Lifestyle in Vienna Part 3 ~ Romancing Italy

May 28, 2011

Lifestyle in Vienna Part 3

I come from a conservative family, lived my childhood years on an island in the Caribbean, moved to the very large and impressive US, then changed my lifestyle for a small mountainous village region of northern Italy. So many different cultures and lifestyles separated by large bodies or water. Yet, separated by a mere border or two, life is so different in each of the European countries.

I was rather struck by the young people in Vienna on a Saturday night. Almost all of them were hopping the subway with bottles of beer and even hard liquor going where, I don't know. I mean large liter size bottles to share amongst themselves - not individual size portions. This, I think, would make any parent worry but maybe Vienna is special, different from other large cities.

Let's see...

1. Vienna is very clean. Nowhere did I see an empty bottle left littering the station, or parks or any public place and there wasn't a garbage service scheduled for Sunday morning. Oh no. Seems Vienna holds their Sunday more sacred than the Italians because every store was shut up as tight as can be. Actually, even on the Saturday it was hard to find one open.

2. Vienna, as I said in Getting around Vienna, seems to run on the honor system. Well, these funny looking newspaper bags adorned many street corners over the weekend, only to leave them naked come Monday. There is a little black box to deposit payment but wait...the bag is open, never locked.

3. Vienna is a music city, Mozart and Beethoven, Mahler among others are celebrated here. Not to say that that in itself makes it a virtual crime free place but musicians are not really the type to go out to look for trouble or create it. (Vienna, according to the US Gov Travel Site, has the lowest crime rate in Europe, with practically no violent crime).

4. Vienna is very metropolitan and at the street market I found vegetables like fresh okra and breadfruit (that I haven't seen since my childhood days in Trinidad...or I guess Hawaii). Tropical fruit that didn't cost an arm and a leg. Middle Eastern food and spices of every kind lined the market streets...of course, right across from an Austrian market pub. Kebab and Chinese/Japanese have found their way into the Italian way of life but I would never, ever find okra or breadfruit or any of these other exotic fruits.


5. The architecture is magnificent, similar to Prague in its grandeur, larger than life. Perhaps too big for me but still awesome to see. 


Probably the English sector with Shakespeare Company Booksellers selling only English books and an Irish pub on the corner. We ran across this gem near the Wein river near the Schwedenplatz metro station.

6. What would Vienna be with the schnitzel and the sacher. Again near the Schwedenplatz station, on one of the back streets, we filled ourselves with a sumptious potato salad and schnitzel. I would love to have that recipe for the salad dressing, it was soooo good.




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