobahnkreutz, oh Japanese businessmen and efficient business Englishspeak, I missed you, even you I missed, oh yes.


Anonymous said...

Whoda thunk that the land of the VonTrapp family could be so grim?

schmutzie said...

You will be home soon, I swear. I will not be bloodless or incomprehensible or three towns away.

Anonymous said...

Palinode is full of Eurorage. Smite them mightily, mighty Palinode. Bring home their skulls to adorn your Palace and our desks. Skulls would make wondrous ornamentation in this sunless dungeon. Plunder them for broll. Battle ever onward mighty Palinode and let the lamentation of their women ring out to herald your fearsome path.

ps. bring cigars

luvabeans said...

With nice scen'ry comes a price
Workin' in a Von Trapp Paradise
Crumbling Alps and Edelweiss
Workin' in a Von Trapp Paradise ...

... you should just come to chicago more often. we folks might be daft camera whores, but doesn't that make for an enthusiastic bunch of interviewees?

it will all be over soon. would you like some cocoa?

Anonymous said...


Dear Palinode, you need to go home. As for Austria, I believe it's wisest to stick to Vienna and environs.