Vienna’s hottest spots!

September 16, 2019 § 13 Comments

I got home from Vienna and realized I hadn’t done a proper reporting of all the greatest and bestest places in Austria’s capital. So here it is!

This is a shot of the street around the corner from the free-range insane asylum. You can get all your business done on this street, including getting your bike tire caught in the tram tracks and falling down hard. You should definitely visit this street when you are in Vienna instead of the Klimt exhibit at the Belvedere because the Klimt exhibit costs €20 and the exhibit of this street doesn’t cost anything.

Next is a typical Austrian bus stop. You can stand here and will notice that when the time on your watch lines up with the time on the little schedule posted to the bus stop, the bus magically appears. It’s as if the buses run according to the posted times. LA residents will not understand.

If you need a selection of scrub brushes and rubber sandals and a soccer ball while you are waiting for the bus (you do, duh) this little shop is a winner. The owner will come out and remind you that his shop is DIFFERENT from the one next to his, which sells all the same stuff at exactly the same price.

Next there is a Schlüsseldienst, which means “Key Shop.” It is situated next to a tailor who has displayed some of their modern equipment in the shop window. You will notice in Viennese shops that they sell and display things that no one wants or that you can by at 1/5 the price on Amazon. How do they stay in business? Are they money laundering fronts? Do I want my pants shortened by a 100-year-old sewing machine? And what’s with the rocks?

Next is the Pizzeria al Cuattro, which means “Pizza that will quadruple your farts.” I tried the lasagna instead, which only doubled them. The owner was super proud when he served up my food in a tin. “It takes longer here but I make everything fresh.” I’m not sure it would have mattered as I’d not had a hot meal in days and even though the thing tasted like a block of salt I inhaled it.

After you got done with the Turkish pizzeria you could, which I did, eat at the Turkish kebab place the next day, which was located next to the pretzelry that I didn’t go into because it was dark and swirling with cigarette smoke. The Turkish döner kebab is basically a lamb burrito, following the international rule that if you wrap up a bunch of meat in a tortilla and stuff it with vegetables it will taste good.

This is actually a fake photo because it was taken in Innsbruck, not Vienna.

When you are on a trip you are going to have fingernail issues. This will test whether or not you had the foresight to bring clippers; I never do. My fourth fingernail on my right hand always splits in half and I usually pare it with a knife but it was so far down I was afraid of slicing open my finger again so I had to go to the BIPA drugstore, where I learned the German word for “nail clippers.” You can go there to learn the German words for “shampoo,” “conditioner,” “eye liner,” “deodorant,” “hygiene products,” and most importantly, “I don’t need a receipt, thanks.”

The Billa is the supermarket. Supermarket tourism is the best. Everyone is natural, i.e. angry, and you can observe the native Austrian in its native habitat, browsing among sausages, cheeses, breads, coffees, and wallowing in chocolate. Do not disturb or feed the native animals as they will bite.

I never went into one of these and was so afraid of it that I took the photo on zoom from across the street.

When you get a hankering for some blood sausage or chunks of raw meat dripping with juicy blood, this little butcher joint will take care of you.

Next is a goldsmith which is a jeweler. Move along, folks.

Next is a chain bakery called Ströck. Isn’t it cute how the two little ears of wheat make the umlaut over the “o”? No foolin’ this place is really tasty. I didn’t eat any of the pastries because diet, but just sitting there quaffing cappuccino and watching people snorfle up the pastries was awesome. What’s cool about Austrian coffee shops is that they have very little variety in coffee. You can’t order a soy double green glittery chai frap anything, for example, but they have an array of foods that actually taste good.

This was my local park, designed for pigeons, loitering, drunks, wandering residents of the free-range asylum, smoking, and singing (closely related to the drunks function). When you have a lot of public places with loitering devices installed, people use them. No one in Austria is in much of a hurry, probably because as soon as they start dashing somewhere they see a loitering station and a cigarette vending machine and bam! They sit there the rest of the afternoon. I know I did.

These little sugar cookie butter blatters will fugg you up.

This is Wien Mitte, a giant mall that is tiny, miniature, dwarf-like by US standards. Plus you walk or bike there so you don’t even get to arrive furious and stressed from the parking garage battle. Plus it is beautifully designed. Plus there is food and coffee and ice cream everywhere. Screw the treasures of the royal family in the national museum … here’s where the real jewels are.

