I got out of class at 10 AM today (it’s a Wednesday, and it’s only for this term, so don’t judge me too harshly). It’s also been deliciously warm and sunny lately, and today was no exception. I had a few errands to run, and I figured I might as well use my own two feet to run them. After all, why not make the most of it?
The post office is right around the corner, and the bank is only a couple of block away, so I had thought this would be fairly straightforward. Sadly, “the best-laid plans of mice and men”, etc. The machine at the bank was being temperamental and refusing to cooperate, when all I wanted to do was make a simple transfer and pay my health insurance bill on time. Grrr. On the bright side, it means a trip to the bigger branch down in the first district, which is rarely unwelcome.
There are still a few vestiges of winter clinging to the city. On the shadier streets, there are still diminishing piles of snow, covered in gravel, with little rivulets flowing to lower ground. The covers haven’t come off the fountains yet, lest we get another cold spell and have the whole thing freeze over. Plenty of people are still wearing their winter coats, though to be fair, old Viennese women are to fur coats as Charleton Heston was to guns—you will pry them from their cold, dead hands.
All the same, the sun is shining, and there’s hardly a cloud in the sky. Over at the bank, the transfer goes much more smoothly—once I realize I’ve neglected to fill out a section of the necessary form. This happens often enough that I ought to be wise to it by now, but where’s the fun in that? Besides, now I’m downtown, and near the site of the greatest ice cream in the city, Zanoni & Zanoni. They have so many flavors, and the prices are really great—two scoops on a cone for only two Euro? That’s pretty much a directive from on high that you need to buy some ice cream. I went for a Topfen-and-apricot ice cream cone (Topfen, for the non-Austrians, is apparently called quark cheese in English—at least, thus saith Wikipedia).
Once the ice cream cone was effectively demolished, I needed something else to do. But what? Thankfully, a nearby bookstore caught my eye. Sadly, it turned out to be all law and business books, and I wasn’t in the market for the newest edition of EU Pharmaceutical Law (though it looks like a page-turner). I did end up having a nice conversation with a kindly tax lawyer (if you can believe it), whose name was Johann. I decided that perhaps, it was time to look for a book I might actually buy. Since my sister had mentioned wanting some German-language children’s books for my nephew, I figured that I could devote my time to this and thus classify my wanderings as productivity.
I couldn’t seem to find one I liked, though. He’s only sixteen months old, so I feel like his books should be heavy on pictures and light on words, and everything I found just seemed so wordy. Plus, I just like children’s cooks that rhyme. That said, I did find a copy of The Gruffalo in German (fun fact: it’s called der Grüffalo), which was pretty cool. To my German-speaking friends: any suggestions on children’s books for the under-two set? I’ll be really grateful.