When the train pulls into Vienna one of the first things I notice is a figure balanced on a fire escape on the roof of a building. It’s similar to the way the Antony Gormley pieces were positioned on the South Bank in London. This figure is modeled with more movement, as if it could jump off any minute. When I look up Austria on Wikitravel one of the first things I read is that the country has one of the higher suicide rates in Europe and a culture fascinated with death.
Vienna seems to be the spiritual home of the lace doily.
The city’s so pretty and chocolate-boxy. The Hapsburgs’ Imperial palace complex is perfectly and neatly preserved.
The monthly free magazine hangs tidily from a plastic tag on the underground trains, one per four seats. Many are still there today, ten days after the publication date on the cover.
A man who offers me directions (when he notices me looking lost, he seems personally affronted; “If you have questions you could ask.”) removes his hat when talking to a lady.
Pretty. Old-fashionedly formal.