Okay, Joseph Brot. Like, nothing to say about this place except that if you hit Vienna and you don’t drink coffee/eat breakfast/buy a loaf of rye bread here, you are a complete loser. Seriously. The sugar packets say (for white) “Like salt, only lots sweeter,” and for brown sugar, “Like pepper, only completely different.” That should win you over right there.

Here is the Stubentor train platform. You will end up here or somewhere like it when you miss your stop to Wien Mitte and then have to take the train back. The people in this picture may or not be there.

You will be touring around on Sunday and notice that nothing is open except bars and restaurants but you will need a toilet paper or something even more crucial to survival like chocolate. In all of Vienna there is only one place open on Sunday where you can get these necessities, the SPAR convenience store at Wien Mitte. It will be jam packed and insane but you won’t care because chocolate.

Some people actually critique ice cream/gelato. Sad for them. I don’t judge, I just eat.

I would like to write a paean to sausage but can’t. It is real fuggin’ good. Just order some. Best tourist thing about Austria is the sausage. Those round bread loaves at the bottom are about 18″ across, by the way. Some people come home from Vienna and say bullshit like “What a marvelous city!” and “I love Vienna!” and “The Lippizaner stallions!” but I just say, “Sausage.” R. Efthimos will understand.

I recommend Vienna to all my smoking friends. You will have lots of company!! Smoking in Vienna is the national sport and you can see it from the Euro excess that oozes out of everyone’s face. People here start smoking young, hard, and continuously. I love seeing a pretty girl sucking down a drag on a cigarette and then spitting out a puff of noxious smoke. #yousexythang #hawt #showmeyourlungxrays

I didn’t go in here because I had already gone into another chocolate shop and spent my entire trip allowance the first day. No matter where you go in Vienna, you’ll be assailed by chocolate. Could be worse.

This takes you to the airport for €12.

Finally you’ll be ready for home and a haircut and some eyebrow trimming. I hope you have enjoyed the trip!


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What’s in a room?

September 15, 2019 § 6 Comments

When I travel I use I’m sure it’s a horrible corporate monster, but you can’t beat the ease of comparing cheap prices for cheap hotels in cheap destinations for cheap travelers.

One of the things I don’t like though is the way it always asks me to rate the place I stayed. Why should I? It takes time and effort and only helps them. If it’s a great place, my positive rating ensures that other people will snap it up and the prices will rise. If it’s a crappy place, why should I add to the cost of getting ripped off the time and energy to tell everyone else I’ve been had?

But they are relentless …

So here’s my rating of Sommerhotel Don Bosco. It cost me 760 for 16 nights, which is about $52/night.

My write-up is a bit more detailed than the typical review and certainly won’t be shared with This first image shows what is perhaps the room’s most crucial attribute: An empty wrapper of chocolate. This is what I ate in bed every night. I don’t know what this has to do with the hotel, but it is real fuckin’ decadent. Try it sometime and you will see. 1.99 for 70% bitter dark chocolate that is worth murdering someone for.

Next is the shelf above the desk. I include this to show what you need in order to live, in order of importance: Freud’s Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis, The Riverside Chaucer, 100% rye sourdough by Joseph Brot (5.90/loaf), cream capsules for instant coffee, a jar of homemade preserves made by my buddy Damir, a jar of mustard, a jar of raspberry jam, butter, and instant coffee. If you need more than that, you need to lower your standards.

Next is the electric water pot. Cost me 16, highway robbery until you consider that a large cup of cappuccino runs 3.50, and basically all you do in Vienna is drink coffee and stare out the window all day anyway. Worth every penny.

Next is a cross. Every room should have this or a Gideon’s Bible to remind you that there is a dog, and he ain’t hangin’ out on no damn cross in no damn church, so neither should you.

Next is the soap dispenser in the shower. This is a combo shampoo, rinse, body soap, and sewage pipe de-clogger. It smells pretty strong and takes off your skin pretty good, too. Plus side: it comes with the room and doesn’t cost extra. Minus side: You run out of skin pretty quick.

Next is the shampoo/conditioner I bought for about 6. Although it is an outrageous expense, I made up for it by not eating the hotel breakfast, which cost 7 each morning, x 16=112. Also it is fun to shop in the EuroSpar supermarket and try to decipher whether you’re getting shampoo, milk, or dog biscuits. A lot of the verbiage is the same.

Next is the sink, which you use a lot. This one is capacious and the water is hot. They didn’t provide bar soap, so I got some at the Spar for 1.79, but they did provide a hand soap that worked well for cleaning the mud off my shoes.

