Tuesday, 29 November 2005

Nick in Vienna 1

I'm in Vienna!
I'm writing this from an internet cafe down a few streets from the hotel, because internet access is disappointing. Posts will be sporadic at best. There's no free internet access in the hotel, there's no ethernet at all, but there's dialup if you feel like having your room charge bankrupt you, and there's wireless access in the lobby if you have a wireless laptop and a credit card to pay.
Anyway, I'm sitting here in an internet cafe, fighting the European keyboard. I'm all for rich European cultural diversity, but damn they have a lot of weird characters, and old familiars are shunted off to odd places. The @ symbol is a subscript of Q, and I had to ask the guy at the desk how to press it. It took some embarrassing amount of conversation in broken English to explain that all I wanted to do was press the darn key :D
Let me go back to the beginning.
Sarah saw me off at the airport Friday morning, and my check in and flight to Brisbane was pleasantly uneventful. I was even able to check my suitcase all the way to Vienna from Rockhampton. Just goes to show that if it seems to good to be true, it probably is. I dressed in comfort for the flight - tshirt and shorts.
And surprisingly, the entire journey was quite comfortable. Fortune favoured a couple of acts of simple generosity. On the Brisbane-Singapore flight, I offered to change my aisle seat for a middle seat a few rows back so that a mother and daughter could sit together. Shortly into the flight, the two irratable old women next to me demanded better seats from the stewardess, which they got after enough insistent pressing. That left four seats between me and the nice New Guinean lady to the other side of me. Score one! Next, on the British Airways flight from Singapore to London, I pulled the same stunt, allowing a young star-cross'd couple to sit together. The stewardess took a liking to me for the rest of the trip, and I stepped off the plane in London with a free bottle of wine :D
But that was where my good luck began to run out. First of all, I hadn't counted on having to step out of airconditioning until I had my baggage back, so it was a small shock to have to step out into the literally freezing air over the tarmac in London, and it was with slowly rising dread that I watched the baggage carousel in Vienna slow and grind to a halt without my suitcase appearing. I got my baggage several hours later, that evening, after I had braved -2 winds first in shorts and tshirt (pick the tourist...) and later in borrowed trackpants and pullover.
And so it was that I arrived, slightly cold and slightly tired, but otherwise well in Vienna. I shall continue the tale later, for Xin is waiting for me to finish so we can have dinner.
Hope all is well in Rockhampton!


melanie said...

tuesday, 29 november, 2005 10:30 MAT

i'm glad you got there safely. travel is always adventurous, especially that of the international kind. let alone crossing the equator!

have a fantastic time, keep warm, and come back safely as well.

,` )

Sarah said...

Ahh! Poor Nick got all cold :(
As long as you don't get sick or anything. Buy a nice thick jacket!


Brett said...

gah, lost luggage 4tl...

I hope so much that my luggage arrives the same time as me in to San Fran on Monday... :S

As for the wine, i bet the stewardess felt sorry for you and thought the wine might be useful to warm you up while you are wandering around in the freezing conditions in shorts and tshirt :P