Holy hell, it was a fast night in Vienna. Too many sudden friends met in lonely hostels, too many beers that I or some Australian kid named Denzel must have bought because zee Germans were not coming through on their end of the bar tab, and the ladies from Seattle simply could not be expected to have that kind of zazz. But the night was fun and at the end of it there was no permanent damage. I managed to stumble upstairs and actually fit the key into the keyhole to gain access to my temporary bed. Nevermind that some misfiring neuron in my head was allowed to make the point to drunk Oscar that the laptop would be safer under my pillow than in the locked cabinet the hostel provides.
Nevermind that. My head convinces itself of strange things on that much beer and jager shots. I was lucky to convince myself to take the laptop to bed instead of leaving it in the hallway and not only make it to the top bunk but to not drop anything on the way there.
A side note on general Eastern European cuisine is that you don’t always know what it is or where it comes from if you just walk into random places, which I do. This time it was good goulash, as far as that goes, hearty and meaningful on a night like that when the wind bites into your face like langoliers gone wild and the rain dribbles onto the sidewalk. But what I’m saying is that it could’ve been anything. Anyways, I lapped up what I thought was the meat, but left half of the dumpling thing on the plate along with the sauce that looked like the remains of something that had seen a fitting end. The smoke in the dining hall got the better of me in that Austrian bar though, and I went home and looked up what the hell it was that I had just eaten.
The next day, you pay for the goulash, but at least it’s the next day, and you’re back in Amsterdam – where the pillows smell like home.
_**Vienna, Austria — October, 2007
Wombat Hostel, ,Room 211 cabinet 4**_