Burning your Britches and an Opera in a T-Shirt

Well guys, I just have to say sorry again about the pics and videos.  I’m a little slow because I’ve had spotty Internet, and I’m not too sure how much uploading I’ll get done here in Munich lol.  I heard there’s this little thing called Oktoberfest?  And it’s the 200 year anniversary?  And I’m sleeping under a giant tent?  Should be FUN, let’s see how this plays out! 

Oh Vienna?  It was good, I’m glad I was only there for one full day.  It is a very nice city full of museums and history, but if you’re looking for fun things to do, it might not be the best destination.  Oh well, I took my chance to get cultured lol.

Let’s back up to the first night actually.  For the most part, I spent it uploading pics and trying to get videos up.  The hostel connection was really slow, and uploading 15 videos takes a little while lol.  Most of the people at the hostel are fairly quiet and were traveling in groups, so I didn’t really meet too many people.  No big deal, not every hostel is a winner, and I’ve had pretty good luck so far.  Another thing, everything in Vienna is in German only pretty much.  I can usually translate, but I was just surprised compared to Germany.  I guess maybe Austrians are less tourist-friendly? 

Ok, so the first night in Vienna is probably my best hostel story yet.  I went into the room around 11 p.m. and pretty much EVERYONE was in bed or asleep already.  Lame.  I hate having to shuffle around in the dark like I’m being a pain, but whatever, I wanted a shower.  I fell asleep around midnight or so.  Now, my Asian roomie left his light on, which is fine, since I figured he liked the light.  Around 01:00 or so, I woke up suddenly and was confused.  I figured the couple below me woke me up.  I sat there tossing and turning for a half hour with my eyes closed.  Then I realized I smelled something strange, like burning fabric or plastic.  Then I opened my eyes…

The ENTIRE room was absolutely filled with a white haze, almost like smoke.  I immediately jumped off the top bunk, searching for the source.  The couple and two others woke up in shock.  I checked the heat register and all the stuff that could be burning, but found nothing.  It wasn’t smoke; I wasn’t coughing.  We opened the door to clear out the room and walked over to reception to buzz the night clerk.  I waited for about 15 minutes and no one came.  When I buzzed again, I got something to the effect of, “We cannot bother anyone at this moment.”  Our room is full of haze and you don’t care!? Nice, you guys get like zero stars from me.  The rest of the night, we slept with the windows open to vent any more smoke, although it appeared to stop around two. 

What was it?  Well. The next night, the German guy in the bunk below told me.  Apparently, the Asian dude (who keep in mind was the ONLY one who slept through all of this) had his underwear hanging above his head next to his light.  The light burned a GIANT (like 4”) hole into his underwear!  And he didn’t even wake up with a pair of burning underwear above him!  Awesome.  That’s one for the books.

As for Tuesday, here’s the general breakdown:

·         Woke up after a restless night and had a small Viennese breakfast at the hostel (two rolls and a coffee).  Yea Europe is coffee, coffee, coffee!  Man, I hope I don’t get addicted to caffeine again like in college.  I miss my orange juice :-( …add one more thing on the list for foods/drinks to have once back in America. 
·         I packed my pizza from Monday night and headed out to town.  Instead of “sofa pizza” like The Hangover, I had “backpack pizza” lol which I figured I’d eat for dinner.
·         Took the U-Bahn to St. Stephan’s and explored the cathedral.  I couldn’t find the golden elevator the girl from Zurich mentioned, but I did ride up and north tower and walk up the south tower to take pics.  I paid for both, so my recommendation, if you can handle walking 340 steps, is the south tower, which has a much better view.  Also, watch out for school groups and lots of tourists, they’re everywhere lol!  Oh yea, and Austria = $$$.  It has probably been one of the more expensive places so far; they charge for everything lol!  Just be prepared.
·         Next up, I wandered around Hofburg Palace.  The treasury was closed, so I instead got lost on the grounds and actually ended up in a restricted area inside the palace.  Whoops.  Not much to do so I walked out.
·         I sat down in the gardens and for the second time that day I tried to plan out what museums and things to see.  I was honestly having a hard time coming up with enough to do.
·         I walked over the ticket window for the opera.  Everything was sold out except the most expensive seats for €170.  No thanks.  I figured I’d try to get standing room later at 17:30 before the performance (more on that later).
·         Afterwords, I walked over to a hidden coffee shop mentioned in my Let’s Go guidebook to grab a sandwich and some mélange (coffee with steamed milk).  I know, I know, more coffee haha, but it’s a specialty in Vienna.  I was actually expecting smaller proportions in Europe, but most are still pretty good size.  I wouldn’t care if they were even smaller.  I’m just happy they are somewhat smaller, since so far on this trip I have not felt overstuffed from eating like I often do in America.
·       Wandered towards this modern architecture museum that supposedly has no straight lines in the building, but then did an about face and went to an Internet café to burn €6 on 45 minutes of net and a drink.  Geeze!
·         Went to the fine arts museum, since I figured I should go to at least one museum in this city that’s full of history.  The museum was absolutely beautiful, and the exhibits, my God.  I’ve never seen such a collection of Egyptian and Roman artifacts and paintings!  I thought it’d take me so long to get through I’d miss the opera, but fortunately for me the whole first floor didn’t have anything translated in English, so I just perused the exhibits.  I liked that; reading seems to burn me out sometimes.  Upstairs in the picture gallery, I only read the descriptions of paintings that interested me.  That seemed to be the right way to go.

