Tüesday was my first conference day, presiding over two sessions at the Technical University here in Vienna. I know some people thought this was all fun and games and it is until somebody gets hurt… just kidding…
But I am here for the academics. Met some really interesting people at the conference and am headed back the rest of the week, presiding over a few more sessions, then presenting my research Friday.
I broke my routine with Cuadro to get up earlier for the conference but stopped at Karlsplatz instead and, wouldn’t you know it, irony struck again. When my host Peter picked me up at the rail station he said Vienna has a Starbuck’s and we both laughed because of course Vienna is known worldwide for its great coffee houses.
But I have been having a problem. I need a good strong cup of — preferably Central American — coffee to start my day or I am just crackers. Peter ordered for me one night the kind of coffee which best suits me here, that is, a melange. Mit no milk. Though normally I put half-and-half in my coffee.
Well, the coffee portions are strong but short, always made with espresso, and I have not been feeling myself, so since Karlsplatz is right outside the Technical University Wien, I broke down and had a cup!
Speaking of breaking down, it was heartbreaking to watch the crowd outside Starbuck’s. Apparently it is one of the gathering places for the city’s junkees so there in the underground were the same people mulling about greeting one another and looking really spaced out, though around the corner was supposed to be a place where they got assistance, i.e., clean needles (according to a local), etc. Sad, they were so young. Same local said she talked to one and the stories were all the same. Runaways who moved in with junkee lovers and then got hooked.
So I had a cup of some Starbuck’s blend I never heard of — it was that or some African blend — and I went to registration for my conference. Big conference, lots of people.
Afterwards I broke down — again, in a good way — and went to my favorite nightspot. I saw some interesting people stumble out of a doorway the other night and went in…. well, needless to say I’m nuts about it. Was there tonight talking to the Argentine bartender all night, brilliant guy, great speaking English, incredibly well-read, erudite. Expect to be chatting him up the rest of my nights here.
So, giving a peek at my little Viennese hideaway…. click the pic and then the 1 ~ try not to feel sorry for me for my lonely nights in Vienna. And make mine a motto, tall, and out of this world. Whatever that means…. peace, out.