The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
The Vienna skyline on New Year’s Eve resembles a shock and awe campaign; the normally reserved Viennese start their pyrotechnic madness in the early afternoon and by midnight the air is pungent with smoke, and the city filled with drunken revelers leaving their calling cards everywhere.
Last week I attended the final art group meeting of the “semester,” as the sponsor refers to it. The setting was the Baroque Winter Palace of Prince Eugene of Savoy here in the city; the exhibit was titled, The Power of Pomp (in English).
There is a myth about ex-pat life (well, there are many myths) that was dispelled early on for me: many parents who place their students in private, international schools are no more invested than many parents whose students attend public schools.
The holidays were most enjoyable. For three weeks the home was filled with family and the happy chaos that comes with. Now it’s back to routine and the happy structure that we call our life. The sun shone gloriously in Vienna for at least two days this week and perhaps three, reason alone to be outdoors. The Bank Austria Art Forum hosts interesting exhibits, including this one on Russian artist-couples before and after the revolution. Since the exhibit closes in a couple of weeks, no better time than a sunny day to head out.
We have not had a good run with tenants in our U.S. house. The first was the Crazy Captain, whose family caused more damage than the security deposit covered, requiring legal intervention. The second set of tenants, the Nutty Navy Commander and his family, have thankfully been respectful to our house, but even that has come at a mental cost.