My inconsistently irregular roundup of life in Austria.

“Spargelzeit” had its run a couple of months ago, and we did our part to keep the asparagus farmers prosperous. When vegetables look that good and present as a bouquet, who wouldn’t want to eat them?

I am not certain, but I believe the concept of a Love Lock is that once the relationship had been “locked” into place, the key is tossed away to symbolize unbreakable love. This is a lonely lock I spotted on the raised walkway in Tükenschanzpark, but unless the lovers dropped the key into a waste bin, tossing it “overboard” onto the path below wouldn’t exactly promise eternal love.

CTF and I watched a gentleman in another park one early morning practicing for a Petanque tournament. The man was French but spoke English, and said that he didn’t expect his team to fare well as the sport is not popular in Austria, but he was going to practice nonetheless.

From yet a third park in our neighborhood Tony and I spotted a photo shoot (?) taking place on the balcony of a villa currently for sale at the bargain price of €8.100.000. Insert your own narrative.

Grocery store hours, a favorite topic for me. One Sunday we found ourselves in Vienna, and dropped into one of the rare markets that are open. I have read numerous explanations as to why certain markets are allowed to open; in the tourist area, ostensibly, the markets offer items a tourist might need?  Like perhaps personal toiletries? Nein!  That section of the market is closed tight.

But alcohol? Jawohl!  So…a tourist can get ripping drunk in Vienna on a Sunday, but can not brush their teeth. Makes complete sense to me.

Grocery stores close at 1800 on Saturday and reopen at 0800 on Monday.  I know better than to bother heading to any market on Monday morning, because even an hour or so past opening the meat section still resembles a Communist-era grocer, and the fresh produce hasn’t yet replaced the wilted items left sitting in the cold rooms for 36 hours and put back on the shelves.

Last Saturday we dropped into our neighborhood large, chain grocer two hours before closing to collect some items, among them a couple of oranges. The produce section was ravaged; I asked a floor staffer for the fruit and was told (translated), “The oranges are in the cold until Monday. We have no oranges.” Yep, life in the world’s most livable city.

And finally, what would the Anecdotes on Austria post be without another favorite topic?