Ok, so now for the second part of today’s blog title.  Around 17:00 I went to the opera house early to sit in a line for standing tickets.  There were only 30 or so people ahead of me, so I would surely get one of the 500 spots.  I sat and did some Sudoku.  I figured I’d grab my ticket, find a park and eat my backpack pizza, run back and change, and be back for the performance at 19:30.  Wrong lol!

After getting my ticket (I bought the most expensive one, which was €4 lol), everyone immediately rushed down the hall.  What’s the deal?  Evidently, I need to study my opera edicate.  I rushed to another line, which was the entrance to the opera.  WTF?  I have to wait AGAIN for two hours!?  Oh well, I guess that pizza would have to wait.  Around 18:30 we were corralled into the standing area, where there were several aisles with bars to lean on.  After shuffling with a Spanish couple, I got a seat front row center!  Wow, I was on the main floor just behind the seat rows!  And all for €4!

There was a little more confusion with “marking my territory”.  In order to save your spot, you have to tie a scarf or something to the post where you’re standing so no one steals it.  At first I used my coat and then had to run to coat check to give them my backpack.  Then they told me I couldn’t use a coat.  Oops.  I dug through my pockets (I happened to forget my opera scarf) until I found my Vienna map, which I just laid over the bar.  Hell, people used napkins.

I scanned the standing crowd.  I was glad that I wasn’t the only groundling in a t-shirt.  Hey!  I was going to change alright?  How was I supposed to know that I was going to be at the opera from 17:30 until 22:30 lol!  Walking around the crowds in the lobby made me feel I was definitely in an opera (not to mention out of place); there were mostly older people, all dressed in suits and dresses, sipping wine and nibbling on hors d’ vours.  I promptly retreated to my place with the lesser peoples lol. 

Now, I’m pretty sure this is my first opera ever.  For a guy who listens mostly to pop, rap and techno, I knew it probably wasn’t going to be my thing, but hey, when in Vienna right?  It was very moving; the piece was in Spanish, but even so, it was hard for me to decipher.  Luckily, they had screens at each seat and standing post that translated into German and English.  While that’s all great, I tried my best not to read the thing all the time so I could just enjoy the singing.  In the end, I just used the screen to get the gist of the plot.

At intermission, I met Jaime, who was standing next to me.  She’s traveling from Taiwan for 4 months and her next stop is Krakow.  Awesome!  I had all sorts of info to give.  Too bad she’s not staying at Slawek’s hostel, that’s the place to be lol!  I gave her my fb info after the performance.  Just goes to show you, you meet people everywhere when travelling Europe, even the opera!

Worried I’d wake up my roomies again, I rushed onto U2 and U3 home, eating my (now very sad) pizza lol.

Wednesday I find myself on a train to Munich.  Woo!  I’m excited for Oktoberfest, although I’m not too sure what to expect, especially for the 200th anniversary lol.  Oh, and I’m staying under a giant tent.  Jaime said that the place is awesome, with clean facilities and a bonfire every night.  Sounds good to me, it’s in the true spirit of sleeping in a tent for Oktoberfest lol!  I’m not sure how much beer I can handle, but I’ll do my part lol, you have my word.  I wonder if I’ll even get into a beer tent.  That and I want to at least take part of the day and see some of the sights, although my list is fairly short.  Then Friday night it’s off to Paris!

Alright guys, I’ll drink a beer for each and every one of you!

Until next time!


  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS


Post a Comment