[ 12:30 thursday 19 february – “nice rice” cafe, mariahilfer strasse, vienna ]
back again for a pot of green tea.
this visit to vienna has been the first time i’ve used the combination of bluetooth (a radio link from my powerbook to my mobile phone) and gprs (mobile phone to the internet) to maintain a connection whilst traveling. it works well. without any new configurations i can connect from other countries using my uk orange account. unlike the infra-red link i was using on stromboli, with bluetooth it doesn’t matter where the phone is so i can connect even if the phone is in my pocket or my backpack.
right at the end of the lunch break in yesterday’s renewable energy conference, a lady from the austrian foreign ministry came up to me and asked if i could give her a quick demonstration of trampoline. i was able to plonk my computer on a table, connect to the internet at once, and give her a whisk round the system before the next seminar commenced. i am becoming some kind of glorified traveling salesman, ready to trot out my wares at any opportunity.
in the evening i had a yen to search out some off-mainstream entertainment, so i connected and found a site providing information about underground parties and events here in vienna. having chosen one that looked promising i set off around ten for the periphery of the city armed with vague address details garnered from the site. for over an hour i wandered up and down streets trying to find the place amongst the strip clubs and run-down bars. i was close to giving up when i had the inspiration that “U-Bahnbögen” might mean railway arches and turned my attention to the railway running down the centre of the street rather than the buildings lining its sides. sure enough i found my goal, a bar called “chelsea”, occupying four successive arches. going in i found it packed and lively, low lights, the walls packed with enamel signs advertising beverages. pushing through the crowd from one arch to the next i got to the final one just in time to catch the last set of a band called “jellybeat”. the line-up comprised a lead vocalist who appeared to be pregnant, electric guitar, bass guitar, keyboard player with a 1980s oberheim synthesizer, roland digital piano and de-rigeur ibook running a drum sequencer. the music was the kind of rock-plus-deranged-electronics that i have encountered and enjoyed so much in london in the past couple of years. i took some photos, danced a bit and chatted with a couple of the friendly people.
the one sad thing is that now i have finally made it to vienna and my friends gustl and valerie, who live here, are in india of all places. it’s hard to catch up with people who travel so much.
in a couple of hours i will set out for the airport and thence london. i will be sad to leave this city.