Scenes from the last few days —
My days have developed a bit of a routine in the last week. After breakfast of eggs and fruit and some bread (the latter purchased down the street), I spend a couple of hours on school email and projects. And then I set out for whatever is on my agenda.
Friday was another tourist day.
- post office
- temporary Parlament building tour
- audio tour of the Treasury
- a bit of time at Cafe Klimt
- walk home, but not before buying an Austrian cookbook (sort of the local equivalent of The Joy of Cooking)
- dinner at the flat
- FaceTime with the office staff in Webster Groves
One of things that I love to do in other cities and countries is go to their local outdoor markets. The food-tasting and people-watching and photo-grabbing are always primo!
From the Naschmarkt on Friday:
A group of 23 gathered Monday for a tour through the Florence Central Market, and then around the corner to the cooking class location.
Martina and Mario taught us how to make, in order:
- Bolognese sauce
- tomato sauce for heavier pasta
- homemade pasta, which we turned into tagliatelle and ricotta ravioli
We all took turns with the tiramisu making. And we combined our pastas in one big pot for cooking.
And the results were glorious.
I’m in the midst of a cooking class.
Here’s the pasta dough:
Friday morning. My breakfast consisted of scrambled eggs and something like bacon; some cheese; and a fresh croissant. All with black coffee.
Yesterday’s breakfast also included himbeeren, or raspberries.
As I wandered the 4th District on Wednesday, I found a bakery just a block away. This is dangerous news. Felber is already a compulsive addiction for me. What I’m doing with all the walking (8500 steps on Thursday, with most of the day in meetings or on the subway) may be totally negated by my fresh bread and pastry cravings.
So yesterday and today, after rising and doing the usual important morning things, I pulled on clothes and walked down the street to buy fresh bread. And I intend to do this daily!
As I’ve described my flat to local colleagues, they are each and every one amazed that I found a place with air conditioning (unusual in Wien in private apartments) and with a lift and with a grand piano. And for about $100/night. Thanks be to god for hitting AirBnB at the right time a few months ago!
My flat is just a five-minute, two-block walk from the Taubstummengasse stop on the U1 subway line. This means that Webster University-Vienna is only four subway stops away, and connections to three other subway lines are easily obtained within two stops.
Taubstum means deaf-mute, by the way. So Taubstummengasse is Deaf-Mute Street.
The Naschmarkt is only about a five-minute walk west of my flat. I was there twice on Wednesday, and will go again next week to buy some provisions and taste some local cheese.
Speaking of cheese, the fourth course last evening featured three local cheeses, of which the Bauernrebell was the huge hit. The cheese is soft and creamy and delicious!
My fun glasses stand out here in Vienna, at least on the subway where I am seeing nondescript glasses on people’s faces.
We had rain overnight. In fact, the rain hit just as I was getting home from dinner. I slept with the windows open, and now have a stuffy nose. The storm front clearly brought something with it from the Alps to the west.
9:15 a.m. now, and I should get started on today’s research and then a bit of art-lover tourism, all before dinner with two more colleagues. And tomorrow is Florence!
Here’s the bacon:
Oh lord. Oh lord indeed.
I dined this evening at the ravishingly beautiful apartment of Jean Pascal Vachon and his lovely bride Sylvie.
JP is a colleague from Webster.
We enjoyed a five course meal stretching over five hours.
Words will never do justice to the meal and the friendship, so I’ll be prosaic and leave it alone.
And I’m happily miserable right now.
First course: dried meat, olives, bread sticks, Prosecco.
Second course: salad of local-grown lettuce, a ham concoction that’s a local specialty, and toasted pumpkin seeds.
Third course: potato cakes with sour cream, trout roe, smoked salmon, and other stuff.
Fourth course: local cheeses. DEEEEE – VINE!!!
Final course: vanilla and verbena flan, with fresh apricot purée on the top.
And loads of wine.
And with that, as I finished writing just after midnight local time, the rain starts. I have the windows open tonight after two fiendishly hot days. Saints be praised!