Friday, April 30, 2004

Grandpa and Vienna

When my grandpa marched into Vienna with Russian troops (or rather as a part of Russian troops) in 1945, he looked around and said: "It's so nice here, I wonder why the fuck they tried to occupy our shithole of a country?". At least that's what he told me later - knowing the spirit of those times and the spirit of my grandpa, I am quite sure he said that somewhere where nobody could hear.

He occupied Vienna for a short time again in 1988 as a refugee. On our second day there we all walked out of the place where we were staying to find a grocery store. Grandpa decided that the best way to find it is to ask the locals, and was not bothered at all by the absence of any common language. He would grab the people by the collar, wave his cane at them and ask in broken German: "Russische spräch?" People ran away in terror, and I felt sorry for them.

For some reason beautiful spring mornings always remind me of Vienna.

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