Next is the toilet, a way important feature of life in general. This one was well stocked with toilet tissue. I’m a TP minimalist so never got through my first roll, which was two-ply and well constructed to prevent the dreaded finger poke-through. They didn’t have a separate can for sanitary napkins, just little barf bags hanging on the radiator. Thankfully I’ve already gone through manopause so never used them. The toilet flushed like an outrushing tsunami, which was good for removing floaters. It also has a massive flush panel that you can stab in the night when you’re too lazy to turn on the light. There were two towels and a floor mat and they were adequate. The hand towel was good for cleaning my boots.

Next are these two hot/control knobs. I don’t know what they were for.

Next was the closet, which was massive. It had two sides, and I never came close to even filling up one. It was kind of lonely to look at and made me want to go shopping just to fill it up.

Next was a little shelf area, where I kept the coffee cup (2.99 at Spar), the sunscreen I never used, and my shaving kit. The ledge in the bathroom was sloped so that everything fell off. At first this pissed me off but then I realized that it was just encouragement to have less shit. So I tossed my eyebrow pluckers, nostril shaver, facial pack, hair mousse, nail polish remover, foundation, teeth whitener, and denture cleaning cup. See? There are few problems you can’t fix by simply throwing shit away.

Next was this little storage shelf under the bed. More reasons to shop.

Next was my pillow. Pillows are a big deal when you lie around all day, and this one was made for lying around. Big, fluffy, comfy, it could be molded into lots of different shapes and fit snugly under my head for nighttime reading, daytime reading, and 24-hour random napping.

Next were the sheets. They were soft and cottony, like the pillow, but the staff wasn’t big on changing them. In fact, they never got changed. I know because the chocolate skidmarks from day to day accumulated. There are worse things than sleeping on a bed of chocolate.

Next was the blanket. It looked meek but it was warm AF. It could unfold into a big ol’ blanket or stay folded up like a hot pack. I slept with the windows open not only because of Ol’ Bill’s serenading, but also because this blanket kept me toasty.

Next was this corner space area. You could stick all kinds of junk there, but I only had one or two kinds of junk so there was much space left over.

Next was a pretty righteous view out the window in both directions. People were on the street at all hours of the day, especially Ol’ Bill. In fact I saw him yesterday and learned the he is actually Ms. Ol’ Bill. You can’t beat a hotel where your get to hear people holler, argue, laugh, where kids are crying, TV’s squawking, music is playing, and people are dragging carts and suitcases over cobblestones so that it sounds like they are milling granite with a hammer. Plus it is across the street from a kindergarten and a free-range insane asylum.

Next is the door lock. Nothing automatic here, folks. You forget to lock it going in or coming out, and it’s gonna be open. I like the old-fashioned key.

Next was the hallway, which was quiet and didn’t smell like cigarettes or puke. Everything at Don Bosco was clean as a whistle.

Next was the elevator which I didn’t cotton to much. In the early days I only used the stairs but after I tore my Achilles in half I had to use it. It was slow and tiny and when other people were in it with you it was cramped. Of course I never use elevators when I can avoid them; they are for dead people. So it was humiliating to have to use it because you know everyone was all judgypants like “What’s that able-bodied man doing taking an elevator to the second floor? How lazy can you get?”

Next was the lobby. The office staff were crazy friendly, which I didn’t understand but appreciated, because in a lot of hotels they’re simply crazy to match the clientele. The lobby was pretty spartan which I liked a lot and it made me want to hang out there just because it was so minimally comfortable. But I didn’t because they already thought I was pretty weird.

Next was this shoe buffer. I really liked this because I had no shoes that were buffable and neither did any other tourists I saw. I like useless things that are stuck in a place to make it look fancier than it is is. They remind me of how dumb it is to put on airs. Nonetheless if I can ever get my feet back into them I will try to buff my boots.

Next was the lobby’s beer vending machine. That is pretty amazing and if I were still drinking I would pretty much live in the lobby. Can you imagine what it would be like to just buy beer after beer out of a machine while watching people walk by on the street? P-A-R-A-D-I-S-E. Then, once you are done, there’s a rack. I can imagine competitions with Boozy P. and Manslaughter to see who can fill it up first, and all of the people who would die trying to participate in the contest.

Well, that’s my review. It has been a great place and cheap which is redundant. Next time I come to Vienna I will stay here for sure.


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Ol’ Bill

September 13, 2019 § 7 Comments

Gonna miss Ol’ Bill when I leave Vienna.

When I moved in here at the Sommerhotel Don Bosco I was impressed with how quiet the neighborhood was. It was off the main streets. You just opened the windows and let the breeze flow in. Nighttime was quiet, with the distant sound of the city wafting in as you nodded off to sleep.

