No preface necessary.

A late winter afternoon constitutional with Clayton Theodore through the ‘hood. Usually he heads straight for the park. A lonely mansion two blocks away; and a representative “cottage” here in the Cottageviertel (Cottage Quarter) we call home. The brick wall of the observatory, whose grounds are closed to the four-pawed visitors, a rarity.  And the whimsical fence line of a former sanitarium, now a Russian ex-pat compound.

A touching scene at the grocer. This poor woman, with all the markings of a new arrival (not speaking either German or English and entirely confused at the check-out), gained the empathy of a store clerk who helped her bag her more than €500 worth of groceries and household items.

Spring has sprung in Vienna, and the Littles are out and about on their field trips. They are totes adorable.

Once again Vienna was voted The World’s Most Livable City. This is really just the annual notice for expats to applaud themselves on the back for not living in Baghdad (the least livable city). For the many Viennese who don’t lead corporate or government-subsidized lives (or the smart ones who do), it is an opportunity to laugh at those who feel privileged to pay €0,79 for a single lemon at the grocers in the expat-dense districts, while heading to a local market and scoring three lemons for a mere €0,50. Perspective. Guess where I shop? (The question is rhetorical.)

Because Austria is closed on Sunday, and because we had been in Slovenia the day before, would it be either doing the Walk of Shame at the train station grocery with its questionable offerings and check-out queues as long as any at a Women’s WC; or heading across the border to the Czech Republic, which is always open for business? (Another rhetorical question.)

We did encounter some traffic along our route, though.

Lunch was at a restaurant in the border zone between CZ and AT, one that we have eaten at more than a dozen times. I gasped audibly when I saw the new menu, a stark contrast to the simple worded pages that I barely looked at because I always ordered the same dish. But all was well, and in good order my Zander filet with housemade whipped potatoes (that are crazy delicious) arrived to the table looking exactly as it has for the past five years. Crisis averted.

Tony and I enjoyed a hasty lunch (because, cooler tote with groceries!) and left the restaurant to scurry home. Except. I had to first pause to leave a note on this minivan’s windscreen that read, Sie Parken wie ein Asel (“You park like an Ass.”) before holding my breath while reversing the wagon. €1.500 for driving lessons and yet they just. Can. Not. Park.

The offender above is from Niederösterreich and not Vienna, and there has been a parking offender from Steiermark featured on this blog. Could it be that the parking-handicapped of all stripes are now seeking a shout-out on my blog?  I submit as evidence The Diplomat Dumb-Asel…

…the “Two Asels are Better than One”…

…and the “I am better than you because I take parking spaces big enough for a mule team and 20 Pygmy goats. Word.”

Regardless of the show-offs, I will always find the love for the straightforward Viennese asshat parkers.