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May 19, 2002
Egy jegy a Vienna-Bacs-Wien, koesenem

By Alex Dominguez
from the on the road again dept.
VIENNA, Austria (JNS) _ We awake in fear of having to interact with others again without a guide.
But we know we must push on because we fear we are bugging the living, fucking shit out of Andor.

The gracious man that he is, Andor has not given any indication of this, but we can only surmise that he must be getting tired of telling us how to say everything and what everything means.

So, we head to the train station for a day-trip to the city we call Vienna, the Hungarians call Bacs, and the Austrians call Wien _ simple enough.

As we wait on the platform, six conductors with pistols arrive on the platform and we ponder the limits of our annoyance. On the train, the six, wearing Györ armpatches, stamp our passports, as do another group in fatigues, also armed with pistols and a laptop _ which had the name “Richter’’ on it as they pass by. They must be from Austria, we think, because their arm patches say “Bundes.’’

This is the second time in two days we have dealt with the authorities. We were stopped on Saturday for a broken headlight while driving to Lake Balaton. Andor suspected they were searching for a group of bank robbers who killed six near Budapest the week before while stealing less than $20,000, a small sum even by Hungarian standards for such a ghastly crime.

Vienna was refreshingly modern, despite its wealth of history. We took the requisite walking tour of the most impressive sights _ St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Spanish riding school, etc., and stopped in number of small cafes and stands, relieved that most people spoke English.

The most interest food experience was the outdoor bakery stand where all types of pastries and savory items were on sale. I had a wiener schnitzel sandwich _ breaded veal on a roll _ after contemplating whether to get the prosciutto or liver spread.

Aside from that, Bacs-Wien-Vienna seemed like a big city that lacked any of the kookiness we had come to appreciate in Hungary. So, we headed back, planning to go to Bratislavia in neighboring Slovakia (oh joy, another language) on Monday to take a hydrofoil to Budapest on Tuesday.

Posted by Alex at May 19, 2002 11:06 AM
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