Pretty sweet.

Until about 2:00 AM. Because that’s when Ol’ Bill would get started. At first, you know, it kinda got your attention pretty regular.

In fact, you’d sit up in bed like you’d just heard a mass murderer calling your name. Because that’s pretty much what Ol’ Bill sounded like. He’d get going and wind it up, screeching to beat the band with it echoing all up and down the street.

Did I mention that he’d kick off the party at 2:00 AM?

Anyways, he’d kind of calm down after a couple of hours, take a nap maybe, and then give a couple of half-hearted hollers before turning in for the night. Or day, because by now the sun was just a little while from coming up.

Since Ol’ Bill got after it good every night I got to wondering what other folks thought about him. They had their windows open, too. So I moseyed down to the front desk one morning at about five o’clock, seeing as I was up and not going back to sleep anytime soon.

“Say, there,” I said, just as simple as could be.

“Yes, sir?” the nice gal said.

“I got me a question for you.”

“Yes, sir?”

“What’s the story with Ol’ Bill?”


“Ol’ Bill.”

“Who is he, sir?”

“He’s the feller who starts caterwauling every night about 2:00 AM, like to wake the whole damn city.”

The girl blinked. “I don’t know who you’re talking about, sir.”

“I kinda think you do, honey. Screeches like a cat done got his tail caught under the rocking chair. Goes off reglar like happy hour. Hollers fit to be tied. Ever single night, and don’t shut up til daybreak.” On cue, Ol’ Bill let out a monstrous howl.

She blinked again. “Oh, him.” She trailed off.

“Yeah,” I said. “Him.”

“Oh, well, he has some emotional issues.”

“You don’t say?”

“But he is harmless, I can assure you.”

“Well, honey, I carry an 8-inch frogsticker that is sharp enough to gut a log, so I ain’t real worried about that part of the math problem. I was just wonderin’, you know, the back story so to speak.”

“The building across from ours is a facility for people who cannot live without assistance due to emotional issues.”

“Nuthouse, huh?”

“We in Vienna attempt to integrate people into society rather than exclude them. It creates understanding among all members of society about those who are less fortunate and it normalizes the lives of those with impairments.”

“You know what else it does?”

“What is that, sir?”

“It damn well guarantees you ain’t gettin’ any shut-eye after about two in the morning.”

“I’m sorry, sir. We all must adjust to it.” She didn’t look like the adjustment was goin’ too well because she had bags under her eyes big enough for Santa Claus.

Since I was already up and it was daybreak, I moseyed down to the bakery for a coffee. There was a feller sitting on the corner begging. We looked at each other for a minute and I dropped a buck into his cup.

“Thank you,” he said.

“Don’t mention it,” I said. “Least you ain’t hollerin.'”


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Can Seth come out and play?

September 12, 2019 § 3 Comments

I am not much of a luxury traveler. I’ve been subsisting almost exclusively on rye bread, butter, jam, salami and coffee for two weeks now, with the occasional box of cookies, bar of chocolate, or sausage dinner.

My Innsbruck digs were mostly like my ones in Vienna; cheap. The Innsbruck place was also a dorm of some sort but I wasn’t clear exactly for whom. There was one room on my floor that was a lounge for “Studentinnen” only, which means “girl students.”

Yesterday I got back from my Alpine odyssey beat to shit, and my right Achilles tendon was feeling like it had been immersed in a hot acid bath filled with nails. I had kept waiting for my new boots to get broken in but it seemed like my feet were going to break before the shoes.

I was two days in on the t-shirt so I stank like a vintage Euro, and I’d skipped a morning shower in order to hit the trail early. Back in my room I shucked off everything except my underwear and got ready to get into the shower.

That’s when I heard a knock at the door. “What the fuck?” I wondered. Nobody knew me there or even knew I was there. There was no peephole so I figured the worst it could be was the cops, and they’d probably seen lots worse than a skinny, smelly old man in his undershorts, so I opened the door.

A kid was standing there, about twelve. We looked at each for a second. I don’t know which of us was more surprised, but I do know which of us was scarred for life.

He began talking to me in Tirolean at blitz pace. The only word I caught was “New.”

“Just a minute,” I said. “Let me put my pants on.”

There are few things worse than climbing back into nasty jeans and a nasty t-shirt, but I did, and re-opened the door and stepped outside.

