I have emerged from months of rather frantic preparations to join Claudia in her now life teaching in Vienna, and I have landed to join her. It is now to be a New World in the olde world!
I left Obamaland on the day after the most important election of our lifetime, hauling a great deal of gear, a load of sculptures (which have chosen to go by sea) and my business manager, Tess. Actually she got off in Frankfurt for a bit of touring on her own, which nearly caused an international incident ("this is suspicious to us") but all was ultimately OK.
OK is an understatement. Vienna is astounding in many dimensions. Claudia did a good job of settling in midsummer, so she is quite comfy and seems an old hand at managing life. How odd to rejoin my own wife in this strange land where she seems so comfortable! I'll not go into great detail, but there is much to marvel at here. I'll speak mostly in brief.
The differences from American culture struck me as soon as we stepped onto the cross-Atlantic Lufthansa flight in Denver. I am so used to how American business operates that I was struck by the charm of being treated as if I mattered in my own right rather than simply as a means of the company squeezing me for more money at every opportunity. Not only was the service elegant and generous, but FREE. Like in the old days! Even the luggage office on the ground was pleased to send me on my way with chocolates! (Incidentally, in Montana we would never do something this stupid- in this photo they're encouraging me to EAT gold, which came on a desert!)
Life is so beautiful here! Everything is so tiny- and so dear. Like America boiled down so the quality is better, the esthetic more intense and the consumption more reasonable!
Except for one thing- the local grocery store is really a chocolate emporium, with hundreds of varieties of astonishing and beautiful delivery systems- surrounded by a ring of vegetables and other food products. One feels that even with a handful of chocolate purchases still one is hardly doing their duty...