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Vienna Blues (1997)

My only visit to Vienna (other than as a landing point for trips into Slovakia) was in July 1997. It was a disappointing visit. I was not impressed with the commercialism and the crowds made simple pleasures rare.

After getting off the plane in Vienna in 1997, I had no idea where to go, or where my friends would meet me. Baggage claim was easy enough to find, but I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw security. They carry automatic weapons! At first I thought there was some sort of trouble afoot, but seeing as not one other person was the least bit perturbed, I gathered this is a normal sight. You don't know how much I wanted to take a picture of them, probably the most insanely American reaction I had the whole time I was in Europe (well...except for the incident at Krasna Horka in Slovakia, but that's another story...). Of course, I didn't take a picture. Just stared at them while waiting for my luggage.

I figured there should be some customs checkbooth to clear, but I couldn't find one. So...I walked out the only exit I could find, fully expecting security to start shouting and pointing their weapons at me. I've never felt so lost in all my life. Seconds through that door, I saw my friends. Leaving my two overloaded bags in the middle of the terminal, I ran to Maria and just about knock her over with a hug.

  • Last visit to Vienna: Jul 1997
  • Intro Written Jul 22, 2000
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