This time there were five kids and one of them had a soccer ball. The gang leader went at it again, and this time I mostly understood what he was saying, A pair of pants will do wonders for your foreign language cognition.

“Hello, sir. We saw you were a new resident and wanted to know if you wanted to come out and play?”


“We always like to welcome new residents in the home. Can you come out and play with us?”

My Achilles screamed “Hell, no.” But I didn’t.

“Well you see, I’m not really a resident. I’m just here for a couple of days.”

“Oh,” the boy said. Then he brightened. “Are you any good at soccer? You can be on our team.”

“I’d love to but I’m no good. At all.”

They looked relieved that I’d told them the truth. Their gambit to recruit a star soccer player having failed, they said thank you, wished me a happy trip, and hurried off.

It brought back memories of having always been picked last on every team I ever played on, and made me happy that this time, at least, they’d thought I was a ringer.


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Heidi, Heidi, ho

September 11, 2019 § 14 Comments

I don’t know the difference between the Swiss Alps and the Austrian Alps, but now that I’ve been to Tirol I have a hard time imagining that the ones in Switzerland are any prettier.

Check out my hotel room. It has a view of the mountains. In the corner is a tiny TV. This is the correct ratio of screen size to room square footage anywhere, but especially in Innsbruck. If you are such a moron that you have to watch TV while faced with one of the most spectacular vistas on earth, you deserve the muck that you’re being fed. I especially like the TV’s location because to properly view it from bed you need to have your neck broken in at least two places.

I’m a messy sleeper.

Here is a map of the route I took today. The goal was the Saile summit but like most goals it remained unreached, at least by me. That’s because I’m weak and because I started my hike at my hotel instead of taking the bus to the base of the climb. In Innsbruck the minute you leave the Inn River, you go up. Steeply. Immediately. So even though I spent five hours hiking uphill, I never got to the top. Next time.

It’s an even longer way to Tipperary, I am told.

Before I got too carried away with exercise, I stopped at a cafe and had a cup of coffee and a custard-filled-something-or-other. It was the best pastry I’ve ever had in my life, but thankfully it had zero calories as it was made of broccoli.

Health food

Here are a bunch of trail pictures. The scenery is amazing but you really need to be in shape to enjoy it. Otherwise you will be like me, happy but miserably tired beyond any words.

The Tirolean Alps are very civilized. You march up the steepest stuff until you think your legs are going to fall off, and then you get to a little hut that serves food, coffee, beer, wine, and scenery. And in summer and fall, they serve perfect weather, too. The one on the right even had WiFi, so you could log in to be reminded how hateful it is to have to work, and how pleasant it is to stroll around without purpose.

It took forever to get down from that second hut; the trail was steep and muddy and rocky and treacherous. Plus, my legs were beat to Jell-O. At the bottom there was a road with a bus stop. I prayed to dog for a bus, and one came. See? There is a dog! The bus took me about five miles down and then I had to hoof it another three miles in order to experience what was certainly the most beautiful sight of the day:


I pretty much ate it pretty much quickly and reflected that I’d hiked for eight hours on nothing but two pieces of bread, some butter, half a box of cookies, a broccoli pastry and two coffees. So I sat there not feeling guilty and pleasantly killed time until I had to hike the remaining two miles home. I was pretty satisfied.

Not winning any beauty contests here. Or anywhere.


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Facebook or a walk in the park?

September 9, 2019 § 2 Comments

A new, rigorous study, or at least more rigorous than the slap-dash crap done heretofore, confirms more common sense: The more you use Facebag, the worse you feel. There are different theories as to why this might be so, but I break them down into two basic explanations:

  1. It sucks looking at an endless stream of happy people even when you know it’s bullshit.
  2. Narcissism makes you unhappy.

It’s a bit of a long story but one that can easily be shortened. I was all packed up and ready to go on a big bike trip, when I decided to do the bike trip without the bike. It has so far worked out great. I’ve non-biked in some great places and seen things I would have never seen were I not non-biking.

Yesterday I non-biked out of the town of Baden, and took a hiking trail up into the Wiener Wald. The first part of the trail was along a bike bath, so technically I did get some biking in, again, minus the bike.

I have a couple of cyclist friends who have done a lot of non-biking lately, Junkyard, who is non-biking his way from Canada to Mexico on the Pacific Crest Trail, and CG New Girl, who has been non-biking all over the country the last couple of years, up and down mountains, camped out by scenic lakes, and stomping around in non-biking boots.

