I have been here before, just this past May to be exactly.
The city of Wien always has fascinated me with its combination of old world charm, areas of modernization and a bit of arrogance. Think of Paris – only without the French. There is a certain underlying belief that everything here is just a little bit better. That if you are not Austrian, specifically Viennese, you just don’t understand.
Unlike other major cities, there is a friendliness and willingness to help others. Asking for directions actually gets you useful information. If your German is Deutsch rather than Austrian, that is taken into account and there is no one looking down their nose at you. You can sit for hours in a cafe without the waitstaff impatiently trying to run you off.
You can even be late for a reservation at a busy restuarant and they will try to accommodate you.
What am I doing here? George had some meetings today and a board meeting tomorrow. The marginal cost of my joining him was the airfare since hotel, local transportation and even some meals are covered. I do enjoying learning about some of the new technology in the pipeline and there is the occasional fascinating person. My normal role as *doubting Thomas* serves to occasionally inject some reality and common sense into the flights of fancy indulged in by the creator of the new and different.
I promise to get a video of the bubble bear and send it on as soon as I am back in Heidelberg. He seemed to strike a cord in all of us who have lived in that particular neighborhood at some point in our lives.