The non-bike ride yesterday started out cool, damp, overcast, and threatening rain. I non-biked on. My #fakesurfer shoes with smooth soles which are oh-so-comfy for padding around the mall didn’t work out so great on the steep trail sections covered with mud, wet leaves, and mossy rocks. It would have definitely gone better with a cyclocross-type non-bike setup.

On the way back I stopped at the Scharzenberg overlook. Just then the sun hit, blasting away the clouds. I sat down and ate some from my loaf of bread. The rock warmed up, and so did I. Next thing I knew I was asleep in the sun on a rocky ledge.

The number of newsfeeds I reviewed, statuses I updated, posts I got my panties wrenched sideways about … that would be zero. I guess the formula is Non-bike > Facebag, or something like that.


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On foot

September 7, 2019 § 9 Comments

If you want people to think you are homeless, the best way is by walking. I took the train this morning to Klagenfurt, a small town in Austria, which is redundant.

I have read so many travelogues waxing eloquent about the joy of train travel, but my appreciation of trains is limited to toy trains, which I hate. The worst thing about train stations in Austria are the bicycles. You see all these happy people pushing their bikes through the station, and there you are knowing you are going to wind up sitting on the stupid train, and then taking a taxi, or a bus, or some shit like that when you reach your destination whereas they will get on their overloaded bike, ride 20 miles, park in front of a sunny café, get drunk, eat too much food, and call it a day.

I had a knapsack and a paper shopping bag from the grocery store with bread and salami in it, along with Austria’s number one homegrown product, bitter chocolate for a bitter nation. Somehow my hotel was 3 miles from the train station, so I mistakenly walked in the wrong direction to downtown, realized it was like every other Austrian downtown, filled with restaurants, cafés, and people who had stopped working on Wednesday, begun drinking, and who weren’t about to take their foot off the gas until late Sunday night, if then.

I realized my mistake and returned to the station. There was a family of five on touring bikes; the parents had gone to check the train schedule, as they were finished with their tour and were going to take the train back home.

“How far have you been riding?”

The middle kid, a girl, said “250 km.”

“Where did you go?”

“We started in Italy, in Tirol, and we are finishing here, and taking the train home to Graz.”

Just then the parents reappeared, and were not pleased that their kids were talking to a homeless guy. I moved on.

The walk to my hotel was through a very nasty industrial area filled with putrid chemical odors. Since I hadn’t eaten lunch, I got very hungry and spied a train station after walking a couple of miles. I figured there would be a bench where I could sit down and eat my bread crust and salami. As I walked up the stairs a rat-faced boy and his tattooed girlfriend hurried by, eyes averted, obviously up to no good, which gave me hope for the younger generation. The platform was deserted, so I sat down on a bench. My foot pressed down on something squishy as I sat, and I noticed that it was a freshly used condom.

I tried to shake it off my foot, but it stuck good. Of course at that moment a pretty young lady with her young child walked up and sat down just as I was madly shaking my foot, with the gooey condom on my shoe whacking the ground.

It is precisely for such moments that small children were invented because the little boy asked, “What is on the man’s shoe, Mommy?”

The young lady was embarrassed, but pretended it was totally normal to have a wet condom dangling off the end of a shoe. “It is a piece of chewing gum, honey,” she said.

The little boy looked at the condom with the suspicion of a child who is accustomed to being lied to by adults and who knows damned good and well what a piece of chewing gum looks like. “What flavor is it, then?“ he asked.

At that moment the condom came free and went sailing over the bench onto the wall where it landed with a “fwap.” The little boy was impressed. The nice lady realized she had to go somewhere, and quickly left. I reflected that freshly used condoms in daylight mean that you are definitely staying in a fun town, and even if you aren’t, that and an endless hike through poison gas plants means you are for sure losing the Four Seasons crowd so, winning.

I continued on and after a long time got concerned because I didn’t have the address of the hotel and I wasn’t sure if I had remembered its name correctly, or the street it was on. A guy was coming my way on a scooter so I shouted at him, “Is this Ebenthalerstraße?”

I think he was afraid of me because he veered, but as he passed he shouted, “Yes of course it is!” as if I were a complete fool for not being able to read the giant sign in front of my face that said Ebenthalerstraße. It started to rain but I had a small umbrella that didn’t work except to keep the remainder of my bread crust dry, which was all I really cared about. I got to the hotel, which was shaped like a giant square, painted pink, and the room was super porny, actually a nice change after the spartan quarters in the dormitory room. By 2 PM I was dead asleep.


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Good times waiting for the train
Come hither
Bitter and good!
Louis Vuitton-ish
Staff of Seth

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